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Elder Speech

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Hen llinge is the language of Aen Seidhe elves. As it is one of the oldest languages still in use, it is referred to as the Old or Elder Speech while the lingua franca is Common Speech. It is used currently not only by elves, but also by mages and scholars. Sung versions of Elder Speech are used by dryads, sirens and nereids. Nilfgaardian and Skellige dialects both derive from Elder Speech.

Its vocabulary is based heavily on the Gaelic and Celtic languages of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although in some cases Sapkowski has used also conotations with more "popular" tongues, like German and English. The two basic verbs, 'to be' and 'to have', are borrowed from Italian and Latin.[1]

Old Speech - Polish original text on Andrzej Sapkowski Zone

Dictionary[edit | edit source]

It should be noted that spelling of some words vary throughout the novels, due to dialectal differences or just author's mistakes.

Elder Speech dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  •  Names  •  Phrases

A[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
a’báeth kiss
a’taeghane today
aard misspeling of "ard"
aark, aark phonetic presentation of the sound ravens/crows make
abb river mouth
addan, adan dance; dancer; dancing
first person singular subject personal pronoun I (dryad dialect)
aedd shard
aefder later, after
aen indefinite pronoun one, ones; of; for; from; to
aen’drean enter?
aenye fire, fiery
aep in; of; son of; appears to be just general genitive, not marking solely hereditary ties
aép in, to
aesledde ride on a sledge/sled
aespar shoot (verb.)
aëte summer
aevon river
aine light (possibly enlightened)
an small, minor, vague
an’givare informer, spy
ard up; upper; high; top; mountain; mountainous
arse arse (UK), ass (US), butt

B Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
ban peak?
beanna woman
beann’shie beann'shie, or banshee
blath flower
blathan garland; flowers
blathanna Seems to be genitive: flowers', of flowers
blathe the fifth savaed in the elven calendar; possibly 'flowering'?
bleidd wolf
bloed blood
bloede bloody, damn
Brokiloéne of Brokilon, Brokiloni

C Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
caed forest; grove
cáelm calm, peaceful, quiet; slowly, quietly; calm, quieten
cáemm come, go
caen can (verb)
caer castle; keep
cáerme fate, destiny
carn kurgan; barrow; burial mound
carraigh rock
ceádmil greet (in game appears as caed'mil; also as caedmill), greetings
cerbin raven
cinerea Ilyocoris
coram lion
col col, mountain pass
craag crag?
creasa must, necessity, obligation, inevitability
crevan fox

D Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
d’yaebl devil (in game both a sword and a wolf bear this name)
dearg red
dearme sleep; good night (phrase)
deireádh end (noun)
deith flame
deithwen white flame
dh’oine human (in game also in form dh'oinne)
dhu black
dice say; to speak
dol dale; dell; vale; valley
dwimmer magic; sorcery

E Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
easnadh sigh (ellylon)
elaine fair, beautiful
ell alder
elle of alders, alder's
en indefinite article (a/an)
en’leass laced, tied (ellylon)
enid daisy
ensh’eass enchanting, enthralling, charming, glamourous (ellylon)
ess be
esse will be
essea I am
esseath you are
evall horse
evellienn every, all

F Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
feainn sun; also the sixth savaed in the elven calendar
feainne of sun, sunny
feainnewedd Sun-Child, Child of the Sun
fen fen (a low marshy/frequently flooded area), wetlands
foilé frantic; mad
folie frenzy
fraeren brothers

G Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
gar’ean note; consider
geas curse; geis is a magical obligation/prohibition
gláeddyv sword
gleann bottom, low, valley
gleanna of valley
glosse look, observe?
gvalch’ca falconess
gwen, gwyn white (also -wen)
gynvael ice

H Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
hael greeting; health, safety, cure?
haela medicine; drug?
hanse Unit; group of friends
hav’caaren hawker(s); based on Elder Speech word for 'rapacious'
hen elder, old, oldest

I Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
ichaer blood, gene
inis island
invaerne winter
ire other, another

K Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
kelpie kelpie
Ker’zaer [2] Emperor (Nilfgaardian dialect)

L Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
laeke lake
lammas maturing
lara seagull
lionors lioness (Skellige dialect)
llech stone
Loc’hlaith Lady of the Lake (ellylon)
luned daughter / young girl

M Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
me me, my, mine
meáth meet
mid- middle
milva Red kite
minne love (noun)
mire look, observe?
mistle waxwing, or mistle thrush, also one of the Rats
modron mother (Skellige dialect)
morc book, tome
morvudd enemies
muire sea

N Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
naev’de nine of
neén not

P Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
pavienn ape
pest pestilence, plague, blight
pherian halfling, hobbit
pont bridge

Q Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
que that
quirk, quirk phonetic representation of the sound sparrows make

R Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
raenn run
rhena queen (Skellige dialect)
ruadhri raiders (ellylon)
Roethainne [2] Redanian

S Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
saov spirit, soul, ghost? (See: Wikipedia:Samhain#Etymology)
savaed One eighth of the year in the elven calendar
scoia’tael squirrel(s)
seidh hill, mound
seidhe of hills, hill's
shaent sing
sidh elf (dryad dialect)
sledd sled
sor’ca little sister
spar shoot (verb)
spar’le shoot him
squaess excuse; forgive
stráede road, path

T Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
taedh bard, poet
tearth fear
tedd time, age, season
thaesse shut up
tir land
tirth wild boar
tor tower
tuathe wisper (ellylon)
tvedeane twelve, dozen

V Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
va go
va faill goodbye, farewell
vara ware; goods?
vatt’ghern witcher
veloë fast, quick; quickly
voe’rle stop, halt?
vort further, away (from oneself), still

W Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
wedd child
weddien diminutive form of 'wedd', child; kiddo
wen white (also as -wen)
woed, woéd, woedd wood; forest

Y Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
yeá so
yghern Giant centipede
yn on, over, upon
ys downward

Z Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
zireael swallow (bird)
zvaere swear (to take an oath)

Names Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
Aedd Gynvael Shard of Ice
Aenyeweddien Fire Child
Aen N’og Mab Taedh’morc "Practices for a Young Bard"
Aen Elle Alder Folk, People of the Alders
Aen Saevherne Sage
Aen Seidhe Hill Folk, People of the Hills
Aen Woedbeanna Woman of woods, dryad
Aenyell’hael Baptism of fire, also the name of a novel
Aevon y Pont ar Gwennelen River of Alabaster Bridges, Pontar
Ard Carraigh High Rock
Belleteyn blossoming
Birke Spring equinox; the fourth savaed in the elven calendar
Ban Ard Upper (peak?)
Ban Gleán Lower (peak)?
Brokiloén Brokilon
Caed Dhu Black Forest/Grove
Caed Myrkvid Myrkvid Forest/Grove
Caer a’Muirehen Old Sea Keep; Keep of the Elder Sea (Blood of Elves , UK); Witchers' fortress
Ceann Treise a cascade in Brokilon; meaning uncertain, possibly "headstrong"?
Conynhaela a magical cure which enables the rapid regeneration damaged or broken bones
Craag An once a village, now a necropolis in Brokilon; meaning uncertain
Dol Adalatte Valley of Adalatte-river
Dol Blathanna Valley of the Flowers
Duén Canell The Place of the Oak
Glyswen White River
Gwenllech river: White Stones
Gwynbleidd White Wolf
Imbaelk Imbolc, germination; the third savaed in the elven calendar
Lammas maturing; the seventh savaed in the elven calendar
Mear’ya Maria, Mary (for some reason brings not so nice connotations[3])
Midaëte Midsummer
Midinvaerne Midwinter
Saovine 'Soul day'?; the first savaed in the elven calendar
Tor Lara Tower of Gulls
Tor Zireael Tower of the Swallow, Swallow's Tower
Velen autumn equinox; the eighth savaed in the elven calendar
Vrihedd Freedom?
Xin'trea Cintra in Elder Speech.

Phrases Top of page[edit | edit source]

Elder Speech English
Aen me Glaeddyv, zvaere a Bloedgeas, Ard Rhena, Lionors Aep Xintra! By my Sword, I swear a Blood Oath, the Highest Queen, Lioness of Cintra! (Skellige dialect)
A d’yaebl aép arse Into devil's ass
Ceádmil, Wedd Brokiloéne! Greetings, Child of Brokilon!
Dubhenn haern am glândeal, morc’h am fhean aiesin My glare will pierce through darkness, my brightness will scatter the shadow
Ess’creasa, sor’ca It's necessary, little sister
Ess'tedd, esse creasa It's time, it is necessary
Duettaeánn aef cirrán Cáerme Gláeddyv. Yn á esseáth The Sword of Destiny has two edges. You are one of them
Glaeddyv vort, beanna Drop the sword, woman
Glaeddyvan vort! Drop the swords!
Ire lokke, ire tedd Another place, another time
Lambert cáen me a’báeth aep arse Lambert can kiss my ass
Que’ss aen me dicette, Enid? Vorsaeke’llan? Aen vaine? What [would you say / are you saying??] to me, Daisy? Forsake them? In vain?
Squass’me Excuse me; forgive me
Va’esse deireádh aep eigean, va’esse eigh faidh’ar Something ends, something begins

Notifications[edit | edit source]