Orcish

More properly called Balôrrik: the official language of the Fomorian Empire

The orcish language, more properly called Balôrrik, is commonly spoken by most orcs, and most other Fomorians in the Fomorian Empire. It is an old language that has evolved to incorporate the universe it finds itself in, and as such, it has much in common with the Germanic languages. Rather than dropping anything, it tends to absorb new concepts into itself through compound words or creative new uses for existing words; and when all else fails, it steals the word outright from its original language. As such, it is a sprawling, organic, ever-changing tongue that can be quite difficult for others to learn.   There are also significant regional, clan, and class differences in the language as a result. Orcs from different worlds might not have the same vocabulary, and each clan of orc might have its own dialect. Fortunately, Balôrrik originally evolved as a trade tongue, invented to resolve differences between clans and tribes, so its basic structure is fairly simple, and one can know a few words of the other's dialect and make oneself understood.

Alphabet

A written form of Balôrrik may have existed in limited forms in isolated communities, but nothing was formally codified until the Balorians founded their new homeworld, Elatha, some mere 350 years ago.   Again, as they do with much else, the Balorians credit Elatha with the invention of their written language. In this case, however, it might be true, as the proliferation of the Collected Works of Elatha suggest. According to the log entries of his compatriots, Elatha realized that an organized orc society like the one he wanted to build would need a more accurate way of keeping records for logistic and taxation purposes, and a more effective method of communicating over long distances.   Already literate in Elvish, Dwarvish, and Draconic, Elatha "borrowed" the Dwarvish runes to use as the basis for the Orcish alphabet. According to his own journals, there were several reasons for this; some practical, others more emotional. The sounds of Dwarvish are not that different from the sounds of Orcish, so it was easy to adapt. It was important to not use the alphabet of the Elf people; both because of the negative associations orcs have with elves, but also because its syntax was too different from Orcish to render it properly. Draconic was unsuitable, both because it was complicated, and because Dragons make sounds that orcs (and most humanoid species) are incapable of making.   And according to a certain myth, Balor, the creator-god of the orcs, gained the secret of the runes by sacrificing His eye, like Odin did, rather than losing it to His fight with Lugh, the elf creator-god. Although it was common lore among orcs that this referred to clan runes and the runes of magic, it was logical, and good for the orcish pride movement, to use runes for their language as well. Many orcs even believe that Balor gave runes to the orcs, and then the dwarves stole the knowledge from them.   However, according to a Clan One-Eye family legend, while the idea of forming the written language was set in motion by Elatha, it was actually Dorik One-Eye, clan founder, who invented it. According to their story, Dorik even sacrificed an eye for the knowledge, just like Balor before him; and this is the origin of the One-Eye clan name.  

Orcish Runic Characters

The runes of the Balôrrik alphabet would be familiar to any student of Dwarvish or Norse. Aside from slight differences in the sounds they represent, often dictated by the nuances of speaking with tusks, there is little difference in how runes are used to represent Orcish. There are 52 letters in the Balôrrik alphabet.
# IPA Rune Letter
1 æ à
2 a a
3 ɑ â
4 ë
5 ə ĕ
6 e é
7 ɜ ê
8 i y, ï
9 ɪ i
10 ii
11 ɔ ò
12 ɶ ó
13 ɒ õ
14 ᛟᚮ ô
15 o ó
16 u û
17 ʌ u
18 œ ȗ
19 ʊ ù
20 b b
21 β bv
22 d d
23 f f
24 ɸ ff
25 g g
26 ɢ gh
27 h h
28 ʤ j
29 k k
30 l l
31 ʟ ll
32 m m
33 ɱ mn
34 n n
35 ɳ gn
36 ŋ ng
37 p p
38 ɹ r
39 r rr
40 s s
41 ʧ ch
42 ʃ sh
43 t t
44 v v
45 ʋ vw
46 w w
47 ʝ y
48 z z
49 ʐ zj
50 ʒ jz
51 θ th
52 ð th

Geographical Distribution

Balôrrik is widely spoken anywhere that orcs are present in numbers, including, but not limited to, Elatha, Nardak, Tarth, Telasia, Caer'Thun, Gorna and Draconia.

Phonology

Balôrrik sounds like one might expect of its people; it is harsh, direct, and deceptively simple on the surface. There are few "soft" consonant forms, although a range of vowel sounds are used extensively. "R" sounds are almost growled, and resonate in the palate. Some, therefore, are trilled, especially when falling at the end of a word, and some are the flatter alveolar approximant, as in English.   In part, this is probably due to orc physiology. Tusks change the way a humanoid mouth works, and the way in which language is formed. "Soft" consonants are often difficult for orcs to say, particularly orcs with large tusks, who traditionally have been highly regarded, as this feature is considered attractive.   Plosives are also limited. The /p/ sound is particularly difficult when working around tusks. While this sound is not completely absent in the orc tongue, it is not commonly used. Orc children, and male orc adolescents in particular, often slur the sound as they get used to speaking around their tusks. The /b/ sound is less challenging, and therefore, more common than the /p/ sound, but also not extensively used.

Morphology

Derivational Morphology

While the following rules do not cover every case, there are a few common ways in which Balôrrik derives words from other words within its lexicon:  
  • Adjective → adverb = Prefix ᚫᚲ- / ak- (/ɑk-/).
  • Adjective → noun (the quality of being [adj]) = If word ends with a consonant: Suffix -ᚨᛏ / -at (/-at/). If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᚡᚨᛏ / -vat (/-vat/).
  • Adjective → verb (to make something [adj]) = Suffix -ᚱᚨ / -ra (/-ɹa/).
  • Noun → adjective (having the quality of [noun]) = If word ends with a consonant: Suffix -ᛁᚲ / -ik (/-ɪk/). If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᚡᛁᚲ / -vik (/-vɪk/).
  • Noun → adjective relating to noun (e.g. economy → economic) = If word ends with a consonant: Suffix -ᚫᛚ / -al (-al/). If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᚡᚫᛚ / -val (/-val/).
  • Noun → verb (to create [noun]) = If word starts with a vowel: Prefix ᚯᛋ- / òs- (/ɔs-/).
  • If word starts with a consonant: Prefix ᚯᛋᛟ- / òsô- (/ɔso-/).
  • Verb → adjective (result of doing [verb]) = If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᛖᛏ / -ét (/-et/). If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᛏᛖᛏ / -tét (/-tet/).
  • Verb → adjective (likely to do [verb]) = If word ends with a consonant: Suffix -ᚯᛕ / -òff (/-ɔɸ/). If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᚡᚯᛕ / -vòff (/-vɔɸ/).
  • Verb → noun (the act of [verb]) = If word starts with a vowel: Prefix ᚻ- / ll- (/ʟ-/). If word ends with a consonant: Prefix ᚻᚢ- / llû- (/ʟu-/).
  • Verb → noun that verb physically produces (e.g. build → building) = Suffix -ᚲᚨᚲ / -kak (/-kak/).
  • One who [verb]s (e.g. paint → painter) = Suffix -ᚯᚲ -òk (/-ɔk/).
  • Place of (e.g. wine → winery) = If word ends with a vowel: Suffix -ᛏᛖᚦ / -téth (/-teθ/). If word ends with a consonant: Suffix -ᛖᚦ / -éth (/-eθ/).
  • Diminutive = Suffix -ᛚᛠ / -lï (/-li/).
  • Augmentative = Prefix ᛎᚫ- / za- (/za-/).
  • Holy = Prefix ᛎᚫᛒᚢ- / zabû- (/'za.bu-/).
  • Honoured = Prefix ᚺᚫᚱᚫᚲ- / harak- (/haɹ.ak-/).
  • Numbers in sequence = Suffix -ᛚᚫ / -la (/-la/).

Pronouns

In many aspects of morphology, orcs keep it simple. Pronouns are not among these aspects, however.   Orcs distinguish between genders in their second- and third-person pronouns: male, female, and neuter, which is used when either the genders of the members of the group referred to is unknown, or when it contains members of both genders.   They do not differentiate between genders in their first person pronouns, however. Since gender markers are pronounced, both due to sexual dimorphism and cultural elements, to do so would be redundant, and orcs, especially Balorian orcs, hate to do things which are of no use.   Possessive pronouns are, for the most part, identical to the non-possessive pronouns, except that the pronoun becomes a prefix to the noun (ie. ᛏᚫᚦᚨ'ᚤᚪᚾᚷᛖᛈ tâtha'yóngép /ˈtɑθaˈʝɶngep/ our house {inclusive}).   Because orcs are clannish, there are two forms of we and our. The inclusive form implies that the person being spoken to is included in the group. The exclusive form defines a group that includes the speaker, but not the person being spoken to. (ie. if the orc speaking is talking to her new husband about the house that she and her family live in, she would use the pronoun ᛏᚫᚦᚨ tâtha, but if she were talking to a friend from another clan about the same house, she would use ᛏᚫᚦᛆᚾ tâthĕn instead.)   The most interesting division of pronouns, however, are the singular first person possessive variations. The pronoun, also used like a prefix, changes depending on the object of the possessive.  
  • If referring to an object -- an inanimate possession -- one prefix is used (ie. ᚾᚢ'ᚤᚪᚾᚷᛖᛈ nû'yóngép my house).
  • If referring to a person or being with whom an orc has a relationship (ie. ᚾᚨ'ᚲᛟᛨ na'kórr my blood brother). Note that this even applies to animals, such as worgs, dogs, and so forth, although animals with whom an orc has no relationship, such as wild game, remains an object and not a person.
  • If referring to an ineffable quality that the orc possesses, such as honour or gratitude, a third pronoun is used (ie. ᚾᛟᚮᛨ'ᛞᛨᚨᚲᚨᚫᛨ nôrr'drrakaârr my appreciation {thank you}).
  As demonstrated in the last example. dummy pronouns are accepted in Balôrrik.  
1st person singular-individual ᛁᚻ ill /ɪʟ/ I/me
1st person singular possessive-object ᚾᚢ nû /nu/ my/mine (object)
1st person singular possessive-relationship ᚾᚨ na /na/ my/mine (relationship)
1st person singular possessive-quality ᚾᛟᚮᛨ nôrr /ˈnoʊr/ my/mine (quality)
1st person plural-inclusive ᛏᚫᚦᚨ tâtha /ˈtɑθa/ we/us (inclusive)
1st person plural inclusive-possessive ᛏᚫᚦᚨ tâtha /ˈtɑθa/ our/ours (inclusive)
1st person plural-exclusive ᛏᚫᚦᛆᚾ tâthĕn /ˈtɑθən/ we/us (exclusive)
1st person plural exclusive-possessive ᛏᚫᚦᛆᚾ tâthĕn /ˈtɑθən/ our/ours (exclusive)
2nd person masculine ᛏᛡᛨ têrr /tɜr/ you (masculine)
2nd person possessive-masculine ᛏᛡᛨ têrr /tɜr/ your/yours (masculine)
2nd person feminine ᛏᚨ ta /ta/ you (feminine)
2nd person possessive-feminine ᛏᚨ ta /ta/ your/yours (feminine)
2nd person singular-neuter ᛏᚢ tû /tu/ you (neuter)
2nd person possessive-neuter ᛏᚢ tû /tu/ your/yours (neuter)
3rd person singular feminine ᚲᚨ ka /ka/ she/her
3rd person singular possessive-feminine ᚲᚨ ka /ka/ hers
3rd person singular masculine ᚲᛡᛨ kêrr /kɜr/ he/him
3rd person singular possessive-masculine ᚲᛡᛨ kêrr /kɜr/ his
3rd person singular neuter ᚯᛏ òt /ɔt/ it/they (singular)
3rd person singular possessive-neuter ᚯᛏ òt /ɔt/ its/their/theirs (singular)
3rd person plural neuter ᛔᚯᛏ bvòt /βɔt/ they
3rd person plural possessive-neuter ᛔᚯᛏ bvòt /βɔt/ their/theirs (plural)
 

Nouns

Most nouns are assumed to be "masculine" in Balôrrik. Therefore, in most cases, a plural will be created in the "masculine" way (-ek). The only time that this doesn't occur is when the group in question is obviously primarily female (say, a group of priestesses).  
Singular No affix ᚯᛨᚲ òrrk /ɔrk/
Masculine plural If ends with vowel: Change final vowel to -ek Else: Suffix -ek ᚯᛨᚲᛖᚲ òrrkék /ˈɔrkek/
Feminine plural If ends with vowel: Change final vowel to -a Else: Suffix -a ᚯᛨᚲᚨ òrrka /ˈɔrka/
 

Verb Tense

Orcs keep it simple when it comes to verb tense. They are not particularly interested in differentiating between future and future perfect, and see little need for such pretensions. Orcs either do things, or they don't. Therefore, verb tense is concerned with relationship to time only. Verbs in the past tense are followed by a suffix, and verbs in the future tense are preceded by a prefix.  
Past If ends with vowel: Suffix -ʟ Else: Suffix -uʟ ᚡᚨᚻ vall /vaʟ/
Present No affix ᚡᚨ va /va/
Future If starts with vowel: Prefix θ- Else: Prefix θɑ- ᚦᚫᚡᚨ thâva /ˈθɑva/

Syntax

The syntax of Orcish would be familiar to English-speakers. It follows a standard SVO pattern: subject-verb-object.   However, there the similarity ends. Balôrrik is, at heart, a direct language. Verb case, for example, is not a factor in sentence structure: I go and I am going are said in the same way (ill va / ᛁᚻ ᚡᚨ). So is I will go and I will be going (ill thâva / ᛁᚻ ᚦᚫᚡᚨ).  

Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive verbs are built into Balôrrik. In other words, the direct object of a verb is assumed to be the same as its subject, unless it is specifically defined otherwise. For example, ill ffignûrr / ᛁᚻ ᛕᛁᚿᚢᛨ I wash is assumed to mean that the orc is washing him- or herself; but if an orc were washing the floor, they would say ill ffignûrr nûz / ᛁᚻ ᛕᛁᚿᚢᛨ ᚾᚢᛎ I wash floor.  

Reciprocal Construction

As in English, each other lȗ vûgh / ᛚᚢ ᚡᚢᚵ and one another thàghâ yë / ᛐᚪᚵᚫ ᚤᛦ can be used as reflexive pronouns, defining a relationship between two individuals. But there are also a few reciprocal pronouns in the form of affixes, especially in the case of special and valued relationships, such as na'kórr / ᚾᚨ'ᚲᛟᛨ blood brother and na'harakka / ᚾᚨ'ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲᚲᚨ or na'harakkar / ᚾᚨ'ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲᚲᚨᛨ my honour (term of endearment for one's spouse).

Vocabulary

Aside from differences of inflection and the sounding of vowels, there are broad differences in Orcish vocabulary, depending on dialect.   Balorian Orcish is perhaps the most complicated in this regard. Weaving together a variety of factional societies and governments into one larger cultural whole, managing a large world (and eventually, interstellar) government, and developing greater technologies, required expanding the traditional Balôrrik language variations beyond what they were originally intended to handle, and quickly. Furthermore, it became essential to develop a common tongue from several disparate dialect groups with not much more than the rudiments of a common tongue between them.   A formal language commission was appointed by Elatha and the Thirteen in the early days of the settlement of Elatha, and maintained by their immediate descendants in the Fomorian Imperial Expansion, to codify and share the official Balôrrik of the Fomorian Empire. Offered as one of the benefits to those who joined (or were conquered by) the Balorians, orc populations were invited to attend state-sponsored schools, which educated orcs in the formal mutual vocabulary and writing of the Balorian variant of Balôrrik. Free meals were offered to students as an incentive to attend the schools, which made them extremely popular, and helped to codify the Fomorian Food traditions.   But it's worth noting that there are thousands of dialects of Balôrrik, each unique to region or tribe. Even the Thirteen Great Clans have variations of dialect. This even affects vocabulary. As an intensely regional language that routinely adopts other words into its lexicon that it doesn't otherwise have, this lexicon can vary broadly between region, climate, tribe and culture.   The end result of this is that, like English, Balôrrik is prone to synonyms with different language roots. In some cases, both words continue to mean the same thing; in others, one version comes to mean a very specific form of its original synonym (like how the English "apple" was once a general word for "fruit.")  

Numbers and Dates

While many people seem to think that orcs are stupid, nothing could be further from the truth. Like most starfaring species, orcs require navigational skills, and an excellent sense of math and numbers is essential. While among earlier civilizations of orcs, this skill was limited to an educated priest and leadership caste, the Balorians believe that education is important to the improvement of the lives of the Fomorian peoples. Chances are, every orc aboard is functionally literate and educated in basic math skills, and at least all of the officers and the quartermaster are quite advanced in their studies.  

Numbers 0 to 10

Like most of Known Space, the Fomorians write numerals with Arabic characters. Of course they have their own names for these numbers, however.
Numeral Runic Transcription Pronunciation
0 ᚾᚣᚻ null /nʌʟ/
1 ᛎᚢ /zœ/
2 ᚾᚢᛄ nûjz /nuʒ/
3 ᛠᛋᚨ ysa /ˈisa/
4 ᛄᛟ jzó /ʒo/
5 ᚹᚨᛄ wajz /waʒ/
6 ᚾᚢᚴ nûch /nuʧ/
7 ᚿᚣᛋ gnus /ɳʌs/
8 ᚷᚨᛝ gang /gaŋ/
9 ᛊᚪᛚᚲ shàlk /ʃælk/
10 ᛎᛖᚲ zék /zek/

Numbers 11 to 99

Orcs think of their numbers as being combinations of existing numbers. For example, 11 is thought of as "ten-and-one," or "ten-one." They have several prefixes that are derived from the zero-to-ten numbers. The following table shows examples of how to use them with the number one as its base (so eleven, twenty-one, and so on).
Eleven to nineteen Prefix zek- ᛎᛖᚲᛎᚢ zékzȗ> /ˈzekzœ/
Twenty to twenty-nine Prefix nuʒek- ᚾᚢᛄᛖᚲᛎᚢ nûjzékzȗ> /ˈnuʒekzœ/
Thirty to thirty-nine Prefix isazek- ᛠᛋᚨᛎᛖᚲᛎᚢ ysazékzȗ> /ˌisaˈzekzœ/
Forty to forty-nine Prefix ʒozek- ᛄᛟᛎᛖᚲᛎᚢ jzózékzȗ> /ˈʒozekzœ/
Fifty to fifty-nine Prefix waʒek- ᚹᚨᛄᛖᚲᛎᚢ wajzékzȗ> /ˈwaʒekzœ/
Sixty to sixty-nine Prefix nuʧek- ᚾᚢᚴᛖᚲᛎᚢ nûchékzȗ> /ˈnuʧekzœ/
Seventy to seventy-nine Prefix ɳʌsek- ᚿᚣᛋᛖᚲᛎᚢ gnusékzȗ> /ˈɳʌsekzœ/
Eighty to eighty-nine Prefix gaŋzek- ᚷᚨᛝᛎᛖᚲᛎᚢ gangzékzȗ> /ˈgaŋzekzœ/
Ninety to ninety-nine Prefix ʃælzek- ᛊᚪᛚᛎᛖᚲᛎᚢ shàlzékzȗ> /ˈʃælzekzœ/

Numbers from 100 to 1 Trillion

Larger numbers simply continue in this pattern, with the above prefixes delineating the numbers of hundreds, thousands, and so forth, followed by more specific numbers if necessary.
Number Runic Transcription Pronunciation
Hundred ᛎᚨᛚᚨ zala /ˈzala/
Thousand ᛟᛊᚨ ósha /ˈoʃa/
Million ᛈᛖᛃᛇᛞᛨᛟ péjiidrró /ˈpeʤaɪdro/
Billion ᛊᛡᚴ shêch /ʃɜʧ/
Trillion ᛕᚮᛋᛏᛆ ffùstĕ /ɸʊsˈtə/

Sequential Numbers

Unlike English, there are no variations in suffixes for sequential numbers (ie. first, second, third, etc.) The suffix -ᛚᚨ -la /la/ replaces all of these variants when appended to a number. Regardless of the size of the number, it is always added to the last word in the sequence.  

Dates

The Fomorian Calendar is dated "from the Founding," by which they mean the foundation of the world of Elatha and the Fomorian Empire. They do not name their months except by number, and while there are names for the days of their six-day week, they are rarely used. Orcs never abbreviate "from the Founding" or rather, the literal translation, "from Foundation," even if others do.   The day that the Second Interstellar War was declared would be expressed as "1 First-Month, Year 350 from the Founding":  
1 First- Month, Year 350 from the Founding
Numerals/Runic 1 1ᛚᚨ' ᚲᛖᚦᚨ, ᛚᚫ 350 ᛕᛆᚵ ᚿᛡᛋ
Written Runic ᛎᚢ ᛎᚢᛚᚨ' ᚲᛖᚦᚨ, ᛚᚫ ᛠᛋᚨᛎᛖᚲ'ᛎᚨᛚᚨ ᚹᚨᛄᛖᚲ ᛕᛆᚵ ᚿᛡᛋ
Numerals/Transcription 1 1la' kétha, 350 ffĕgh gnês
Written Transcription zȗla' kétha, ysazék'zala wajzék ffĕgh gnês
Pronunciation /zœ/ /zœla/ /ˈkeθa/ /lɑ/ /isaˈzek'ˈzala ˈwaʒek/ /ɸəɢ/ /ɳɜs/
Literal Translation 1 1st- Month Year 350 since Foundation
  Dates that precede the Foundation are expressed as being "before Foundation." The date that marked the start of the First Interstellar War is expressed as "5 Sixth-Month, Year 85 Before the Founding":  
5 Sixth- Month, Year 85 Before the Founding
Numerals/Runic 5 6ᛚᚨ' ᚲᛖᚦᚨ, ᛚᚫ 85 ᚿᛡᛋ
Written Runic ᚹᚨᛄ ᚾᚢᚴᛚᚨ' ᚲᛖᚦᚨ, ᛚᚫ ᚷᚨᛝᛎᛖᚲᚹᚨᛄ ᚿᛡᛋ
Numerals/Transcription 5 6la' kétha, 85 a gnês
Written Transcription wajz nûchla' kétha, gangzékwajz a gnês
Pronunciation /waʒ/ /ˈnuʧla/ /ˈkeθa/ /lɑ/ /gaŋzekˈwaʒ/ /a/ /ɳɜs/
Literal Translation 5 6th- Month Year 85 before Foundation

Phonetics

The pronunciation of Orcish letters is surprisingly complex, with many levels of nuance. Most of these sounds are familiar to English-speakers, but many are not.

Consonants

Balôrrik has 32 consonants. In descending order of frequency, they are symbolized in the International Phonetic Alphabet as follows:  
r k m t n s b l h g ŋ d f ʧ ʃ z ɢ ʤ v ʒ β ɸ ɳ ð θ ʝ w ɹ ʟ p ʐ ʋ ɱ
Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p, b t d k, g ɢ
Nasal m ɱ n ɳ ŋ
Trill r
Fricative ɸ, β f, v θ, ð s, z ʃ, ʒ ʐ ʝ h
Approximant ʋ ɹ
Lateral Approximant l ʟ
Affricates
Voiceless palato-alveolar affricate: ʧ ~ Voiced post-alveolar affricate: ʤ
Others
Voiced labial-velar approximant: w

Vowels

Balôrrik has 20 vowels. In descending order of frequency, they are symbolized in the International Phonetic Alphabet as follows:  
a i u o e ɔ ə ɪ ʊ ɑ ʌ ɜ æ œ ɒ aɪ eɪ ɶ
Front Central Back
Close i u
ɪ ʊ
Close-Mid e o
ə
Open-Mid œ ɜ ʌ, ɔ
æ
Open a, ɶ ɑ, ɒ
 
Diphthongs: aɪ, eɪ, sometimes oʊ.
 
For a sense of the sounds represented by these symbols, please consult this Interactive International Phonetic Language Chart, or this Phoneme Synthesis tool, which converts IPA symbols to speech.

Transcription

As stated before, Balôrrik is complex and uses a lot of sounds that English does not. It also makes individual letter distinctions between sounds that English-speakers would consider variants of the same letter. Transcribing it to Roman characters requires some differentiations between different variants of letter sounds as English-speakers know them. Here is a brief, simplified guide to the characters chosen and how they are pronounced:
Vowels
  1. à : short a sound, as it is said in most of the U.S. (cat, dance) (IPA æ)
  2. a : short a sound with the suggestion of a short o, as it is said in Canada, more like the French (arrêt), (bra) in the Inland Northern U.S.; the sound would be recognized in (map) in Canada and (mop) in the Inland Northern U.S. (IPA a)
  3. â : between a short a sound and a short o sound (arm, father the sound you make when the doctor tells you to say ah (IPA ɑ)
  4. ë : long a sound (eight, say) (IPA eɪ)
  5. ĕ : the mid central vowel sound, right in the middle of everything; (about, taken, pencil, memory, supply, sibyl, rhythm) used commonly in English for an unstressed vowel (IPA ə)
  6. é : short e sound (bet, dead), like the French (étre) (IPA e)
  7. ê : short e sound, a little more open than the é sound (west, turn), like the French (arrêt) (IPA ɜ)
  8. y : long e sound (see, we) or yuh (yes), depending on placement (IPA i or ʝ)
  9. ï : long e sound (see, we) only used at the end of a word (IPA i)
  10. i : short i sound (sit, hitting) (IPA ɪ)
  11. ii : long i sound (idol, eye) (IPA aɪ)
  12. ò : somewhere between a long o and a short a sound (call, four) (IPA ɔ)
  13. ó : long o sound, as if you'd cut it off before it was finished; try saying before or no and then imagine something distracts you (befo-, no-) (IPA ɶ)
  14. õ : short o sound (caught, stop) (IPA ɒ)
  15. ô : long o sound (go, home) (IPA oʊ)
  16. ó : no real equivalent in English; somewhere between ah and oh; try to say a like in (apple), but round your lips more towards an o or uh sound; like an American trying to fake a British accent (IPA o)
  17. u : short u sound (cup, gulp) (IPA ʌ)
  18. ȗ : somewhere between the short e and the short u sound, like a lot of borrowed French words (cordon bleu, bœuf) (IPA œ)
  19. ù : short oo sound (look, put, could) (IPA ʊ)
  20. û : long u sound (who, blue, shoe, view) (IPA u)
Consonants
  1. b : b sound (book, blow) (IPA b)
  2. bv : this spelling is meant to represent a sound that doesn't exist in English. It's like a muffled v sound. Start by making a b sound and change it to a v halfway through. (IPA β)
  3. d : d sound (dark, bad) (IPA d)
  4. f : f sound (find, off, if) (IPA f)
  5. ff : this spelling represents another sound that doesn't exist in English. Overemphasize the f sound like you're upset or trying to be heard over something ("I said turn it OFF!") (IPA ɸ)
  6. g : hard g sound (go, frog) (IPA g)
  7. gh : this spelling is also intended to represent a sound that doesn't exist in English. Say the hard g sound with a bit of a guttural gulp, like how you did it when you were showing the teacher you understood the sound of the hard g. (IPA ɢ)
  8. h : h sound (how, hello) (IPA h)
  9. j : j sound (jar, large) (IPA ʤ)
  10. k : hard c or k sound (car, back, kite) (IPA k)
  11. l : l sound (leg, little) (IPA l)
  12. ll : this spelling also represents a sound that doesn't quite exist in most dialects of English. In the Southern U.S. it sometimes occurs in places like (middle, full, wolf, milk, help, little). It's sort of a half-swallowed l sound. Open your mouth about halfway and blow a bit of air around your tongue while making the sound. (IPA ʟ)
  13. m : mm sound (man, lemon) (IPA m)
  14. mn : this spelling also represents a sound not present in English. It is NOT the m and silent n sound of mnemonic. It's an mm sound with the lower lip touching the upper teeth instead of the upper lip. The closest sound we have in English is an m or n sound before f or v sounds, such as (comfort, circumvent, infinitive, invent) (IPA ɱ)
  15. n : n sound (no, burn) (IPA n)
  16. gn : another sound that doesn't exist in English. It's an n sound said in the middle of the mouth, more against the palate. The closest sound I could come up with is what happens with the mouth when you say the word (gnaw). (IPA ɳ)
  17. ng : n sound with a half-spoken g sound, like (bang, sing, finger) ; some dialects pronounce the hard g as a separate sound from the n when it's before a vowel (singing) ; this isn't technically correct by Balorik standards but Orcish is a highly regional and idiosyncratic tongue. (IPA ŋ)
  18. p : p sound (pet, map) (IPA p)
  19. r : the English rr sound (red, try) (IPA ɹ)
  20. rr : represents the trilled or rolled r, like in Italian or French. This helpful link shows you how to do it. (IPA r)
  21. s : sss sound (sun, miss) (IPA s)
  22. ch : ch sound (church, check) (IPA ʧ)
  23. sh : sh sound (she, crash) (IPA ʃ)
  24. t : t sound (tear, getting) (IPA t)
  25. v : v sound (five, voice) (IPA v)
  26. vw : represents another sound that only exists in a few dialects of English; the v sound in Indian South African English (vine for the rest of us, try saying a v with something in your mouth, like a big jawbreaker, which you can imitate by making a slight w sound at the end of the v. (IPA ʋ)
  27. w : w sound (wave, how, window) (IPA w)
  28. y : long e sound (see, we) or yuh (yes), depending on placement (IPA i or ʝ)
  29. z : z sound (zoo, lazy) (IPA z)
  30. zj : this spelling represents one more sound that doesn't appear in English; start like you're going to say a z sound, but change it to a soft j sound halfway through (IPA ʐ)
  31. jz : this spelling represents a sound that only appears in rare random places in English, such as (pleasure, vision, Taj Mahal it's like combination of j and z, or s and z, slurred together (IPA ʒ)
  32. th : represents the same sounds it does in English, which are both the hard th (there, mother) and the soft th (think, teeth) (IPA θ or ð)
 

Absent Sounds and Illegal Letter Combinations

Some sounds familiar to English-speakers do not exist in Balôrrik. They include:
  1. /aʊ/ as in how or out
  2. /ɔɪ/ as in boy or join
  3. /kw/ as in queen
  4. /ks/ as in fix or pixie
The following letter combinations are never found in Balôrrik, in most cases probably because they are difficult for orcs to say:
  • No oy or ow sounds: ɔɪ aʊ
  • No secondary w sounds: hw kw gw tw ʋw wʋ
  • No combinations of the dental plosives and fricatives (no t and th sounds): tð ðt tθ θt
  • No aveolar, post-aveolar and retroflex fricatives together (no t, s, sh and z and related sounds together): sʃ ʃs ʃt sʒ ʒs zʒ ʒz ʐʒ ʒʐ zʐ ʐz sʐ ʐs ʐʒ ʒʐ
  • No redundant hard g sounds: ɢg gɢ
  • No combinations of the bilabial and labio-dental fricatives (no f and v or related sounds in combination): ɸf fɸ fv vf fʋ ʋf vɸ ɸv ʋɸ ɸʋ fβ βf ɸβ βɸ βv vβ ʋβ βʋ
  • No hard g followed by an n: gn ɢn
  • No nasal combinations: nŋ nm nɱ mn mŋ mɱ ŋn ŋm nɱ ɱn ɱm ɱŋ
  • No soft j and related sounds together: ʒ(dʒ) (ʒd)ʒ
  • No redundant r and related sounds: ɹr rɹ
  • No redundant l and related sounds: ʟl lʟ
  • No redundant bilabial plosives (p and b sounds): pb bp
  • No y and ee sounds together: ʝi iʝ
For similar reasons, the following letters are never found at the end of a word:  
ʝ w β ʋ ɳ ʤ ʐ ɱ

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Table of Two-Letter Words

The dictionary search function only works on words of 3 letters or more, so this table provides a list of the English 2 letter words that you might need, that aren't pronouns.
English Part of Speech Balôrrik Orcish IPA
as adv ᚺᛦᛨ hërr /heɪr/
as (similar to) prep ᚻᚢᛒ llûb /ʟub/
as well as prep ᚮᚾᛏᚮ ùntù /ˈʊntʊ/
at prep ᚦᚢ thȗ /θœ/
be verb ᛏᛖᚲᛆ tékĕ /ˈtekə/
be (located) verb é /e/
do verb ᛨᛠᛒ rryb /rib/
go verb ᚡᚨ va /va/
if conj ᚲᛆ /kə/
in prep ᚾᛠᚾ nyn /nin/
no det ᚺᛇ hii /haɪ/
no int ᚿᚫᛈ gnâp /ɳɑp/
no int ᚲᚮᚦᚫᛈ kùthâp /kʊˈθɑp/
of prep ᚴᛁᚿ chign /ʧɪɳ/
on prep ᚾᛠᚵ nygh /niɢ/
or conj ᛄᛖᛈ jzép /ʒep/
so adv ᛙᚪᚾᛏᛦᚻᚯᚠ mnóntëllòf /ˈɱɶnteɪʟɔf/
so conj ᚠᛆ /fə/
ud noun ᛏᚪᛄᚪᛋᛏᛆ tójzóstĕ /ˈtɶʒɶstə/
up adv ᚺᛇᚣᛈ hiiup /haɪˈʌp/

Dictionary

4469 Words.
Common Phrases

Idioms

  Orcs love colourful idioms. Many of them would be recognizable in translation to most sailors and starfarers. Just as in English, because sailing is so important to, and so much a part of, Fomorian cultures, many starfaring slang terms and figures of speech have made their way into the common lexicon.
  • chârròk ᚴᚫᛨᚯᚲ /ˈʧɑrɔk/: meaning-- dirtsider - the starfarer's equivalent of a landlubber
  • ghòblinùlkiighâ ᚵᚯᛒᛚᛁᚾ'ᚮᛚᚲᛇᚵᚫ /ˈɢɔblɪn ʊlˈkaɪɢɑ/: meaning--goblin's blade - a sneak attack; something subtle that one never sees coming (figurative and literal)
  • ghóntó'ffùrmĕ ᚵᚪᚾᛏᛟ'ᛕᚮᚱᛗᛆ /ɢɶnˈto ɸʊɹˈmə/: meaning-- scuttlebutt - "water-barrel" this figure of speech has the same origins as the term "scuttlebutt," and for the same reason. The scuttlebutt, or the water-barrel in the case of the orcs, is the place where sailors and spacers gather to exchange news and gossip. Over time, the word has come to mean that news and gossip itself.
  • lluffizï ffiff ᚻᚢᛕᛁᛎᛠ ᛕᛁᛕ /ʟuɸɪˈzi ɸɪɸ/: meaning-- crybaby - "starving baby" used to indicate that the subject is being a pathetic whiner, or is making a big deal out of nothing (since babies always think they're starving)
  • mȗb kifób ᛗᚢᛒ ᚲᛁᚠᛟᛒ /mœb kɪˈfob/: meaning-- learn (the) ropes - learn the ins and outs of how things work, or how to do something
  • na'harakka ᚾᚨ'ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲᚲ /na'haɹˈakka/ or na'harakkarr ᚾᚨ'ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲᚲᚨᛨ /naˈhaɹakkar/: meaning-- my honour - a term of endearment for one's spouse (wife and husband, respectively)
 

Divine Euphemisms

  Orcs rarely refer to their gods directly by name, as it is considered disrespectful in most contexts. Instead, they have developed a variety of euphemisms and titles to speak of their deities.
  • Balor: ᛏᛡᛨ'ᚤᛇ'ᛙᚫᛎ têrr-yii-mnâz /tɜr ʝaɪ ɱɑz/ He-Who-Watches, ᛎᚢ'ᛨᛠᚾᛏᚢ zȗ-rryntû /zœˈrintu/ the One-Eye, ᚮᚾᚷᚭᛉᚫ'ᛞᛡᚱᚲᚨᛨ ùngõzjâ-dêrkarr /ˈʊngɒʐɑ'dɜɹˈkar/ the Allfather
  • Cethlenn: ᛕᛆᚦ'ᛗᛆᚲᚨᛨᚨ ffĕth-mĕkarra /ɸəθ məˈkara/ the Den Mother, ᛙᛇ'ᛗᛆᚲᚨᛨᚨ mnii-mĕkarra /ɱaɪ məˈkara/ the Cave Mother, ᚦᚭᚻ'ᛗᛆᚲᚨᛨᚨ thõll-mĕkarra /θɒʟ məˈkara/ the Great Mother
  • Goibnu: ᚷᚪᚥᛖᚡᛁᚲ'ᛐᚪᚵᚫ góvwévik-thàghâ /ˈgɶʋevɪk ˈðæɢɑ/ the Mighty One (Powerful One), ᛏᛡᛨ'ᚴᛁᚿ'ᚷᚪᚥᛖᚡᛁᚲ'ᛄᛖᛙᚨ têrr-chign-góvwévik-jzémna /tɜr ʧɪɳ ˈgɶʋevɪk ˈʒeɱa/ He-of-the-Strong-Arm
  • Cichol: ᚻᚨᚾ'ᚷᚨᛨ llan-garr /ʟan gar/ the Death-Bringer, ᛄᛟᛝ'ᛐᚪᚵᚫ jzóng-thàghâ /ʒoŋ ˈðæɢɑ/ the Pale One
  • Conand: ᛏᚨᚫᛨᚨᚲ'ᚷᚨᛨ taârrak-garr /ˈtaɑrak gar/ the War-Bringer, ᛏᚨᚫᛨ taârr /taˈɑr/ the Warrior
  • Morc: ᚱᛠᛗᚯ'ᛐᚪᚵᚫ rymò-thàghâ /ˈɹimɔ ˈðæɢɑ/ the Dark One, ᛨᛠᛨᚪᚾᛠᚻ rryrrónyll /ˈrirɶniʟ/ the Shadow
  • Eithniu: ᛒᛁᛐ bith /bɪð/ the Maiden, ᛙᚪᛝᚯᛈ mnóngòp /ɱɶˈŋɔp/ the Lover, ᚱᛠᛗᚯ'ᛋᛆᚲᚨᛨᚨ rymò-sĕkarra /ˈɹimɔ səˈkara/ the Dark Sister
  • Elatha: ᛎᚢᛚᚨ'ᛙᛦᛈ zȗla-mnëp /zœla ɱeɪp/ the Founder (First Ancestor), ᛎᚨᛒᚢ'ᚲᚨᚫᛨ zabû'kaârr /zabuˈkaɑr/ the High Chief
 

Proverbs of Elatha

  Elatha left several volumes of his work behind that span the gamut from war, to politics, to philosophy. Balorian orcs often use these proverbs in common conversation, and may even make oblique references of only a part of each proverb that they will assume other Balorians understand.
  [/tr ]
A Chief may only rule with the consent of his people. ᚲᛆᚵ ᛎᚪᛋᛏᚭᛏᚷᚢ ᚥᚮᚱᛦᚾᛏᚪ ᚺᚢᛊ ᚥᚮᛋᛦᛋᛏᚨ ᚻᚢᛉᛆᛈ ᚴᛁᚿ ᛏᛡᛨ'ᛏᚫᚦ. Kĕgh zàstõtgû vwùrëntó hȗsh vwùsësta llûzjĕp chign têrr'tâth. /kəɢ zæsˈtɒtgu ˈʋʊɹeɪntɶ hœʃ ˈʋʊseɪsta ʟuʐəp ʧɪɳ tɜr'tɑθ/
Accept an honourable defeat as well as an honourable victory. Recognize an honourable foe and conduct yourself with nobility. So doing, you remain unconquered, even in defeat. ᛉᛆᛈ ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲ ᛡᛞ ᚹᚨ ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲ ᚻᚢᛨᛠᛏᚨ. ᚡᛠᚾ ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲᚴᚨ ᚹᚨ ᚦᚢᛎ ᚥᚮᛋᛦᛋᛏᚨ ᚤᚪᛨᛋᛠᚡᚨᛏ. ᛕᛆᛨ ᚱᚨ'ᚥᚮᛕᚮᚻ ᚷᚨᛈ ᚾᛠᚾ ᚻᚢᛨᛠᛏᚨ. Zjĕp harak êd wa harak llûrryta. Vyn harak'cha wa thȗz vwùsësta yórrsyvat. Ffĕrr ra'vwùffùll gap nyn llûrryta. /ʐəp ˈhaɹak ɜd wa ˈhaɹak ˈʟurita/ /vin haɹak'ˈtʃa wa θœz ˈʋʊseɪsta ˈʝɶrsivat/ /ɸər ɹaˈʋʊɸʊʟ gap nin ˈʟurita/
All love comes from honour. ᚮᚾᚷᚭᛉᚫ ᚷᚪᚾᚷᛠᛈ ᛏᛦᛎ ᚣ ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲ. Ȗngõzjâ góngyp tëz u harak. /ˈʊngɒʐɑ ˈgɶngip teɪz ʌ ˈhaɹak/
Disdain no weapon that gives you the advantage in a conflict; for the enemy surely will not! ᛁᛚᚨ ᚲᚮᚦᚫᛈ ᛨᛠᚿᛟᛞ ᚤᚨ ᚿᚫᛞ ᚥᛆᛒ ᛏᚪᛨᛋᛆ ᚾᛠᚾ ᚻᚢᚡᛠᚾᚷᚣᛒ. ᚫᚲᚾᛠᛝᚢᛋ ᛞᛖᛨᛟ ᚦᚫᛨᛠᛒ ᚱᚨ! Ila kùthâp rrygnód ya gnâd tórrsĕ nyn llûvyngub. Aknyngȗs dérró thârryb ra! /ˈɪˈla kʊˈθɑp riˈɳod ʝa ɳɑd ˈtɶrsə nin ʟuˈvingʌb/ /ɑkˈniŋœs deˈθɑro rib ɹa/
Hold fast to your honour, brave warrior, for only honour elevates us out of barbarism. ᚿᚣᛈ ᛕᚮᛒᛁ ᛕᛁᚴ ᛏᛡᛨ'ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲ, ᚤᚪᛔᛖᚡᚯᛕ ᛏᚨᚫᛨ, ᛕᛆᚵ ᚮ ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲ ᛙᚣᚾ ᛏᚫᚦᚨ ᛆ ᚴᛁᚿ ᚱᚨ'ᛏᚪᚦᚮᛋᚨᛏ. GNup ffùbi ffich têrr'harak, yóbvévòff taârr, ffĕgh ù harak mnun tâtha ĕ chign ra'tóthùsat. /ɳʌp ˈɸʊbɪ ɸɪʧ tɜr'ˈhaɹak, ʝɶˈβevɔɸ taˈɑr, ɸəɢ ʊ ˈhaɹak ɱʌn ˈtɑθa ə ʧɪɳ ɹa'tɶˈθʊsat.
I hate war, as only a soldier can. ᛁᚻ ᛁᚡᚨ ᛏᚨᚫᛨᚨᚲ ᚻᚢᛒ ᚮ ᛏᚨᚫᛨ ᚨᚺᚲ Ill iva taârrak, llûb ù taârr ahk. /ɪʟ ɪˈva ˈtaɑrak, ʟub ʊ taˈɑr ahk/
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. ᛏᚢ'ᛚᚪᛊᛖᚲ ᛊᚣᛨ, ᚹᚨ ᛏᚢ'ᛞᛖᛨᛖᚲ ᚾᛠᚲᛦᚾᛎᚯ ᛊᚣᛨ. tû'làshék shurr, wa tû'dérrék nykënzò shurr,. / tu'læˈʃek ʃʌr wa tu'deˈrek ˈnikeɪnzɔ ʃʌr.
No great prize is without great risk. ᚲᚮᚦᚫᛈ ᚦᚭᚻ ᚴᚮᛞᚭᛈᛡ ᛚᚪᛗᛟ ᚦᚭᚻ ᚻᚢᛎ. Kùthâp thõll chùdõpê làmó thõll llûz. /kʊˈθɑp θɒʟ ʧʊˈdɒpɜ læˈmo θɒʟ ʟuz/
Patience is the soldier’s (honourable) enemy. ᚴᚮᛒᚯᚡᚨᛏ ᚡᛠᛈ ᛏᚨᚫᛨ'ᚺᚨᚱᚨᚲᚴᚨ. Chùbòvat vyp taârr'harak'cha. /ˈʧʊbɔvat vip taˈɑr'haɹak'ˈtʃa/
Politics dictate strategy. ᚴᛁᛨᚷᚨᛄ ᛈᛖᚤᛇᚲ ᚻᚢᛕ. Chirrgajz péyiik llȗff. /ˈʧɪrgaʒ peˈʝaɪk ʟœɸ/
The war is won by the warrior who wants it most. ᛏᚨᚫᛨ ᚤᛇ ᛃᛠ ᚯᛏ ᚾᛠᚲᛦᚾᛎᚯ ᚦᚫᛨᛠᛏᚨ ᛏᚨᚫᛨᚨᚲ. Taârr yii jï òt nykënzò thârryta taârrak. /taˈɑr ʝaɪ ʤi ɔt ˈnikeɪnzɔ θɑriˈta ˈtaɑrak/
Understand your enemy as if you were wearing his skin. ᚷᚨ ᛏᚢ'ᚴᚨ ᚺᛦᛨ ᚻᚢᚾ ᛏᚢ ᚵᚪᚻᛠ ᛏᚢ'ᛕᛁᚾᚷᚢ. Ga tû'cha hërr llûn tû ghóllï tû'ffingû. /ga tu'tʃa heɪr ʟun tu ˈɢɶʟi tu'ˈɸɪngu/
We shall trade recklessness for patience, rashness for foresight, and fear for courage. And when the time is right, we shall trade our blood for elven lives. ᛏᚫᚦᚨ ᛁᚹᚢᛒ ᚻᚢᛎᛁᚲᚨᛏ ᚾᚢ ᚴᚮᛒᚯᚡᚨᛏ, ᚮᛒᛞᚮᚮᛒᛞᚮ ᚾᚢ ᚻᚢᛙᚪᚻᚢ, ᚹᚨ ᛠᛈᚢ ᚾᚢ ᚻᚢᚤᚪᛔᛖ. ᚹᚨ ᛠ ᛞᚢ ᛟᛊ ᛒᚮᛚᛆ, ᛏᚫᚦᚨ ᚦᛁᚹᚢᛒ ᛏᚫᚦᚨ'ᛗᛡᛋ ᚾᚢ ᛖᛚᚠᚫᛚ ᚲᚯᛋᛖᚲ. Tâtha iwûb llûzikat nû chùbòvat, llùbdù nû llûmnóllû, wa ypû nû llûyóbvé. Wa ï dû ósh bùlĕ, tâtha thiwûb tâtha'mês nû élfal kòsék. /ˈtɑθa ɪˈwub ˈʟuzɪkat nu ˈʧʊbɔvat, ʟʊbˈdʊ nu ʟuɱɶˈʟu, wa iˈpu nû ʟuʝɶˈβe/ /wa i du oʃ ˈbʊlə, ˈtɑθa θɪˈwub ˈtɑθa'mɜs nu elfal kɔsek/
When there is nowhere to retreat, the only retreat is forward. ᛠ ᛐᚪᚵᚫ ᛙᚫ ᛐᛡᚠ ᛕᛁᚴ ᚲᛖᛎᛟ, ᚮ ᚲᛖᛎᛟ ᚡᛠᛈ ᛐᚪᛈᛁᛈ. ï thàghâ mnâ thêf ffich kézó, ù kézó vyp thàpip. /Ï ˈðæɢɑ ɱɑ ðɜf ɸɪʧ ˈkezo ʊ ˈkezo vip ˈðæpɪp/
When war is a way of life, the soldier is always at the ready. ᛠ ᛏᚨᚫᛨᚨᚲ ᚡᛠᛈ ᚨᚠ ᚴᛁᚿ ᚲᚯᛋ, Ï taârrak vyp af chign kòs, /i ˈtaɑrak vip af ʧɪɳ kɔs,
Whenever possible, turn liability into asset, and waste into wealth. ᛠᛨᚨᛞ ᛐᚪᚵᚫ ᚨᚺᚲ, ᛊᚣᛈ ᛋᛟᚻ ᛈᛖᛞᛆᛕ ᛏᚪᛨᛋᛆ, ᚹᚨ ᚵᚪᚲᛟ ᛈᛖᛞᛆᛕ ᛃᚨᛝ. Ïrrad thàghâ ahk, shup sóll pédĕff tórrsĕ, wa ghókó pédĕff jang. /irad ˈðæɢɑ ahk ʃʌp soʟ ˈpedəɸ ˈtɶrsə wa ɢɶˈko ˈpedəɸ ʤaŋ/
Child before blood brother. Blood brother before spouse. Spouse before clan. Clan before all else. ᛙᚪᚻᛖᚴ ᚨ ᚾᚨ'ᚲᛟᛨ. ᚾᚨ'ᚲᛟᛨ ᚨ ᛎᚪᚾᚷᚢᛋ. ᛎᚪᚾᚷᚢᛋ ᚨ ᛏᚫᚦ. ᛏᚫᚦ ᚨ ᛄᛟᛊ ᛖᛏᚪ. mnólléch a na'kórr. Na'kórr a zàngȗs. Zàngȗs a tâth. Tâth a jzósh étà. /ˈɱɶʟeʧ a naˈkor. naˈkor a ˈzængœs. ˈzængœs a tɑθ. tɑθ a ʒoʃ ˈetæ./
 

Oaths and Curses

  As one might imagine, orcs have a colourful variety of oaths and curses.
  • Avalon take it! ᚫᚡᚫᛚᚯ ᚻᛟᚴ ᚯᛏ! âvâlón llóch òt! /ɑvɑlɔn ʟoʧ ɔt/ - similar to "screw this!"
  • Balor's Eye! ᛒᚨᛚᛟᚱ'ᛨᛠᚾᛏᚢ! Balór'rryntû! /baloɹˈrintu/ - something equivalent to "wow" or "f*ck me!"
  • Bones of Elatha! ᚿᚪᛕᚨᛈᛖᚲ ᚴᛁᚿ ᛆᛚᚨᚦᚨ gnàffapék chign ĕlatha /ɳæˈɸapek ʧɪɳ əlˈaθa/ - used in a similar connotation to "Jesus Christ!" and "Holy sh*t!"
  • F*ck! ᛆᛕ ĕff /əɸ/
  • Sh*t ᚠᛆᛄ fĕjz /fəʒ/

Common Female Names
ᚪᛋᛏᚱᛁᛞ Astrid, ᛠ'ᚫᚾᛁᛞ Y'Anid, ᛖᚻᚲᚨ Ellka, ᛏᚨᛊᚨ Tasha, ᛏᚫᛨᚷᚨ Tarrga, ᚾᚨᚲᛠᚱᚨ Nakyra, ᛚᚪᚾᚨ Lana, ᚺᛖᛚᚷᚨ Helga, ᚷᚣᚱᛏᚨ Gurta, ᛏᚫᚲᚲᚨ Takka, ᚲᚪᛏᛠᚨ Katya, ᛒᚨᛊᚨ Basha, ᚫᚱᚲᚨ Arka
Common Male Names
ᛞᛟᚱᛁᚾ Dorin, ᚲᛟᚱᛁᚾ Korin, ᚷᚣᚱᛏᚯᚲ Gurtok, ᛏᚫᚱᚵ Targg, ᚦᚫᛨ Tharr, ᛞᚫᚱᚷᚨ Darga, ᛒᛟᛚᚡᛇ Bolvi, ᛟᛚᚫᚠ Olaf, ᚦᛟᚱᚷᛁᚱ Thorgir, ᚲᛟᛨ Korr, ᛞᛟᚱᛁᚲ Dorik, ᛞᚥᚱᚷᚪᚲ Durgak
Common Unisex Names
ᚲᚪᚦᚨ Katha, ᚫᚱᚷᚨ Arga

Saying No in Balôrrik

Orcs have a few different ways of saying "no," and choosing the correct one can be a complicated affair for non-native speakers. However, the principle is rather straightforward:  
  • no (determiner): ᚺᛇ hii /haɪ/ - this form of "no" is only used in relation to something else, to indicate its lack (ie. ᚺᛇ ᚵᚪᚾᛏᛠ hii ghóntï "no air" - vacuum or void)
  • no (interjection): ᚿᚫᛈ gnâp /ɳɑp/ - the most familiar form of "no," used to indicate negation or refusal
  • no (interjection): ᚲᚮᚦᚫᛈ kùthâp /kʊˈθɑp/ - an emphatic, aggressive "no" that suggests there may be violence if the present situation or request continues

Thank You in Balôrrik

  There are two very specific ways to say "thank you" in the Orcish tongue, and they have different meanings and cultural connotations:

ᚾᛟᚮᛨ'ᛚᚨᚲᚨᚫᛨ

nôrr'lakaârr

(adj.) /noʊrlaˈkaɑr/   "my gratitude" - thank you (with obligation implied)

ᚾᛟᚮᛨ'ᛞᛨᚨᚲᚨᚫᛨ

nôrr'drakaârr

(adj.) /noʊrdɹaˈkaɑr/   "my appreciation" - thank you (without obligation implied)
An implication of obligation suggests that, should the person to whom it is offered ask, an equiavalent "favour" will be given in return. So if it's a thank you offered for assistance, future assistance may be rendered; and should a thank you be offered for saving one's life, a life-debt is owed. By far, the more common form of "thank you" is nôrr'drakaârr, "my appreciation".
 

Balôrrik in Action

As Only a Soldier Can
Prose | May 20, 2020

“What were you really doing in the War, big brother?”



Comments

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31 Aug, 2020 10:48

Conlang King approves of this article.   ;)

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
24 Oct, 2020 01:58

Really? Thanks, Toblin! I have since read enough about conlanging to know this language is a hot mess - but its history makes that make sense, I guess. LOL

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
24 Oct, 2020 09:28

It does not have to be perfect to be interesting or intriguing. In fact, messes are more than interesting than perfection.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
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