Racial Language options

Ryft

Newbie
My LARP partner and I have been slowly learning Tolkien based Neo-Sindarin for the Imladari elves (Headquarters chapter; essentially "high elves") that we play, which has been a very rewarding and interesting process, especially as someone who does not learn languages easily. Right now I'm progressing slowly, but I'm actually progressing... due to enthusiasm and stubbornness, mostly.

We are generally two of very, very few Imladari at each event, and it's been fun to take little shots at each other or at other players in our elitist little language from time to time. This past event we started appreciating homonym humor (example: iced tea, often pronounced quickly as ice-tea, sounds like "aes tea", where aes means "meat". Meat-tea would be... gross.) As the Imladari NPCs in the setting have Sindarin-root names, it also helps add to the complexity and vibrancy of the world in a pretty consistent manner.

I was wondering if anyone else has ever had success with organizing efforts at a local racial language standard, and if so what things they found useful towards that effort. I of course understand that such things are really tough to get a lot of consistent effort behind!

Other stuff I've discovered that is neat:

1) The Korean writing system can be learned very quickly, since it was created by one ruler in a day, and was designed to be intuitive. There's even a online comic that can teach it to someone within, I dunno... half an hour, for a quick study?

2) There's a language called Toki Pona with around 120 words, total, that can be learned super fast. To say a lot of different things you build up a description of the noun, or use very generic verbs in a particular context, which makes communication in it very personal and experimental. Ideal for the busy LARPer who doesn't have a ton of time to learn an entire complex language.

3) There are tons of very complete fantasy and science fiction conlangs besides Klingon. Dothraki, Navi, Vulcan, and others can be started using apps like Memrise. Learning one of these languages is probably worth some serious geek-cred! Many of these languages are more complete than Tolkien's Qwenya or Neo-Sindarin.

4) Esperanto, as far as IAL conlangs go, is pretty easy to pick up because it was designed to be easy, and it has easily the biggest base of speakers and resources, plus has one of the most complete lexicons. Others like Interlinguo are similarly easy. The downside to Interlinguo is that in its written form it's almost too easy for someone to understand, yielding written messages that are less than secure.

5) While cataloging books in the healer's guild library at my chapter, I discovered a couple of books transcribed into Biata characters. Sure, it's an English cipher, but it was really neat to find it, all the same!
 
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Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
Someone in NERO has put a whole lot of thought into a stone elf language, and I am insanely jealous that they even have enough stone elves to have a culture. I've slowly been looking at bits of it, and would look harder if I had anyone to talk to in it.
 

Ryft

Newbie
Stone elves are a really intimidating race to attempt. High makeup plus a strict roleplaying demeanor means they are going to be rarer than most.

The newest HQ campaign, Stormbreak, mentions stone elves a lot in the background source material, but so far I've not seen any PCs playing one at the two events that I've been to, and that's with 60+ folks at those events pretty consistently. I think the Ashbury campaign has only one that plays regularly.

Props to the folks that can pull it off!

I think half of getting something like this off the ground is to have a whole bunch of players start characters together from the same race, and build essentially an adventuring troupe from the ground up that way. I've seen dark elf clans and orc clans a couple times... I think that's the only time you have a shot at pulling off the enthusiasm for something so exclusive.
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
I've never seen any large clans last a long time, unfortunately. They're lucky to even end up with one long family member straggling along...

I have kind of wanted to do the opposite of this, and bring an insular group of some non-human race to like Drachenfest or Mythodea, and really dig into that experience of not speaking Common, but that's... Expensive. Maybe slightly less time-consuming than actually learning Ilythiiri.
 

Ryft

Newbie
It's a lot to pull off for a very limited duration one-shot event, though. Maybe with a solid 6 months to a year prep time for "cultural practice"...
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
Oh, no, I'm already great at not speaking German. :D That's why it's less preparation.
 

Ryft

Newbie
Yeah, but tons of Europeans, particularly the younger generations, speak really good English. You don't get the exclusivity in quite the same way.

I think quickly learning something like Toki Pona and playing something primitive(ish) like a kobold or redcap tribe could have tons of weirdly cool flare, though. Take something out of European folklore, rather than Tolkien-standardized races.
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
I learned the Dovahzul draconic language from Skyrim. The dictionary is expansive and there are tons of learning tools available online. I was looking for a good draconic language to learn, and it had the most robust resources available.
 
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