Darnassian, Thalassian, and Nazja seem to have many common phrases, and Thalassian might be so similar to Darnassian that it would be more correct to call it a dialect, rather than a separate language, seeing as Thalassian evolved from Darnassian, just as the high elves evolved from the night elves when the highborne were exiled to the Eastern Kingdoms.
- 1 Methodology
- 2 Words
- 3 Phrases
- 4 Grammar rules
- 4.1 Nouns
- 4.2 Pronouns
- 4.3 Verbs
- 4.4 Darnassian grammar primer - beginning
- 5 Related languages
- 6 References
- 7 See also
If it is otherwise not clear, a vast majority of the information on this page is based on deduction and logical speculation.
This project started as the Darnassian Language Society, and was moved here in 2010.
|Darnassian||English||Used in:||Which means:|
|Alah||To you (presumed)||
|Ana (1st interpretation)||My/ours (presumed)||
|Ana/Ana'duna (2nd interpretation)||I (presumed)/Us (word by word "I-others", which is "us", which refer to sister) (presumed)||
|An'da||Papa (a father's nick name)||
|Ande||(May/let) you/your ?||
|Duna (1st interpretation)||fact/truth/real(ity) (presumed)||
|Duna (2nd interpretation)||others (presumed)||
|Falore (1st interpretation)||Sister (presumed)||
|Falore (2nd interpretation)||Agree (presumed)||
|Iszera||Green (plural - "the green ones/green-skins", singular probably being "ysera")||
|Shan||Honor / Honored (Presumed)||
|Surfal||Loved / Beloved one||
|Surfas/na||Love (verb, present tense)||
|Thalas||Kingdom or homeland||
|Thero||"the one who struggles/strives (for wisdom)" ~ Student (Presumed)||
|Ysera||Green (singular), plural being "iszera" - this is not at all certain!||
|Darnassian||English||(Direct meaning (as we've translated it, some of these are very experimental)|
|Ande'thoras'ethil||May your troubles be diminished||May/let your troubles diminish|
|Asha'falah||?||What (is) balance|
|Enshu'falah'nah||?||(?) balance (?)|
|Ana'duna thera||Revenge will be ours||Our (real?) revenge|
|Andu-falah-dor!||Let balance be restored!||Let balance be restored/eternal|
|Anu'dorini talah||For nature's survival||For nature's survival|
|Bandu Thoribas!||Prepare to fight!||(?) trouble/fight/fury|
|Endu'di Rifa!||A war cry||Kill the defilers?|
|Thor falah nor dora||A war cry (said by druids)||Fight for the truth of the balance of heaven(?)|
|Tor ilisar'thera'nal!||Let our enemies beware!||Let enemies revenge/war feel?|
|Alah darnana dor||Formal Greeting||To you (?) be restored/eternal|
|Ishnu-alah||Good fortune to you||Good fortune to you|
|Ishnu-dal-dieb||Good fortune to your family||Good fortune to your family|
|Anu'dora||Yes/It's true||For truth|
|Az'thero'dalah'dor||?||(? May/shall) (the) striving my/by me (be) accomplished|
|Anu therador mali||?||For (revenge/truth) (?)|
|Ashra thoraman?||What troubles you?||(?) troubles/fights (?)|
|Fandu-dath-belore?||Who goes there?||(?) (?) (?)|
|Ana'duna falore, iszera duna bantallas||Yes sister, the green(skins) are primitive||
|Ana'tole na Dure||I will do it for nature (Druid's pledge of agreement)||My efforts for Nature|
|Ash Karath!||Do it!||This you do!(?)|
|Ashte'rodne||Very ugly||Very ugly|
|Ashte'rodne fanass||Yes, very ugly||Very ugly indeed|
|Dalah'surfal||My beloved one||My (be)loved (one)|
|Elune-adore||Elune be with you||Elune be restored with you?|
|Enu thora'serador||This is a sacred place.||(?) (trouble/fight) (?)|
|Thora dormil dora||Look above you.||(?) (?) (trouble) (?) (?) (truth)|
|Kene'thil surfas||I love you||(?) (?)love|
|Lok'delar||Stave of the ancient keepers||Stave Ancient keepers|
|Quel'thalas||The high kingdom||High Kingdom/homeland|
|Quel'serrar||The high blade||High Blade|
|Rhok'delar||Longbow of the ancient keepers||Bow Ancient keepers|
|Sael'ah||You're welcome||(?) (?)|
|Shal myrinon ishnu dal'dora||Unknown||(?) (?) luck (my/mine?) is/truth/our(s)|
|Shan'do||(Honored) teacher||(?) (?)|
|Surfas'alah denai||?||Love (to) you(?)|
|Thera dormil dora||Unknown||(Revenge/war?) (be restored/eternal/?) truth|
|Thero'shan||(Honored) student||(?) (?)|
|Zin-Azshari||Glory of Azshara||Azshara's Glory|
Plurals and singulars
|Darnassian singular||English singular||Darnassian plural||English plural|
|Ysera||(the?) green||izsera||(the?) green ones|
|N/A||ancient keeper||delar||ancient keepers|
The noun 'nature' in Darnassian seems to have at least two different forms depending of the syntactic function. Thus, both words 'Dure' and 'Dorini' mean 'nature', but they're morphologically different because of the syntactic function:
- Anu'dorini talah - For nature's survival: Dorini could be the genitive case of 'nature', translated as 'nature's'
- Ana'tole na Dure - I will do it for nature: Dure could be then the ablative/nominative case for 'nature'
|Subject||Object||Reflexive||Possessive||Pos. determiner||Indirect Object||Indirect possessive.||Subject||Object||Reflexive||Pos.||Pos. det.||Pointing*||Pointing pos.*|
|First||N/A (I)||N/A (me)||N/A (myself)||N/A (mine)||Dalah (my)||N/A (to me)||N/A (to my)||N/A (we)||N/A (us)||N/A (ourselves)||N/A (ours)||N/A (our)||N/A (to us)||N/A (to our)|
|Second||N/A (you)||N/A (you)||N/A (yourself)||N/A (yours)||N/A (your)||Alah (to you)||Dal (to your)||N/A (you)||N/A (you)||N/A (yourselves)||N/A (yours)||N/A (your)||N/A (to you)||N/A (to your)|
|Third||Masculine||N/A (he)||N/A (him)||N/A (himself)||N/A (his)||N/A (his)||N/A (to him)||N/A (to his)||N/A (they)||N/A (them)||N/A (themselves)||N/A (theirs)||N/A (their)||N/A (to me)||N/A (to my)|
|Feminine||N/A (she)||N/A (her)||N/A (herself)||N/A (hers)||N/A (her)||N/A (to her)||N/A (to her)|
|Neuter||N/A (It)||N/A (it)||N/A (itself)||N/A (its)||N/A (its)||N/A (to it)||N/A (to its)|
- The names of the four Pointing columns (marked by a following *) need to be changed to something more correct.
- Words that are known and seemingly correct are written down in bold.
- Note: It's not at all certain that Darnassian follows this system the same way that English does, and elements such as the position of the word might change its meaning or form.
This table is an effort to further systematize the "known" Darnassian verbs. I've used third person forms in the English translations for the sake of simplicity. Words in italic are "logic speculations" derived from the more "known" tenses, and should probably not be used as a base to derive other words.
|Darnassian infinitive||English infinitive||Darnassian imperative||English imperative||Darnassian present||English present||Darnassian past||English past||Darnassian past perfect||English past perfect||Darnassian subjunctive||English subjunctive||Darnassian gerund or stative||English gerund or stative|
|Belore||To go||Beldu||Go||N/A||Goes||N/A||Went||N/A||(has) Gone||N/A||(may it) Go||Belah||(The) Going|
|N/A||To do||Ash?||Do||N/A||Does/do||N/A||Did||N/A||(has) Done||N/A||(may it) Do||N/A||(The) Doing or Deed|
|N/A||To prepare||Bandu||Prepare||N/A||Prepares||N/A||Prepared||N/A||(has) Prepared||N/A||(may it) Prepare||Banah||(The) Preparing or Preparation|
|N/A||To declare||Fandu||Declare||N/A||Declares||N/A||Declared||N/A||(has) Declared||N/A||(may it) Declare||Fanah||(The) Declaring or Declaration|
|Adore?||To be||Andu||Be||N/A||Is/are||N/A||Was (/were)||N/A||(has) Been||Ande||(may it) Be||Anah or Andah||(The) Being|
|N/A||To kill||Endu||Kill||N/A||Kills||N/A||Killed||N/A||(has) Killed||N/A||(may it) Kill||Enah||(The) Killing|
|Falore?||To balance||Faldu||Balance||N/A||Balances||N/A||Balanced||N/A||(has) Balanced||N/A||(may it) Balance||Falah||(The) Balancing or (The) Balance|
|N/A||To survive||Taldu||Survive||N/A||Survives||N/A||Survived||N/A||(has) Survived||N/A||(may it) Survive||Talah||(The) Surviving or Survival|
|N/A||To diminish||N/A||Diminish||N/A||Diminishes||Ethil?||Diminished||N/A||(has) Diminished||N/A||(may it) Diminish||N/A||(The) Diminishing|
|N/A||To love||N/A||Love||Surfas||Loves||N/A||Loved||N/A||(has) Loved||N/A||(may it/you) Love||N/A||(The) Love/Loving|
|N/A||To bear||N/A||Bear||N/A||Bears||N/A||Bore||Dorei||(has/is) Borne||N/A||(may you (be?) borne||N/A||(The) Birth/Bearing|
Darnassian grammar primer - beginning
- The first thing to keep in mind is that Darnassian does not follow the rules of English and there is often likely no "word for word" literal translation of any given phrase. To find the meaning behind given phrases takes a little more effort then, but the first step to figuring out the structure of a language is in identifying parts of speech.
- Let's take a simple phrase from the official WoW lexicon -
Prepare to fight!
Verb conjugation and reflexive prepositional and possessive modifiers
- This looks easy enough. The phrase may be just an imperative verb matched with an infinitive verb if we take the word for word, or it may be something more. We also see two clear word roots in this phrase, bandu or ban/d- and thor-.
- We see the root thor- in other phrases too:
- Thor falah nor dora.
- Ashra thoraman?
- All refer to trouble, or strife and fighting. We can also see from this that the root thor- is often modified by a suffix. This reflexive modifier can either be an adjectival modifier or a possessive one, or even a "counting" modifier that denotes quantity. So, to begin with, we have identified thoribas as the fighting part in the meaning of the sentence.
- This leaves us with bandu as the imperative form of the verb to prepare. We can also see this same imperative verb form in other phrases too:
- This implies that there is regular verb conjugation in Darnassian, not unlike French, Spanish, Japanese or many other of our own languages. This means they follow a regular pattern, and when we encounter one, we should verify it against our known set of patterns, keeping in mind that exceptions and irregular verbs might occur.
- One other thing to note before we move on is that, as in English, the imperative verb form in a declarative sentence in Darnassian will always come first in that sentence. Even in the interrogative statement above, this seems to be the case.
- Notice something else - we have just identified two new verb roots - fan/d- and an/d- in the above. Identifying and isolating root words will be an important part of correctly labeling and translating parts of speech as we move forward. But let's move on.
- Is the word thoribas then the infinitive form of the verb to fight?
- [Note: It might very well be. The verb to fight might indeed have an irregular conjugation, including conjugates such as thoribas, thoras, thoraman, and thor.]
- First, we should look for any corroborating words or phrases, but sadly, this is the only example we have of that ending.
- Second, we should look for any other instances of verbs in the infinitive form that we can confirm, but again, examples lack.
- At this point, it is worth trying to move from a descriptive grammar (deriving a rule from observed cases) to a proscriptive grammar (creating a rule and then applying it to cases) to see what works. If, for instance, we assume that reflexive modifiers are mostly of a possessive or prepositional nature in non-verb cases (trouble and fight could be either a verb or a noun), then we might be dealing with a prepositional modifier instead, as in to the fight or for a fight. This would work in this case and would not break our already established rule for regular verb conjugation.
- Just as easily, and because in later examples we will see more evidence that the preposition for is already a different modifier, -ibas might possibly be a reflexive possessive pronoun meaning yourself, or even, referring back to the speaker.
- Bandu = You prepare (imperative)
- thor- = fight, trouble
- -ibas = yourself/me (reflexive possessive pronoun, either or neither is possible)
- Bandu thoribas! = Prepare (yourself) for trouble/a fight (with me)! (literal), Prepare to fight! (practical)
Action verbs: Preparing, Killing, Surviving, Balancing, Declaring, Going
- So, now that we can tell others to prepare to fight, what else can we communicate? For starters, it would be nice to know if we are challenging friend or foe before casting our spell or unsheathing our blades at just anybody.
- Endu'di rifa!
- Kill the defilers! (presumed)
- Well, yes, I would certainly like to kill the defilers. Here we can see another imperative verb in action: endu, which is more than likely the command verb, (you) kill. We also see a conjunctive suffix appended as a definite article to specify "the defilers" or 'di rifa we want to kill. We now have a new verb root, en/d-, which rather suitably means kill.
- But why indeed should I go killing these defilers? For what greater purpose?
- Anu'dorini talah.
- For nature's survival.
- Ah yes, good catch. From other phrases available, such as Anu'dora, which means, For truth, we can identify Anu' as the prepositional prefix for to the noun dorini, or nature. This leaves us with the apparent gerund (or noun form) of the verb survive being talah, meaning perhaps both the stative form survival and the gerund form surviving as in the sentence, "I like surviving. Survival is good." Going back to our previous conjugation patterns, this would mean the root of the verb survive is ta-.
- The concept of nature (as in mother nature, not human nature) is another interesting case. Here we see dorini refer to the possessive nature's but elsewhere as the singular dure. Not coincidentally, the word dor likely means land, as in the name Kalimdor meaning Land of Eternal Starlight, derived itself again from the root kal meaning star. It may not be coincidental either that dorei are children, presumably of the Earth Mother (beings of the land). Of course, this shares a direct link to another fictional world, that of J.R.R. Tolkien (e.g. Gondor, "Land of Stone," Mordor, "Land of Darkness"), but I think we can excuse Blizzard on this since nearly all modern fantasy is Tolkienesque fantasy.
- While we are on the subject of nature, the same gerund verb from appears quite often in the word falah, perhaps one of the most used words in the phrases we have available, the word for balance.
- Thor falah nor dora.
- Enshu falah-nah.
- Again, the gerund form of the verb fal- is used as a noun - and here it is The Balance, not just any particular balance, but more in the sense of The Tao, or The Force, etc, so more than likely the stative and gerund ending are the same in Darnassian. The above phrases might then translate to:
- Andu-falah-dor. = Be (imperative) of balance (gerund), the land. (literal), Let balance be restored. (practical)
- Thor falah nor dora. = (The) Fight (for) balance and truth. Fight here not being in the imperative form, I presume, thus meaning "the fight" and not the command "you (had better) fight."
- Enshu falah-nah. = This one depends greatly on context to identify the meaning of both Enshu and -nah.
- Asha'falah? = What (is) balance?
- Unfortunately, this brings up an interesting conflict with a pre-existing translation of the word falore. One interpretation is that the word means sister and the second that it means agree. However, if we are to accept both the previous verb conjugation patterns that form the basis for the rest of the root verbs above, as well as the gerund rule for falah to make any sense, then falore would be the infinitive form to balance. Here's why it is complicated:
- Ana'duna falore, iszera duna bantallas.
- Yes sister, the green(skins) are primitive. (Official translation)
- Let's take the rest of the sentence apart first, identifying what we already know.
- The most clear term in use here seems to be the word iszera, which is generally accepted as the plural for green(skins), or Orcs and Goblins, and is clearly the object of the sentence.
- The word duna is repeated twice in the Darnassian, but not in the official translation, suggesting this is not as simple as a word-for-word exchange.
- The prefix Ana' occupies the usual place for a prepositional modifier in other examples we have encountered.
- The word bantallas likely stands the best chance of being associated with the meaning primitive.
- Although we have not yet encountered the prepositional prefix ana', Thalassian appears to share the same rule of prepositional modifier prefixes, and ana' bears too much of a resemblance to the Thalassian prefix anar', or By, as in Anar'alah belore (By the light of the Sun) to dismiss completely.
- One interpretation of the word duna is that it means fact/truth/reality, while another defines it as others.
- To test this case, if we take falore to mean the infinitive to balance, in line with both the verb belore (for the infinitive form - see examples further below) and falah (for the verb root fal- to mean balance at all), then we arrive with two possible meanings:
- Ana'duna falore, iszera duna bantallas.
- By reality to balance, the greenskins are really/truly primitive.
- By us/others to balance, the green others are primitive.
- These are again, literal translations, but an idiomatic meaning for the first might be an expression somewhat like By/via reality, (in order) to balance, or in other words, Get real, sister. There is no reason to assume Darnassian is necessarily devoid of sarcastic or idiomatic expressions.
- Of course, two previous interpretations of falore are sister and agree/d. Not to dismiss these out of hand, I would simply offer this third interpretation in the context of an inclusive verb conjugation pattern that, well - just seems to work that way - with fal- as the verb root for balance, with falah as the gerund form and falore as the infinitive form. If falore does mean either sister or agree, then a glaring exception occurs in verb conjugations elsewhere.
- Now, after all of this, I know exactly why I should kill these defilers: so that nature can survive, balance can be restored, and well, because greenskins... are just so primitive. Still, it might be a good idea to be able to know who exactly is a defiler and who is not a defiler before I go killing everyone.
- Who goes there?
- This is one of the first phrases we identified as having an imperative verb form, but here is where it gets tricky, because the English translation does not contain any kind of imperative or command verb. In English, the command is implied when you shout "Who goes there?" because it is an interrogative statement, or an interrogation. Perhaps not so in Darnassian. We have already established a rule on reflexive modifiers and that may apply to sentence structure as well, and it looks as though dath and belore are both modifying the imperative fandu, so let's try rephrasing the question into an imperative statement for meaning.
- Another way of stating "Who goes there?" in the imperative in English is to say, "Declare yourself!"
- (Declare) who goes (there)?
- There is a very good possibility that dath, therefore, is the interrogative article who and that belore is some form of the verb to go. (Which makes sense, especially if one considers that the Thalassian word for the Sun is belore; Thalassian and Darnassian both share a common ancestral tongue, and if one considers the Sun as a "chariot of fire in the heavens" and all that, quite a good bit of our very existence depends upon it coming and going.)
- This would make -ore an irregular verb suffix... unless it is in fact the infinitive conjugation we have been looking for from the start, making belore mean to go and the ultimate meaning of the sentence:
- Fandu = You declare (imperative)
- -dath = who (reflexive interrogative article)
- -belore? = to go (infinitive)
- Fandu-dath-belore? = Declare who (is) to go (there)? (literal), Who goes there? (practical)
- If this sounds like a bit of a stretch, consider this question in French: As-tu aller au cinéma?, or Did you go to the movies?, which literally translates as Have-you to go to movies/theater? It also represents a reflexive use of the infinitive verb form - when attached in this way, it often infers a prepositional phrase, such as to go there.
- When looking at the -ore ending in the quest for the elusive infinite verb form, there is another very common phrase which comes up:
- Elune is the goddess Herself, and needs no introduction. Adore then - if we follow the rules above - would be the infinitive form of the verb to be and the meaning of the phrase would then be:
- Elune-adore. = Elune to be (with you). (literal), Elune be with you. (practical)
- A prepositional phrase inferred by the placement of an infinitive verb, however, is not a usage that has any precedent in human languages (to my knowledge).
Zandali and the Subjunctive Mood
- Speaking again of defilers, if you have ever listened to a Troll speaking Common or Orcish, you may have noticed that instead of saying We are they say We be -- i.e. they always speak in the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood is used by many languages to express a wish, hope, blessing, emotion, desire or opinion on something that has not yet but may occur.
- In some real world languages such as Latin, the subjunctive is expressed as a single word, like necamus or "let I/us kill" or "may I/we kill." English, however, often likes to split verb phrases with a subject or adverb in practice (for instance, "to boldly go" and "to go boldly" are indistinguishable in meaning in English, but the former is quite impossible in Latin because the verb "to go" would be a single word, in this case, the Latin future participle eundum).
- Darnassian also appears to have a subjunctive conjugation.
- May your troubles be diminished.
- Here is another example of the elusive and potentially slightly irregularly conjugated verb "to be." Because in English we tend to interject our subjunctives with our subject (because we often have compound verbs like "may have been" rather than a single word form), the literal translation of the sentence above may be closer to May it be that your trouble(s) are/is diminished/less.
- In this interpretation, ande' would then be the subjunctive form of the verb adore or to be; thoras would then be a subject in the possessive meaning either your troubles or thor + -as, or a subject in the plural (where possession is implied) meaning simply troubles or thor for trouble/fight/strife + plural -as. This is then further modified by the suffix -ethil which presumably means diminished, with eth- being a likely candidate for the verb diminish and -il then becoming the past tense... or this may be an adjectival modifier as we have seen in other suffix examples following the reflexive modifier rule, which might then translate as less or approaching nil -- eth or none + -il or approaching/nearing.
- Ande' = May (it) be (that) (verb, subjunctive)
- thoras = a) your troubles, b) troubles
- -ethil. = a) diminished (verb, past tense), b) less (adjective, reflexive modifier)
- The meaning would be the same in either case.
- Verb forms in Darnassian follow regular patterns of conjugation, and can be charted as such by tracking verb roots. There may be exceptions.
- Imperative verbs always appear at the start of the sentence.
- Gerund verb forms exist and can be used as nouns.
- The subjunctive is used to express hopes, desires, blessings, or opinions on things that have not yet happened.
- Nouns can be modified by adding either adjectival and possessive suffixes, or prepositional prefixes.
- Suffix modifiers are generally directly joined to the word to make a longer word, except in the case of definite articles used reflexively.
- Prefix modifiers are generally joined by a conjugation, represented by an apostrophe.
- Indefinite articles and prepositions within sentences are generally only inferred or implied, and not written/spoken.
Darnassian has also evolved into the languages of the naga (Nazja), and the high elves' and blood elves' (Thalassian). Darnassian, Thalassian, and Nazja seem to have many common phrases, and Thalassian might perhaps be so similar to Darnassian that it would be more correct to call it a dialect, rather than a separate language.
- For comparison and aiding purposes see Thalassian translation (speculation).