Tescaraum is the language of the Tescarana
, its many dialects spoken by the people of the archipelago and Grand Tescary. Written using modified Kilthian script, Tescaraum does not have a standard form. Lacking the centralizing influence of a state, the various clans write and speak according to their own traditions, though fluent readers can still read texts written away from their home clan. In particular, eastern forms of written Tescaraum tend to drop vowels from the middle of the word (Tescarana --> Tesc'rana or even Tesc'rna).
Speech is equally varied. In general, while written Tescaraum can be divided into eastern and western scripts, the spoken varieties can be divided into Highland Grand Tescarana, Lowland Grand Tescarana, Southern Archipelagan, and Northern Archipelagan. These divisions are generally apparent to native speakers of Tescaraum from the first few words spoken. Common to all varieties of Tescaraum is the stress placed on the first syllable of the word, giving Tescaraum a "rising and falling" sound.
Idioms and Sayings
The cultural references and idiomatic phrases of colloquial Tescaraum sometimes defy direct translation. Below are a few examples
"To arrive with a bare skull" means to be a visitor ignorant or disrespectful of the ways and customs of their host. A reference to Tescarana habit of wearing hats or veils except in one's own home or with close personal friends, the saying has come about from foreigners arriving to visit the clans, without wearing a hat. It can also mean impudence in general.
An amount of "moves to Roc", for example "three moves to Roc" refers to something being inevitable and impossible to prevent. A reference to the popular board game "20 moves to Roc", the saying can be a reminder to accept the inevitable or to prepare for something that certainly will happen.
"To be in dead water" is another reference to the board game, meaning to be stuck or directionless.
In Tescaraum, being compared to a snail is a good thing, meaning that something is more precious than it appears at first glance.
To "be a caged bluetail
" means to be very agitated.