Difference between revisions of "Old Tongue"

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The '''Old Tongue''' is the language brought over to Westeros by the First Men, over 12,000 years prior to the start of the series. It is a harsh, clanging language. Names originating from the Old Tongue tend to be short, simple, and descriptive. The language is all but extinct in Westeros, except for the lands beyond the Wall, where it is still used by the race of giants and a few other wildlings.  
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The '''Old Tongue''' is the language of the [[First Men]], brought to [[Westeros]] during their invasion over twelve thousand years ago. It is a harsh, clanging language.{{Ref|asos|15}} The language is all but extinct in the [[Seven Kingdoms]], where the [[Common Tongue]] has become dominant. In the lands [[beyond the Wall]], however, the Old Tongue is still spoken by the [[giants]]{{Ref|adwd|49}} and most [[wildlings]].{{Ref|aSoS|15}}
  
:''"Half the wildling host had lived all their lives without so much as a glimpse of the Wall, Jon judged, and most of those spoke no word of the Common Tongue. It did not matter. Mance Rayder spoke the Old Tongue, even sang in it, fingering his lute and filling the night with strange wild music."''<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.172]]</ref>
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==Language==
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The Old Tongue is the language spoken by the [[First Men]] of old, the current [[giants]] and [[free folk]]. Only few terms and translations are known from this language, as [[George R.R. Martin]] has not developed the actual language. On the developing of languages for ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'', the author stated:
  
A few words are known: '''sygerrik''', meaning ''deceiver,'' a name taken by Bael the Bard,<ref>[[A Clash of Kings]],p.746</ref> '''magnar''' ''lord'',<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.80</ref> and '''skagos''' ''stone''.<ref>[[A Feast for Crows]],p.220</ref>  '''Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg''' is the name for Mag the Mighty, and probably reflects five separate words. Jon describes the Old Tongue as sounding "harsh, clanging...[and] coarse."<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.167</ref>
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{{Quote|"I don't have a whole imaginary language in my desk here, the way Tolkien did."<br><br>
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Tolkien was a philologist, and an Oxford don, and could spend decades laboriously inventing Elvish in all its detail. I, alas, am only a hardworking SF and fantasy novel, and I don't have his gift for languages. That is to say, I have not actually created a Valyrian language. The best I could do was try to sketch in each of the chief tongues of my imaginary world in broad strokes, and give them each their characteristic sounds and spellings.<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1250/ Yet More Questions (July 22, 2001)]</ref>
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|[[George R. R. Martin]]}}
  
Of course, many of the names of the Free Folk probably originate in the Old Tongue. These include '''Harma, Dalla, Val, Ygritte, Ryk, Ragwyle, Lenyl, Styr, Jarl, Grigg, Errok, Quort, Bodger, Del, Dan, Henk, Lenn, Tormund, Toregg, Torwyrd, Dormund, Dryn, Munda, Orell, Varamyr,''' and '''Alfyn''', as well as '''Craster''' and his family '''Gilly, Dyah, Ferny, Nella''',<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.972-3</ref> and other Wildlings, such as '''Arson''',<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.298</ref> '''Gendel''' and his brother '''Gorne''',<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.300</ref> '''Joramun''', '''Bael'''<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.302</ref>, '''Tristifer Mudd,'''<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.520</ref> '''Raymun Redbeard'''<ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.837</ref> and doubtless others.
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Houses descended from the First Men tend to have simple, short names, often descriptive.<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/1428/ Event Horizon Chat (March 18, 1999)]</ref> Examples include the names [[House Stark|Stark]], [[House Wull|Wull]], [[House Umber|Umber]], and [[House Stout|Stout]].{{ref|twoiaf| The North}}
  
It had a runic writing system, as Lord Yohn Royce has armor which "is bronze, thousands and thousands of years old, engraved with magic runes that ward him against harm."<ref>[[A Game of Thrones |year= 1996 |publisher= Bantam Dell |page=294 |isbn= 978-0-553-57340-4}}</ref> Also, the ancient crown of Winter was "an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men."<ref>[[A Clash of Kings]],p.107</ref> The Horn of Joramun had runes graven upon it, as well. <ref>[[A Storm of Swords]],p.836</ref> However, the runes were not used in books: "The First Men only left us runes on rocks, so everything we think we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later."<ref>[[A Feast for Crows]],p.80</ref><ref>[[A Game of Thrones]], p.607</ref>  <ref>Languages Corpus at [http://wiki.dothraki.org/dothraki/Other_languages DothrakiWiki]</ref>
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The First Men had their own writing system of the Old Tongue. In addition, they also had a [[Runes|runic writing system]].{{Ref|twoiaf| The Iron Islands}}
  
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==Known translations==
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Several names of terms and names are described in the published material:
  
==Terms==
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{|class="wikitable sortable"
* '[[Magnar]]' - means Lord
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!Old Tongue
* '[[Skagos]]' - means stone
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!Translation
* 'sygerrik' - meaning deceiver
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!Notes
*  '[[children of the forest|woh dak nag gram]]' -  means little squirrel people (The [[giants]]' name the for [[children of the forest]])
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|-
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|[[Magnar]]
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|Lord{{Ref|aSoS|7}}{{Ref|adwd|35}}
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|
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|-
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|[[Skagos]]
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|Stone{{Ref|affc|15}}{{Ref|twoiaf| The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos}}
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|Because of the definition of "skagos", the people from the island of [[Skagos]] call themselves stoneborn.{{ref|twoiaf| The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos}}
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|-
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|Sygerrik
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|Deceiver{{Ref|acok|51}}
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|
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|-
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|Woh dak nag gran
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|The squirrel people{{Ref|adwd|13}}
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|"The squirrel people" is the name the [[giants]] have given the [[children of the forest]].{{Ref|adwd|13}}
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|}
  
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==References==
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{{references|2}}
  
 
{{Languages}}
 
{{Languages}}
  
 
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[[Category:Terms]]
==References and Notes==
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[[Category:Languages]]
{{references|3}}
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[[Category:Beyond the Wall]]
[[Category:Terms]] [[Category:Languages]]
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[[Category:First Men culture]]
[[fr:Vieille langue]]
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[[es:Antigua Lengua]][[fr:Vieille langue]][[zh:古语]]

Latest revision as of 16:56, 15 February 2019

The Old Tongue is the language of the First Men, brought to Westeros during their invasion over twelve thousand years ago. It is a harsh, clanging language.[1] The language is all but extinct in the Seven Kingdoms, where the Common Tongue has become dominant. In the lands beyond the Wall, however, the Old Tongue is still spoken by the giants[2] and most wildlings.[1]

Language

The Old Tongue is the language spoken by the First Men of old, the current giants and free folk. Only few terms and translations are known from this language, as George R.R. Martin has not developed the actual language. On the developing of languages for A Song of Ice and Fire, the author stated:

"I don't have a whole imaginary language in my desk here, the way Tolkien did."

Tolkien was a philologist, and an Oxford don, and could spend decades laboriously inventing Elvish in all its detail. I, alas, am only a hardworking SF and fantasy novel, and I don't have his gift for languages. That is to say, I have not actually created a Valyrian language. The best I could do was try to sketch in each of the chief tongues of my imaginary world in broad strokes, and give them each their characteristic sounds and spellings.[3]

Houses descended from the First Men tend to have simple, short names, often descriptive.[4] Examples include the names Stark, Wull, Umber, and Stout.[5]

The First Men had their own writing system of the Old Tongue. In addition, they also had a runic writing system.[6]

Known translations

Several names of terms and names are described in the published material:

Old Tongue Translation Notes
Magnar Lord[7][8]
Skagos Stone[9][10] Because of the definition of "skagos", the people from the island of Skagos call themselves stoneborn.[10]
Sygerrik Deceiver[11]
Woh dak nag gran The squirrel people[12] "The squirrel people" is the name the giants have given the children of the forest.[12]

References