Dwarven Dictionary Document in Koria | World Anvil

Dwarven Dictionary

Overview

This is not a warning, this is an overview, a bit of realtalk. This language, this Dvergtunga, the language of the dwarves, is a language not designed to be spoken by us. It is meant to support the stories and fill the world with history & life. To construct this scattered language I am using three resources: the Old Germanic dictionary provided by the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften Leipzig, Wikiling languages for Old Germanic and the Old Norse Dictionary by Walter Baetke.
 
Dvergtunga (Dwarventongue), the language of the Dwarves, looks like the dwarves themselves: unmoving, made out of stone, steel and wood and is spoken that way. But that is not entirely true. Yes, the language is a bit hard to learn, but which language isn't? So lets take a look at the general structure. Fret not, this is only an overview and it is not relevant for all kinds of exams.
 

Syntax

Dwarvish exhibits a certain flexibility in word order, allowing for emphasis on different elements of a sentence. In the common speech subject-verb-object (SVO) is standard. Formal or poetic speech can also use subject-object-verb, but are more vage with it or use a different form or structure. The predicate like in the human language is entirely optional.
 

Plurals

The "-in" suffix is used for plurals in the standard form, but more complex pluralization patterns exist in regional dialects. For instance, "grjótin" (stones) or "stálinn" (metals).
 

Questions

Complex questions can be formed using interrogative particles and inversion, allowing for detailed interrogation of various aspects of the sentence. This means that a question like this "What did you do with the sword?" can be transformed into "What did you do with the weapon of yours that was sharp and pointy and what was your action that altered its state of existence and placement?"
 

Vocabulary

The Dwarven language boasts an extensive vocabulary, including synonyms and nuanced terms for specific concepts, materials, and actions. You will notice this in the dictionary below, where they have different words for "stone", as in an object or as the material, where the human language for example only has "stone" for both.
 

Dialects

Dwarvish dialects exhibit variations in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar, with some dialects preserving archaic forms and others influenced by regional languages or with each other. You might notice different words for e.g. guards in the dictionary below. Some are positions of honour, others are deprecated or archaic. "Vaka" is the most used form of the term "guard".
 

Beginners Dictionary

 
Dictionary
Dwarvish Common Meaning
jót/-jót- Stone The general word for the material stone or things out of stone, including mountains.
Steinn (the) Stone The object stone, not the material. Like a singular gem or a pebble.
Jótbjarg (the) Mountain (sgl.) The general word for a mountain. Not a specific one. Like "This mountain over there."
Bjargjót Mountainstone The rock of the mountains, their "flesh".
Fjall Mountains (pl.) The general word for more than one mountain, just like "These mountains over there."
Fjallmark Mountainmark Territory among the peaks
Fjallborg Mountainhold A stronghold within the mountains
Skuggagrjót Shadowstone Dark, mysterious stone
Málmskjöldr Metalshield A strong, protective metal
Eldrhamarr Firehammer A tool for forging in the flames
Járn Iron Describes the material of Iron
Járnblíð Ironheart Resilient, unwavering, metaphorical for a strong will.
Grjóthjarta Stoneheart Solid, unyielding character
Skapaðskepnur Craftsmen Those skilled in creation
Klæðiklæði Clothier Masters of textile craftsmanship
Sjálfþolinmóðr Self-reliant Independent and strong
Eikinskald Oakenshield Stout and protective
Skuggalundur Shadowwood Dark, resilient wood
Silfurgrifur Silverbeard An elder with a silvery beard
Stálmóðir Steelmother Respected, wise female leader
Járn Iron The metal, sometimes the resource
Skjaldur (the) Shield Normally used for the protection wielded by soldiers, sometimes used metaphorically
Stál (the) Steel The material steel.
Dvergur - Dwarf (a) Dwarf The name for the species of a dwarf, a dwarf itself like "Ah, a Dvergur" or "Ah, a Stonekin / a Stonekin Dvergur." Works as a name for their clans as well.
Hjarta (the) Heart Means the literal heart of a being, a person or the metaphorical heart of a thing like a mountain, a construct or a city.
Eldur Fire Describes the fire of a forge, a campfire or just fire.
Málmi Metal The music style, the material, the resource or the metaphorical adaption of the sturdyness of the material.
Grjót (the) Rock Not the music style, it means the rock which is falling down a mountain or is laying beside a way.
Klæði Cloth No specific cloth, just fabric in general.
Mál (the) Craft Not a specific craft, just as one would ask "What is your craft?"
Skapa (to) create The process of creating, the activity.
Sjálfur Self Means the reference to oneself.
Vegur Way, Path Is used for both meanings if it is a small path or a bigger way.
Björg Blessing, Protection The blessing of a god or the protection of a king. Or both.
Skugga (the) Shadow Is normally used for the shadow one is casting in the light.
Silfur (the) Silver The material, silverware or coins.
Hugur (The) Spirit/Soul Normally refered to the spirit of a person or the eternal soul which houses in all Dvelgur and other beings. Forged in the grand forge of the Goddess of the Forge.
Sjálfaldur Selfless Being selfless or be a selfless person. Depending on the context.
Höf (the) Honour It is all about Honour and be it as an insult "You have no honour!" or as "That would be honourable."
Vaka (a) Watch or a Guard
Sálin (The) soul A term of endearment like "You are my soul" or "You are the forge to my soul."
Hamingja Luck, Happiness Describes to have luck or the feeling of happiness.
Skald Poet, Storyteller In the old days Skalds were people of the law, of jurisdiction. Now they are better bards and they are good at what they are doing.
Hjartasteinn Heartstone A precious gemstone
Skjaldhamarr Shieldhammer A tool for crafting shields, basically a hammer with a round head to carve the curve of the shield
Tunga Tongue Refers to a way of speaking, a dialect or an entire language.
Eldrskap Firecraft The art of working with fire
Járnbrauð Ironbread A hearty, iron-rich bread
Grjótgarður Stonegarden A beautifully landscaped garden
Skapaðflaugar Craftwings Flying kite-like bomber
Klæðifoss Clothfall A "waterfall" of fine textiles. Not a literal waterfall, it is often used to describe the lower part of a dress, where the cloth "falls".
Fjallskáld Mountainbard A poet of the mountains
Björgblessi Mountainblessing A sacred ritual in the peaks
Sjálfraun Self-journey A personal quest or adventure
Fjallsmíður Mountainbuilder Master builders of the mountains
Málmbaugur Metalring Symbol of unity and strength, sometimes even used as a ring of betrothal
Eikinvegur Oakpath A hidden, winding trail
Skuggadvergur Shadowdwarf A dwarf skilled in stealth (if you believe it or not)
Silfurmark Silvermark A territory known for silver, mostly used for silver mines
Stálsmiður Steelsmith A master of forging steel
Skjaldvörður Shieldguard Protector of the clan
Hörundskjöldur Hornedshield A unique, horn-adorned shield
Eldrsteyptur Fireforged Crafted through fire and skill. Sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorical
Járngrjót Ironrock A rare and durable type of stone
Grjótvakt Stonewatch (org.) Guardians of the mountain paths, depending on the position. An old description, sometimes used as an honourable position
Klæðiskorn Clothshoes Footwear woven with expertise, in this case expensive footwear
Fjallmóðir Mountainmother A revered female leader
Móðir Mother The mother or your mother
Björgvefir Mountainweaver Skilled in crafting with fibers
Fjallrás Mountainpass A passage through the peaks
Málmkraftur Metalcraft Skill in working with metals. Not a specific metal like silver or gold, just in general.
Eikinnviður Oakenvine A strong, twisted plant
Skuggagriði Shadowguard Protectors of hidden secrets, be it literally or metaphorical like a dwarf knows another dwarfs secret
Silfurstafur Silverstaff A symbol of wisdom and authority, often used as a szepter
Stálsmiðja Steelforge A place of metalworking
Skjaldvaka Shieldwake Vigilant guardians of the clan
Hjartatunga Heartsong A melodic expression of the soul, which is basically a "shower song"
Eldrsviði Firewood Wood used in the flames
Grjótborð Stonetable A communal gathering place
Klæðisveigur Clothswirl A dance performed in fine garments
Björgskraut Mountainherb Medicinal plants of the peaks
Sjálfveiting Self-sufficiency Independence and resourcefulness, can be used for a hermit lifestyle
Fjallskáli Mountainhut A cozy dwelling high in the peaks
Málmskald Metalsmith Crafters of fine metalwork
Eikineldur Oakfire A source of warmth and comfort
Skuggalokkur Shadowcloak Cloak of invisibility. Not literally, a cloak with camouflage colours
Silfurruni Silverwhisper A mysterious message or prophecy
Sjálfkræftur Self-strength Ones inner strength and resilience
Járnbein Ironbone Metaphorical strength and resilience as in "He/she is a Járnbein"
Skjaldgrána Shieldmaiden Brave female warriors
Hjartafoss Heartfall A majestic waterfall inside the mountains
Járndrum Ironrumble The sound of forging iron, the sound of a lively smithy
Grjótsnert Stoneflint A spark-producing stone
Klæðiglæði Clothjoy Celebration of textile craftsmanship, a festivity from the clan to the crafters
Fjallhöf Mountainhoof Skilled mountain climbers, often used as scouts for materials or gems
Björgstígur Mountainpath Trails leading through rocky terrain
Fjallhjarta Mountainheart Beloved core of the mountains, not a single mountain
Málmbardur Metalbard Poet who praises metalwork
Eikinvekja Oakawaken To rouse from slumber (old word for dwarves after risen from a coma)
Skuggaþjóf Shadowthief Master of stealth and thievery
Silfurlind Silverbranch A symbol of peace and unity
Stálsviði Steelwood Resilient and durable wood
Skjaldvakt Shieldwarden Protector of clan and home
Hjartatunga Heartstone Precious gemstone of the heart. In this case it means that it is the favourite gemstone
Eldrskyn Fireforge The heart of a blacksmith's fire in his smithy
Járnblóm Ironbloom A rare and beautiful iron flower
Grjótauga Stoneeye Wise and observant
Klæðihjarta Clothheart A kind and compassionate nature
Fjallvegur Mountainway The path through the mountains
Björgflug Mountainwings Flying creatures of the peaks
Fjallskrælingar Mountainfolk The dwarven people in general, not one single dwarf as in dvergur
Málmdrottning Metalqueen Female leader of metallurgy, often used in a smithy as a rank or in a guild
Eikinruna Oakrune A sacred inscription
Skuggasnara Shadowthread A thread that binds in secrecy. More used as a trap, but sometimes used as in to keep a secret
Málmrún Metalrune "Málm" (metal) and rún (rune), the dwarvish way of casting magic
Vistkerfið Inn, Tavern A resting place
Svart(r) Black, dark, Shadow Used for Onyx, for shadows or to describe the night or the colour black, depending on context.
Móðir/ -móðir Mother (of) My mother, your mother, their mother, mother of..., Steelmother etc.
Faðir/ -faðir Father (of) My father, your father, their father, father of..., Steelfather etc.
-hraun- Lava, molten rock The name of the earths blood, the lava or molten rock. Can also be used as "Blood" like in a person, but more likely to be used for the molten rocks themselves.
Sopp / Sópp Mushroom, fungi in general Used to describe mushrooms or anything fungi-like. Not used for a specific mushroom like the Red Blinder.
-éir- Copper The material copper, but could also mean "weak" since copper is easy to forge
 

Proverbs

 
Common
Stone
Oak
Metal
Gems
Dwarvish Common
Hverfiðu mig. Excuse me
Takk Thank you
Verði þér að góðu. You're welcome.
Góðan dag Good day
Sjáumst síðar See you later
Góða nótt Good night
Hvað heitir þú? What is your name?
Ég heiti... My name is...
Hvar er...? Where is...?
Ég skil ekki. I don't understand.
Hjálpaðu mér (takk). Help me (please).
Lítið út fyrir að skálda. Looks like poetry (meant as a compliment).
Hugsanlega. Perhaps or maybe.
Dvergar saman standa. Dwarves stand together (proverb)
Fjölbreytileiki er styrkur. Diversity is strength (proverb).
Eikin hrynur, en aldrei allan veginn. The oak may fall, but never entirely.
Silfur og stál bera aldrei skömm. Silver and steel never bear shame.
Hjartað hefur engin eyrnalok. The heart has no keyholes.
Sjálfþekking er hæsta menning. Self-awareness is the highest wisdom.
 
Dwarvish Common
Grjótið hækkar aldrei í hálm. The stone never grows in the grass.
Sterkt grjót brotnar aldrei. Strong stones never break.
Fjallsteinninn gefur visku. The mountain stone bestows wisdom.
Grjótið viti sitt brún. The stone knows its slope.
Grjótinn hjartans er óbrugðinn. The heart's stone is unchanging.
Grjótið gælir rás þinnar. The stone guards your path.
Hjartasteinninn ljósaði leið þér. (May) The heartstone lit your way.
Svart grjót, bjart skop. Dark stone, bright hope.
Grjótinu verður aldrei gengið. The stone is never left unturned.
Grjótinu er aldrei seitt. The stone is never swayed.
Grjótið hræðist ekki tíma. The stone fears no time.
Grjótinn er skáldið ársins, hver leiðist því. The stone is the poem of the year; no one tires of it.
Dwarvish Common
Eikin ljómi sterka. The oak shines in strength.
Eikin standa eins og tré. The oaks stands like the pillars of the earth.
Fjölbreytileiki eikarinnar er fráskilin. The diversity of the oak is distinct.
Eikin heldur sögunni. The oak carries the story.
Mjög eikarinn er styrkur okkar. The might of the oak is our strength.
Dwarvish Common
Gullið er sá eini svarinn. Gold is the only answer.
Stálið eldist við gerningar. Steel ages with deeds.
Gullið er sólin sem aldrei setur. Gold is the sun that never sets.
Hvað er skapat í eldinum, bráðnar ekki. What's forged in fire does not melt.
Silfur og stál skarti okkar borð. Silver and steel adorn our table.
Málmskjöldurinn verður aldrei brotinn. The metal shield is never broken.
Stálið skortir aldrei. The steel never falters.
Hjartað birtist eins og silfur. The heart shines like silver.
Silfurhringurinn bindur okkur saman. The silver ring binds us together. (Marriage)
Málmsmiðurinn skapar sögurnar. The metalsmith crafts the stories.
Eldrsilfur verður aldrei dáð. Fire silver is never praised.
Gullið er eini svarinn. The gold is the only answer.
Hvítur dvergasafir er í gulli. A dwarf's delight is in gold.
Dwarvish Common
Silfurperla er í mæli dvergas. A silver pearl is in a dwarf's purse.
Safírinn hlýtur að finnast. The sapphire must be found. (can be exchanged with every other gem)
Smaragdinn er fjallran grænn. The emerald is the mountain's green.
Topasinn er trúr. The topaz is faithful.
Ágætur safír er ómetan. A good sapphire is invaluable. (Literally and metaphorical in regards to a person)
Kornblár safír hlýtur að vera. A cornflower sapphire must be true in its form. (References to a specific form of a sapphire)
   

Phrases

Civilian Phrases
Royalty Phrases
Royal Festivity Phrases
Wedding Phrases
Funeral Phrases
Birthday Phrases
Dwarvish Common
Halló, vinur! Hello, friend!
Hvernig hefur þú verið? How have you been?
Ágætt að sjá þig. Nice to see you.
Hvar er næsta vistkerfið? Where is the nearest inn?
Ég vilt fá að drepa þorpinu. I'd like to order a drink.
Hér er kalt í kvöld. It's cold tonight.
Hvar er staðsetningin? - Where is the location?
Hjálpaðu mér með þetta. Help me with this.
Takk fyrir hjálpina. Thank you for your help.
Hvað kostar þetta? How much does this cost?
Ég er svolítið tapur. I'm a bit lost.
Hér er svo fallega. It's so beautiful here. (literally more like "the stones/mountains are beautiful here")
Elskaðu þig fyrir þetta. Love you for this.
Hvað er nýtt? What's new?
Hvar er stefnuferlinu? Where is the restroom?
Fyrirgefðu mig. Excuse me.
Hvað er þetta? What is this?
Má ég fá? May I have?
Sjáumst síðar! See you later!
Njóttu dagsins! Enjoy your day!
Eldurinn birtist ekki án kolsins. The fire doesn't ignite without the coal.
Dwarvish Common
Dvergar, hlýddu mig! Dwarves, attend me!
Velkominn til hallarinnar! Welcome to the hall!
Hvað er næsta áskorun? What is the next challenge?
Skapaði þið þetta fyrir mig? Did you create this for me?
Mín skjöldur er óbrotinn. My shield is unbroken.
Hjartað mitt er með ykkur. My heart is with you all.
Hvaða fjölskylda er við þetta vörn? What family stands with this defense?
Eikin veitti mér styrk. The oak granted me strength.
Ég beri ábyrgð á því. I take responsibility for it.
Dvergaleikurinn er hér með auglýstur. The Dwarven Games are hereby declared open.
Hver er næsti arfingi? Who is the next heir?
Silfur og stál glitra á okkru borði. Silver and steel adorn our table.
Sjálfaldar veitingar í hásæti. Selfless feasts at the high seat.
Málmskjöldurinn vakti okkur. The metal shield protected us.
Stálstafurinn gaf visku. The steel staff bestowed wisdom.
Hjartasteinninn birtist í gott ljósi. The heartstone shines in good light.
Grjótaugan horfir í fjarlægð. The stone eye gazes into the distance.
Eikinvefurinn tengir okkur. The oak weaves us together.
Hamingjufjölbreytileiki okkar er vor styrkur. Our diverse happiness is our strength.
Björgin hlýja hjörtum okkar. The blessings warm our hearts.
Dwarvish Common
Velkominn til konungsbrúðkaupa! Welcome to the royal wedding!
Hvítt og gull skarti okkar höfum við. White and gold adorn our halls.
Hér er fjölbreytileiki okkar styrkur. Our diversity is our strength.
Konungurinn elskar þetta ríki. The king loves this realm.
Borðið er búið, og skáldskapur skótar. The table is set, and the poetry soars.
Hvaða örugg konungurinn ríkisfangstefja! What a grand royal celebration!
Hjartasteinninn birtist ykkur. The heartstone shines upon you.
Dvergaleikurinn hefur byrjað! The Dwarven Games have begun!
Dwarvish Common
Til hamingju með brúðkaupin! Congratulations on your wedding / getting married!
Þér séu blessuð á veginum þínum. May you be blessed on your journey.
Skapaði þið nýja framtíð saman. You've created a new future together. / You are creating a new future together.
Borðið er búið, og heilsa heiminn. The table is set, and the world is welcome.
Hamingjufylgd þína viði okkur. Your happiness surrounds us.
Málmskiptin standa nú! The exchange of metals is complete! (a tradition)
Ég gef þig mér, og þú gefur þig mér. I give myself to you, and you give yourself to me.
Dwarvish Common
Róa í friði. Rest in peace.
Málmskjöldurinn fór í þaðan. The metal shield has departed.
Fjallin ljúka þér. The mountains embrace you.
Sjálfaldur er vegurinn heim. The selfless path leads home.
Silfurhárinn sefur. The silver hair sleeps.
Hjartað hefur staðið sína leið. The heart has found its way.
Dwarvish Common
Til hamingju með afmælið! - "Happy birthday!" or more directly "We welcome you again in this world."
Fyri alla ár! To many more years!
Njóttu dagsins þíns! "Enjoy your day!" Mostly after other gratulations or phrases.
Fyrirgefðu þessi jólagjöf. "Forgive these birthday gifts." It means nothing more than a small phrase not to be ashamed of it, because they are given freely and are not an indication of the non-existent wealth of the birthday-dwarf.
Skjaldið sé blítt á þér. May the shield be strong upon you.
Hvaða skemmtileg afmælisgjöf! "What a lovely birthday gift!" The most common polite response to a gift, wether it be likeable or not.
Minnistu þín dag eftir dag! Cherish your day year after year.
Hver er nýr þinn þrettándi? Who is your thirteenth guest? (a tradition)


Cover image: Koria Main Header by CrazyEddie via Midjourney

Comments

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Oct 17, 2023 11:34 by Melissa

What a great start to your new fantasy language! This is a part of world-building that I haven't dipped my toes into at all. It's a great idea to use real language reference materials to give your Dvergtunga solid foundations.

Oct 18, 2023 22:17

Thank you for reading and thanks for the compliment. It was a hellish rabbithole, so be sure to dip really carefully, otherwise it consumes you, the stars wheeled overhead, and every day was as long as a life age of the earth...

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Oct 17, 2023 11:54 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love how much thought you've put into this already. The proverbs are my favourite part, I think.   'The stone knows its slope' is my favourite.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Oct 18, 2023 22:17

Thanks for reading, good thing you have found favourites in the dwarven language. :)

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Oct 17, 2023 15:36

I love this idea with all the phrases, you can literally hear the dwarves talking in the background. This makes it lively and not as dusty as just mentioning the grammar and maybe an example sentence or two. I have to change a lot in my languages now. Thank you very much.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
Oct 18, 2023 22:28

Thank you very much. I know we talked in the Discord, but I wanted to share my gratitude here as well. I don't like dusty and old descriptions and it is a relief that it worked way better than I had anticipated. And glad I brought the spark of creativity in your direction, you are very welcome. :)

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Oct 17, 2023 19:25 by Darren McHaffie

The most common words: digging, a, hole, I, am, dwarf, I'm, and, dig.

Oct 18, 2023 22:11

and diggy, don't forget diggy.

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Oct 18, 2023 22:36 by Darren McHaffie

Forgot about that while digging a hole there

Oct 18, 2023 20:27

This is really impressive! You’ve put a lot of work and thought into this, and it shows.

Oct 18, 2023 22:11

Thank you, that was what I was hoping for. That should suffice for the beginning^^

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events