Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay First Edition Wiki

Languages In The Old World[]

Most inhabitants of the Old World speak the common tongue known as Old Worlder. However, the accent of the speaker and idioms used vary from country to country; these variations are known as dialects. In addition, each race has its own language and there are also a number of arcane and secret languages, which are discussed seperately.

An individual can converse with any other individual who speaks the same language. Dialects can be understood by general language speakers, so long as the dialect speaker intends to be understood. A dialect speaker can always lapse into dialect and then can only be understood by a fellow dialect speaker.

Learning Languages[]

Characters may learn additional languages during the course of their lives - provided they have a native speaker as a teacher. The time required is equal to 12 months, minus 1 month for every full 10% of Int. At the end of this period, the gamesmaster should make an Int check for each character - success means that the character is now reasonably proficient in the language (but may still encounter the occasional unknown word or phrase for the next 12 months); failure means that the character cannot grasp the fundamental principles of the language concerned (the odd word may be understood, but all sorts of misunderstandings are likely to occur if the character attempts to use the language in conversation with a native speaker).

Additional dialects may be learnt in the same way, but a successful Int test means the character is now fully fluent in the dialect.

Language Summary[]

The following table lists the languages of the Old World - and associated dialects of those languages - showing where they are spoken and by what race.

Race Language Dialect Native to
Human Old Worlder



The Empire/
The Wasteland

Dwarf Khazalid

Old Worlder






Old Worlder



Wood Elvish

High/Sea Elves

Wood Elves

Wood Elves

Halfling Old Worlder Halfling Halflings
Beastmen The Dark Tongue Chaos Beastmen
Warriors Of Chaos The Dark Tongue Warriors Of Chaos
Gnome Khazalid Gnomish Gnomes
Goblinoids Goblin Tongue









Lizardman Ssissyl'k Lizardmen
Ogre Grumbarth Ogres
Skaven Queekish Skaven



Old Worlder (25% chance)

Troglodyte Ssissyl'k Ss'kyzz'l'k Troglodytes
Troll Orgvar Trolls

Secret And Arcane Languages[]

There are five so-called secret languages which may be known by broad sections of the populace - depending on the individual's Career Class. These are generally used for specialist communication purposes only and are taught strictly on a need-to-know basis.

Battle Tongue: Used by Warriors, mostly for giving orders during battle.

Classical Old Worlder: Used by Academics and found in many ancient documents.

Guilder: Used by members of trade and craft Guilds, only in Guild rituals or when a Guild member wishes to introduce himself or herself to another member of the same Guild. The language varies from Guild to Guild and is frequently a mixture of Classical and jargon pertaining to the trade or craft.

Rangers' Tongue: Used by Rangers, mostly concerned with woodcraft, etc.

Thieves' Tongue: Used by Rogues, mostly by way of code (i.e., the speaker says one thing while appearing to say something else).

For a full description see Secret Language.

There are six arcane languages, used only for magic - never for the purposes of mundane communication.

Arcane Dwarf: Extremely rare - known only to a handful of Dwarf magicians.

Arcane Elf: Used only in the Elven Kingdoms, and then only by Elf magicians.

Daemonic: The language of Daemons; also used by Daemonologists.

Druidic: Extremely rare and ancient tongue, known only by Druidic Priests.

Magick: Has four subdivisions - used by Wizards and specialist Wizards.

Old Slann: The oldest and rarest of the Arcane Languages, originally used by the amphibious race who played such a large part in the shaping of the Known World.

Magick is subdivided into Elemental Magick, Illusionist Magick, Necromantic Magick, and Wizardry. These, together with the Daemonic tongue, are used by specialist Wizards.

For further details of these languages, see Arcane Language.