Language Dictionary Spell in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Language Dictionary

A popular spell among traders, diplomats, and travelers, Language Dictionary allows a skilled Telepath to share a permanent knowledge and understanding of any language.   Despite the spell's simple description, it does carry many notable limitations:
  1. The language must be shared by someone else who understands it. This can be the spell caster, or a willing third individual, often referred to as the language donor.
  2. The knowledge shared and retained is limited to that known by the language donor. Reading, writing, speaking, comprehension, and vocabulary are also different skills, and the recipient will share the same limitations as their donor. Practice, lessons, or additional Language Dictionary sessions with different language donors can all improve the recipients' knowledge.
  3. The recipient of the language cannot be the one casting the spell.
  4. While the recipient will understand proper pronunciation – as experienced by the language donor – they will only learn how the donor learned to pronounce each sound. This means accents are retained, and those of different species than their language donor may require additional session or speech therapy to learn pronunciation for their different mouth shape.
  5. Recipients are also limited by their own skills. Those who cannot read in one language will need to learn at least the basics prior to understanding the written word in their new language. Children who have not yet learned to speak will be unable to speak in the new language, either. Language Dictionary will also not cure neurodevelopmental conditions such as dyslexia, although it can help with others such as minor speech impediments, mainly articulation errors, when administered with the help of a language donor of the same species as the recipient. The spell is also a popular treatment for children with selective mutism stemming from vocabulary or pronunciation insecurities.
  6. While the Language Dictionary spell is fairly straightforward in principle, it is highly reliant upon the skill of the individual casting the spell. The caster of the spell must prepackaged the language first, prior to the transfer. This is a highly advanced telepathic skill requiring great patience and practice, although once mastered this prepwork can be done quickly and efficiently. Highly skilled casters are therefore in high demand.
It also requires complete trust from the recipient, as they must be asleep at the time of transfer.

Source

Language Dictionary is an Endoarcana spell, drawing its power from the magic and Imperium reserves of its caster and anyone else linked with them via Apotheturgy. As with most Telepathy spells, it requires very little Imperium once mastered, although beginning students may find themselves draining their resources as they practice the complicated steps to package a language for transfer.

Discovery

While the exact origin of the spell is lost to time, it is believed that Language Dictionary was discovered by accident, as an extension of basic Telepathy.  

Telepathically Shared Language

One level of telepathic connection allows the recipient to tap into the language and cultural knowledge of the caster for the duration of the mental link, allowing them to pick up both verbal and cultural cues. The recipient's access to this knowledge lasted only as long as the spell itself, aside from whatever personal knowledge they learned when not relying on the spell.   Records of this spell predate modern history, to the degree historians believe this was a common courtesy, at least among diplomats and other important visitors. This would have allowed guests and dignitaries to communicate and coexist at ease throughout their travels.  

Telepathic Transfer of Communal History

Telepathy also allows the sharing of basic memories with an individual while they are asleep, a tactic frequently used by parents of small children to help them sleep or, in some ancient cultures, even share the stories and memories of their family's cultural history.   Often the quality of memories shared in this way is degraded by the dream state, especially due to the fluid and transient nature of most details stored within memories, a tactic developed by the brain to improve long term retention of the memory as a whole. Providing reinforcement during waking hours helps counteract this, building in the foundation laid during sleep.  

Origin of Language Dictionary

Historians believe the Language Dictionary spell rose from attempts to combine the two spells, allowing frequent visitors to retain their language and cultural knowledge long-term rather than requiring a telepathic connection each visit.   Over time this spell would have been refined, targeting the language centers of the recipient's brain. By focusing on the language itself, and excluding cultural knowledge outside of those directly tied to the language only, casters would have also been able to bypass the fuzzier nature of dreamed memories and instead tap into the more logical centers where language is stored.   As with any new skill, frequent practice would further hone the recipient's language skills, ensuring the newfound knowledge was retained with the needed level of use. For this reason, it is best to wait to learn languages through Language Dictionary until the recipient knows they will have the opportunity to use them.
Related School
Effect Duration
Permanent
Applied Restriction
Languages taught via Language Dictionary are only retained if the spell is cast while the recipient is sleeping, requiring a great level of trust in the caster.   Recipients are also limited to the knowledge known by their language donor, and should proactive the newly learned language soon after the spell is cast, for maximum effect.

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Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

Comments

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Apr 16, 2023 10:10 by Simo

This is so needed.

Apr 16, 2023 13:05 by Morgan Biscup

I want this spell. It would be so much *fun!*

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Apr 16, 2023 19:14 by Simo

I want to enroll in the Thelepatic studies course in general. But this would be one of the most fun things. Ok, no I can imagine other fun applications too, but...

Apr 16, 2023 19:28 by Morgan Biscup

Oh, I can think of a lot of fun uses for Telepathy. ;)

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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