Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

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Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ginsei » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:28 pm

What is the language in Nevarra and in the Free Marches?

My ideas: 1.: Nevarra was once a city-state of the Free Marches.
2.: There is a chance, they speak the king's tongue in the Free Marches. As if the fereldan refugees could communicate with the soldiers of Kirkwall at once.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby shonuff » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:10 pm

It's my understanding that the King's Tongue of Ferelden is a common dialect throughout Thedas, known as the Trader's Tongue. I believe that it is descended from a dwarven language to promote universal trade.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ghostdanser » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:31 pm

I have no idea what the language would be, but from what I can find online Nevarra is roughly patterned after Prussia.

Prussian being a dead language (or at least mostly dead) you may want to use German or Polish.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ginsei » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:16 pm

Interesting ideas...

shonuff: are you sure it derives from a dwarven language to promote general trade?
I thought the trader's tongue became the trader's tongue only because of the holy marches (which once conquered entire thedas, and founded the Chantry everywhere). But before that it was a mere, regional language of the alamari.

Ghostdanser: You really use living languages to make the game more colorful? I was not thinking about it so far.
What would be the base of the comparisons at the languages?
Orlay-french; Antiva-italian(?); Fereldan-english; - it might be.
However: Tevinter Imperium - old english? If I am right its language is modified old english. It does not fit the idea of using living languages. Or does it?
And maybe there is one more mistake in your thought. Anderfels already has german characteristics (e. g. Fortress Weisshaupt), rather than Nevarra. Although, it does not preclude that Anderfels and Nevarra can have the same language...
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby ColdSteel1 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:29 pm

The Tevinter Imperium seems to be based on the Byzantine or Roman Empires IMO. They do have a somewhat dead language now used mostly by mages and scholars called Ancient Tevene.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ginsei » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:38 pm

No, in theory, their language is the one called arcanum - with very few descriptions about it. They wrote, it is modified old english.

The ancient tevene is totally a dead language - meaning magical and scolarly use only, yes.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby tarnishedarmour » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:17 pm

According to set 2 the people of the Free Marches speak the Trade Tongue (or King's Tongue if you're Ferelden) and the Nevarrans speak a combination of Trade Tongue and Orlesian (since some of their territory has been recently won from the Orlesians, 60 years ago as of 9:30 Dragon I believe).
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Tiger's Heart » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:40 am

shonuff wrote:It's my understanding that the King's Tongue of Ferelden is a common dialect throughout Thedas, known as the Trader's Tongue. I believe that it is descended from a dwarven language to promote universal trade.


Ginsei wrote:Interesting ideas...
@shonuff: are you sure it derives from a dwarven language to promote general trade?
I thought the trader's tongue became the trader's tongue only because of the holy marches (which once conquered entire thedas, and founded the Chantry everywhere). But before that it was a mere, regional language of the alamari.


You can find David Gaider's posts about the language to confirm Shonuff's statement here: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/8538265/1 and http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/306/index/5481839/308#5721833 although you might have to scroll through a bit to find the snippets.

Essentially The question was asked by Herr Uhl...
Is the common tongue English due to Andraste talking it (and the chant being in English)?

David Gaider wrote...
Heh, no. The common tongue actually comes from the dwarves. They introduced trade and currency to humanity.

Herr Uhl wrote...
Then why don't humans speak the old dwarven language? Did they invent a new language to trade with humans?

David Gaider wrote...
No, they invented a new language to trade with each other. There isn't any one "dwarven" language, though humans like to think of it that way because of the old kingdoms only Orzammar is left.

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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Estoirtoh » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:45 am

Judging from Kassandra Pentaghast (SPOILER, don't look if you haven't seen the DA2 ending and still care about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC6JezyAwTI) who is from Nevarra, and speaks with a heavy german accent in the trade tongue, the original Nevarran language might very well be german or old german. "Prussian" as it's own language never really existed, it was a dialect in the old german language.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ginsei » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:55 am

Well, thanks to you both.

Questions:
-Is the "dwarven" languange, then, a "dialect" of the trade tongue?
-What was the original language of the ancient, immigrant humans, before Tevinter? Nothing? Sign language? :)

Estoirtoh: Can you tell the difference between the nevarran and the ander language?
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Tiger's Heart » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:11 am

As far as I can work out the Trade Tongue is compiled from multiple Dwarven languages as they first traded amongst themselves, and then it was taught to the Humans (along with the concepts of monetary trade and currency). The fragments of Dwarvish still spoken are possibly still a composite from multiple sources - as we us c'est la vie in english.

There is no record of the original languages spoken by the humans as they arrived in Thedas. The Tevine were one of the immigrant tribes together with the Alamari, Yothandi, Hacian and others. Thus humans were just as in need of a common language to coexist in their new land. {Really makes you wonder what they were running from... >:) ]

There will be a section on language in the next Esoterica Volume - as soon as I get it finished (as well as a whole heap of other stuff).

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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby shonuff » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:07 am

Estoirtoh wrote:Judging from Kassandra Pentaghast (SPOILER, don't look if you haven't seen the DA2 ending and still care about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC6JezyAwTI) who is from Nevarra, and speaks with a heavy german accent in the trade tongue, the original Nevarran language might very well be german or old german. "Prussian" as it's own language never really existed, it was a dialect in the old german language.


I thought it sounded like she had a Latin accent of some sort, not German.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ghostdanser » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:51 am

Ginsei wrote:Ghostdanser: You really use living languages to make the game more colorful? I was not thinking about it so far.
What would be the base of the comparisons at the languages?
Orlay-french; Antiva-italian(?); Fereldan-english; - it might be.
However: Tevinter Imperium - old english? If I am right its language is modified old english. It does not fit the idea of using living languages. Or does it?
And maybe there is one more mistake in your thought. Anderfels already has german characteristics (e. g. Fortress Weisshaupt), rather than Nevarra. Although, it does not preclude that Anderfels and Nevarra can have the same language...


Actually…I do use existing foreign languages for other countries in fantasy RPG’s…since it beats the heck out of inventing full languages from scratch, especially since it is generally assumed everyone is speaking a common language in addition to their native language…in the case of Dragon Age common = trade tongue. I just haven’t worried about it much up until this point…since I'm not running a game at the moment. Live languages are preferable to me, because I can find a translator more easily for a live language than a dead language. My favorite tool is Freelang:

http://www.freelang.net/dictionary/index.php

I have to re-download the program and dictionaries I usually use though, since my notebook died and I had to get a new one. Prussian isn’t one of the dictionaries available…but Polish is available…so I would probably use Polish for Nevarra (since I forgot about Anderfels being Germanic). That aside…when I don’t have access to freelang I use Google Translate or whatever other translator I can track down.

All in all it is a fairly quick and easy way to add flavor to a game.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Balgin Stondraeg » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:43 am

Ghostdanser wrote:I have no idea what the language would be, but from what I can find online Nevarra is roughly patterned after Prussia.

Prussian being a dead language (or at least mostly dead) you may want to use German or Polish.


That's interesting as I assumed it was based on the early medieval kingdom of Navarre. Seriously. Just swapped two letters. Navvare existed in northern Spain on the French border.

Estoirtoh wrote:and speaks with a heavy german accent in the trade tongue


She does? It sounded more mediterranean to me. And there were a fair few German and Scandinavian children at my school back in the 80's so I'd like to think I'd notice.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ghostdanser » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:34 am

Balgin Stondraeg wrote:That's interesting as I assumed it was based on the early medieval kingdom of Navarre. Seriously. Just swapped two letters. Navvare existed in northern Spain on the French border.


I was looking into it a few weeks ago, and from what I could find Nevarra and Navarre (?) share similar names, but culturally they are unrelated, the RPG country being loosely based off Prussia. Go figure...
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby shonuff » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:12 pm

Ghostdanser wrote: I have to re-download the program and dictionaries I usually use though, since my notebook died and I had to get a new one. Prussian isn’t one of the dictionaries available…but Polish is available…so I would probably use Polish for Nevarra (since I forgot about Anderfels being Germanic). That aside…when I don’t have access to freelang I use Google Translate or whatever other translator I can track down.

All in all it is a fairly quick and easy way to add flavor to a game.


For some reason, I was under the impression that the Anderfels were more Slavvic or Russian... Myself, I wouldn't make too much of a distinction because of the proximity to Orlais/Tevinter. I have to agree with Balgin (and myself), that I didn't think Cassandra sounded German, rather Latin (French, Spanish, Italian) or possibly Greek. IMO, for the location of Nevarra, they would not have such a distinctly different accent than the surrounding countries as Germanic is to Latin without good reason (such as being invaded and conquered by German speakers).

Ghostdanser wrote:
Balgin Stondraeg wrote:That's interesting as I assumed it was based on the early medieval kingdom of Navarre. Seriously. Just swapped two letters. Navvare existed in northern Spain on the French border.


I was looking into it a few weeks ago, and from what I could find Nevarra and Navarre (?) share similar names, but culturally they are unrelated, the RPG country being loosely based off Prussia. Go figure...


I believe that while it is easiest to say that Nevarra is based off of Prussia, that is only how the political system works/worked (an expanding city-state conquering its neighbors). AFAIK, it is not a 1:1 correlation on everything else.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Deirain » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:33 am

Since this is moderately tied to the naming traditions established for each area, I'll jump in here like I did in that post. Here's my list of accents and "languages" based on the respective country.

Anderfels: Germanic accents.
Antiva: An ambiguous Latin accent. Zevran is a prime example, he's got an accent, but it's distinctly hard to place.
Ferelden: Straight English for Fereldans, Celtic accents for the Avvars, and Chasind (think of one as Scotland and the other as Ireland).
Free Marches: English and Germanic accents.
Nevarra; I use Germanic, English, and French accents for Nevarran characters. I imagine that Nevarra is very much a mixing pot based on its history.
Orlais: French accents.
Par Vollen: Non-Kossith characters from Par Vollen use Native American accents while Kossith (Qunari) use Moorish/Islamic accents.
Rivain: Spanish accents.
Seheron: I've personally gone with Haitian/Jamaican accents for Seheron since there is so little information.
Tevinter Imperium: I'd say a Roman accent, but that's not entirely true, it's mostly English, but think of it as English from the Spartacus series on Starz. Very enunciated English with colorful curses thrown in.

Anyway, that's my two cents, do what you will with it.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ginsei » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:57 am

So the case of the human languages is the following:

- Once every human tribe had his own languages. These survived, except the original language of the Alamari, which lost. The other tribes retained their languages: Orlesian, Antivan, Ander, Arcanum, Rivaini.
(Ancient Tevene is, maybe, Arcanum in an earlier stage?)

-Now, the humans use their own languages, and, in addition, the trade tongue, which is due to dwarven influence.
Exeption is the Alamari, which knows only the common tongue. Probably, because the Alamari (and the Corcari, and the Avvar) were the most primitive and barbaric among the other humans.

-The dwarven language resembles to the trade tongue to a big extent. This is why we cannot recognize special words in the dwarven, like shemlan, and beresaad.


And after reading all of your replies, it seems there is no unique Nevarran language at all.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Estoirtoh » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:04 am

Ginsei wrote:Estoirtoh: Can you tell the difference between the nevarran and the ander language?


Well, as we have currently only one Ander character in the video games (appropiately named "Anders") that we know of, and that Ander speaks the Fereldan english pretty fluently (probably because he lived in the Ferelden Tower of Magi for so long) it's hard to tell a difference between the Nevarran language and the Ander language.

Concerning the accent of Kassandra (or Cassandra) Pentaghast: After I've read the posts saying that the accent was more romanic than germanic, I've watched some english interviews of Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger to check if I was wrong, but Kassandra's accent still tends to be more germanic in my ears. The accent may not be heavy, I withdraw that adjective, but it is there in nuances.

Antonio Banderas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LgTKmRkLuM
Penelope Cruz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0UROErH ... ure=fvwrel
Christoph Waltz & Diane Kruger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcHWzqveqyc (1:19 - 2:26; 4:25 - 5:17; 8:05 - 9:06)

Diane Kruger may not be the best example (being that she lived in the lived in the US for a very long time), but I didn't find any english interviews with Brigitte Nielsen who would be by far more appropriate.

Well, but that's just my opinion.
Last edited by Estoirtoh on Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby shonuff » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:26 am

Estoirtoh wrote:Concerning the accent of Kassandra (or Cassandra) Pentaghast: After I've read the posts saying that the accent was more romanic than germanic, I've watched some english interviews of Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger to check if I was wrong, but Kassandra's accent still tends to be more germanic in my ears. The accent may not be heavy, I withdraw that adjective, but it is there in nuances.

Antonio Banderas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LgTKmRkLuM
Penelope Cruz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0UROErH ... ure=fvwrel
Christoph Waltz & Diane Kruger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0UROErH ... ure=fvwrel (1:19 - 2:26; 4:25 - 5:17; 8:05 - 9:06)

Diane Kruger may not be the best example (being that she lived in the lived in the US for a very long time), but I didn't find any english interviews with Brigitte Nielsen who would be by far more appropriate.

Well, but that's just my opinion.


Your Waltz and Kruger links to the Cruz interview.

I can see from where you get your opinion. It may be possible that the voice actress got her inspiration from Germanic sources. I believe the accent was definitely constructed because I recently watched an interview and it did not sound like her at all.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Estoirtoh » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:56 am

Whoops, my bad. Corrected the link now.
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Re: Language of Nevarra and of the Free Marches

Postby Ghostdanser » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:35 am

I know this was mentioned in another thread, but here’s an interesting bit of trivia from Dragon Age: Asunder…there is an offhand comment as they are passing through a town where the punishment cages are marked with their crimes in Dwarvish instead of Orlesian…it seems that most peasants in Orlais can’t read or write their native language, but some can at least read and/or write Dwarven. That should give a pretty good idea of how prevalent the Trade Tongue is and how closely related it is to the Dwarven dialects.

Deirain wrote:Tevinter Imperium: I'd say a Roman accent, but that's not entirely true, it's mostly English, but think of it as English from the Spartacus series on Starz. Very enunciated English with colorful curses thrown in.


Colorful curses you say??? That sounds suspicously like an opening for a Monty Python line…

You don't frighten us, Ferelden pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottom, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Alistair King, you and all your silly Ferelden k-nnnnniggets.

(I know it would have been better if it were pointed at Orlesians…but you take your shots when they come open…)
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