Relics of the North
The continent of Faerûn is home to many cultures and nations, and the inhabitants speak a multitude of languages and dialects. Many races speak their own languages, with regional differences in dialects, though some (such as hobgoblins and goblins) share a language, suggesting a mutual ancestry, a common history, or some other close relationship.
Modern sages recognize three primary groupings of active human languages in Faerûn. The first, Chondathan, is spoken mainly by people in the western regions. The second, Damaran, is spoken mostly by humans in the east. The third language, Untheric, is less widespread than the first two. Numerous other active languages exist on the continent, but they are even more limited geographically, sometimes to a single nation (such as the Thayan language).
Languages of Faerûn
|Language||Region or Race||Alphabet|
|Abyssal||Demons, gnolls, sahuagin||Barazhad|
|Chondathan|| Aglarond, Amn, Baldur’s Gate, Cormyr, Dalelands, Dragon Coast, Elturgard,
Erlkazar, Luruar, Moonshae Isles, Nelanther Isles, Sea of Fallen Stars (surface), Sembia, Tethyr, Velen, Vilhon Wilds, Waterdeep
|Common||Everywhere on the surface of Faerûn (trade language)||Thorass|
|Damaran||Damara, Dambrath, Great Dale, Impiltur, Moonsea Lands, Narfell, Rashemen, Thesk, Vaasa, Vesperin||Dethek|
|Deep Speech||High Imaskar, Underdark||Espruar|
|Draconic||Murghôm, Najara, Okoth, Returned Abeir, Tymanther||Iokharic|
|Elven||Elfharrow, Evereska, Evermeet, Menzoberranzan, Myth Drannor, Raurin, Sea of Fallen Stars (submerged)||Espruar|
|Giant||Kingdom of Many-Arrows||Dethek|
|Goblin||Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears||Thorass|
|Primordial||Akanûl, Calimshan, Lake of Steam||Barazhad|
|Supernal||Angels, devils, deities||Supernal|
|Untheric||Beastlands, Chessenta, Chult, Durpar, Estagund, Turmish, the Shaar||Thorass|
The Common Tongue
Common is widely spoken across Faerûn, though sometimes with limited proficiency. It is a straightforward language best suited for trade and negotiation. Faerûn’s common tongue is closely related to the human language Chondathan.
Despite the multitude of languages and dialects, only six sets of symbols are in widespread use as alphabets across Faerûn.
- Thorass is the alphabet of Common, Chondathan, and Untheric, and it has been adopted by other languages as well.
- Espruar is a moon elf alphabet adopted by gold elves, drow, and other elves and eladrin thousands of years ago. Its beautiful, weaving script flows over jewelry, monuments, and magic items. It is also the alphabet used to scribe Deep Speech.
- Dethek is the Dwarven runic script, usually inscribed on metal sheets or carved in stone. It is notable for its straight lines and relative lack of punctuation (other than spaces between words and slashes between sentences). Words are given emphasis by adding a red hue. Dethek is also the script used for the languages of giants, orcs, and ogres.
- Barazhad is the script of elementals, efreets, archons, demons, gnolls, and sahuagin.
- Iokharic (also known as Draconic for the most famous language it is used for) is the script of dragons, dragonborn, kobolds, and many dragonlike, reptilian, or serpentine folk.
- Supernal is the language of angels, devils, and deities. It is sometimes written dialectically (as Celestial and Infernal) when used by angels and devils, respectively.