Goblin language

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An unnamed language was historically spoken by goblins and potentially various other races from Yu'biusk. As of year 169 of the Fifth Age, there are no known speakers of the language.

Tribe names[edit | edit source]

Most words attested from the old goblin language are the names of the twelve historical goblin tribes. The tribe names and their translations into the common language are as follows:[1]

  • Thorobshuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the Hills"
  • Garagorshuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the Sea"
  • Rekeshuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the North"
  • Drogokishuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the Fierce Blades"
  • Huzamogaarb, roughly meaning "Live-Flesh Eaters of the Chaos God"
  • Saragorgak, roughly meaning "Footsoldiers of Holy Wrath"
  • Ekeleshuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the East"
  • Idithuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the South"
  • Narogoshuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the West"
  • Dorgeshuun, roughly meaning "Goblins of the Strong Spears"
  • Horogothgar, roughly meaning "Eaters of Manflesh"
  • Yurkolgokh, roughly meaning "The Flatulent"

The association between the Dorgeshuun tribe and the name of their city Dorgesh-Kaan suggests that there is a syllable boundary between *dorgesh and *uun in the tribe name also. As changing this ending from -kaan to -uun changes a toponym to the name of a goblin tribe, and as this -uun ending is present in exacly the tribe names which have translations similar to Goblins of x suggests that -uun as an ending can signify a meaning similar close to "goblin", "goblins", "group of goblins", or "goblin tribe", assuming the tribe name translations are accurate. From this, approximate translations of *thorobsh, *garagorsh, *rekesh, *drogokish, *ekelesh, *idith, *naragoth and *dorgesh can also be reconstructed.

Some non-goblin tribes who lived on Yu'biusk have attested names, which may or may not have been derived from the same language. These are the Thrasghdak hobgoblins,[2] the Verotark orks,[3] the Azkragthog ogres[4] and the Goltholglor ourgs.[5]

The ancient mace features what appears to be a written form of the old goblin language.[6][7]

Late goblin language[edit | edit source]

There is a reference to a language spoken by goblins in the area around what is now Varrock around the time of the city's founding in the early Fourth Age. The only word attested from this time is the word "arrav" which, according to human legend, was a curse word in that language and was used by the local goblin population as a battlecry. The legendary human hero Arrav was given his name and the epithet "the Curse of Goblins" after a battle at a local goblin encampment.[8] It's not known whether this language is related to the earlier language used to name the goblin tribes.

Bandosian speech in the present day[edit | edit source]

In the present day, there is no evidence of widespread use of any language among goblins except the common language. Goblins, along with other races that historically followed the war god Bandos such as the ogres, ourgs and orks, tend to speak in a distinctive dialect. This bandosian dialect is not shared by all members of these races, with certain individuals speaking in a manner more similar to the speech of non-bandosian races. The origin of this dialect is unclear, but from general Graardor's use of it, it can be dated to at least the Third Age.

When questioned on his manner of speaking, Zarador claims his speech is due to him not being raised as a warrior and part of an army.[9] This suggests that the manner of speaking commonly associated with the bandosian races was common among soldiers, and that members of more educated groups were often taught to "be well-spoken". This is further supported by the manner of speaking of certain historical goblins - the footsoldier Hopespear speaks like most modern goblins, but high priests that lived later such as Mosschin and Strongbones do not.

Cave goblin language in the present day[edit | edit source]

The Dorgeshuun cave goblins also appear to speak exclusively in the common language, although not in the dialect surface goblins use. Unlike surface goblins, whose names are also in the common language,[10] cave goblins' personal names are not. There names may or may not be derived from the same language as the old tribe names. Members of the Dorgeshuun Council will usually replace the first syllable of their name with the title "Ur-".[11] The origin and meaning of this title is unknown, and there are no other known examples of a title modifying an existing name, with other titles usually being a separate word from the name such as in the case of Captain Undak. This manner of handling titles may have always been unique to the councillor position in particular, or it may be a remnant how names and titles may have been treated historically - there are no sources supporting either of these claims.

Dorgeshuun children sometimes use writing slates for taking notes as part of lectures,[12] suggesting that dorgeshuun society as a whole is largely literate. It's not made clear that writing is done in the common language, nor is it ever made clear what writing system is used. A special notation is used for transcribing council meetings, which is taught to older children.[12]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Goblin symbol book, page 3-4, RuneScape. "-Thorobshuun- Goblins of the Hills -Ekeleshuun- Goblins of the East -Garagorshuun- Goblins of the Sea -Idithuun- Goblins of the South -Rekeshuun- Goblins of the North -Narogoshuun- Goblins of the West -Drogokishuun- Goblins of the Fierce Blades -Dorgeshuun- Goblins of the Strong Spears -Huzamogaarb- Live-Flesh Eaters of the Chaos God -Horogothgar- Eaters of Manflesh -Saragorgak- Footsoldiers of Holy Wrath -Yurkolgokh- The Flatulent"
  2. ^ The Book of Bandos, page 1, "God Emissaries", RuneScape. "To the hobgoblins of the Thrasghdak tribe."
  3. ^ The Book of Bandos, page 5, "God Emissaries", RuneScape. "To the orks of the Verotark tribe."
  4. ^ The Book of Bandos, page 9, "God Emissaries", RuneScape. "To the ogres of the Azkragthog tribe."
  5. ^ The Book of Bandos, page 12, "God Emissaries", RuneScape. "To the ourgs of the Goltholglor tribe."
  6. ^ General Wartface, "Another Slice of H.A.M.", RuneScape. "In time of great war, strongest goblin warriors carry maces like this."
  7. ^ Goblin scribe, "Another Slice of H.A.M.", RuneScape. "Hmm... No. I'm afraid not. Our written language has developed so much since then that it's totally indecipherable to me." This implies the symbols are writing rather than simple ornamentation.
  8. ^ Jagex. "The Legend of Arrav, Childhood of a Hero." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
  9. ^ Zarador, "The Mighty Fall", RuneScape. "Zarador speak good! It is simply a matter of upbringing. I was raised by frail weaklings, and Graardor was raised amongst the greatest army Gielinor has ever seen." Response to the question "Why do you speak so differently to Graardor?"
  10. ^ Jagex. "History of the Goblins, The Dorgeshuun Today." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
  11. ^ Jagex. "History of the Goblins, Surface Goblins Today." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
  12. ^ a b Jagex. "The Chasm of Lights." RuneScape Lores and Histories.