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Learnable languages

There are six main languages on the Disc, which any player may start with or learn later on:

Each of these is split into Spoken and Written.

All characters begin with the maximum (100) in both spoken and written forms of the language of the nationality they have chosen to start with. To gain any skill in another language a player must go to one of the many language schools and enroll in lessons. These will only give a basic understanding of a language and to develop their skills further a player must listen to and read a language.

At level 90 in the spoken aspect of a language, you can completely understand everything that npcs say in that language (though not necessarily everything that other players say in that language). After this point, you can only tm from other players.

It takes 60 spoken before npcs can understand you.

Language schools

There are several places around the Disc where you can learn languages. They work in different ways.

Ankh-Morpork Guild of Assassins

Assassins may get lessons in different languages for free here, and may also ask the Kompt de Yoyo to tell them stories in different languages.

Bes Pelargic Language Institute

This school is located on Serpentine Way, slightly northwest of Tuna Walk. It offers:

In this school, you can get beginner's, intermediate, and advanced lessons for each language. You have to wait between lessons, and need a dictionary for them (dictionaries are available in a shop in the school).

Djelibeybi language school

This school is located on the eastern side of the marketplace in Djelibeybi. It offers:

  • Ephebian lessons for Djelian students
  • Klatchian lessons for Djelian students
  • Morporkian lessons for Djelian students
  • Djelian lessons for Morporkian and Ephebian students

Lessons are only available at certain times here.

Warning: You need good spoken and written in the language that the teacher uses--spoken to understand them, and written to be able to look up words in the textbook to answer their questions.

Upon enrolling, a textbook will be provided. The student has to bring it along for every lesson. If it gets lost the student can acquire a replacement. The textbook can be returned to the receptionist in the foyer or the language teacher after the exam. While studying the appropriate lesson in the textbook is not mandatory, it is recommended as it increases written skills in the language. Students who have missed out on this part before returning their textbook can still catch up by using somebody else's textbook, even after they have taken their exam.

Upon completing each lesson with the teacher, the student will gain a few levels of spoken and written Klatchian. The number of levels granted seem to depend somewhat on the intelligence stat.

The first lesson costs 2 talents, plus a deposit of 1 talent for the textbook.

In order to take the second lesson, the student must have 20 spoken levels in the language they are learning, meaning that tming the language on one's own is necessary. This class costs 4 talents.

For the third lesson, the student must have 40 spoken levels in the language they are learning. This class costs 6 talents.

To take the exam, the student must have 60 spoken levels in the language they are learning. The exam costs 8 talents.

Ephebian Embassy in Ankh-Morpork

This school is located just south of the main post office in Ankh-Morpork. It offers:

  • Morporkian lessons for Djelian and Ephebian students
  • Ephebian lessons for Morporkian students.

In this school you can get only one lesson each in written and spoken, which gives you a small number of levels in the language.

Ephebian Embassy in Djelibeybi

This school is located just east of the Square of Ancestors in Djelibeybi. It offers beginning Ephebian lessons.

In this school you can get only one lesson each in written and spoken, which gives you a small number of levels in the language.

Little Agatea

This school is located in Little Agatea in Ankh-Morpork, on Whopping Street somewhat northeast of Onion Gate. It offers:

  • Agatean lessons for Morporkian students. There are a total of four lessons at &&&&&&&&&&&+4000 $10 each, and some levels in spoken and written are granted after the final lesson (the number of levels varies, from at least 27 to 35 spoken and from at least 14 to 20 written).
  • Morporkian lessons for Agatean students (beginner's lessons only)

Lessons are only available at certain times here, but there is no wait between them.

Vanya's shack

This classroom is located on Tobacco Road in Ankh-Morpork, north and slightly east of Shambling Gate. It offers Morporkian lessons for Uberwaldean students.

A$5 per lesson

Guild languages

There are also two guild-specific languages:

  • Wizard's Spells
  • Thieves' Cant

Wizard's Spells is used primarily for spellbooks in the various magical libraries. It can also be used by wizards for writing in. It may only be read and written by wizards, and is learned automatically on joining the wizards' guild.

Thieves' Cant is used primarily for the generally unreadable part of theft receipts, and to sign between certain thieves' guild NPCs and guild members. It can also be used to sign between player members of the guild (this sign language is invisible to non-thieves). It may only be read or signed by thieves, and is learned automatically on joining the thieves' guild.

Non-player languages

Other languages that exist, but that are not generally used by players (not being learnable) include:

Dwarvish and Gnomish can be understood through the use of certain rituals.

Update: Dwarven is no longer recognised by certain rituals since recent language changes. Performing Tongues (the ritual which lets you understand spoken languages) and then typing "languages" produces these possibilities: ephebian, djelian, uberwaldean, wommon, brindisian, morporkian, gnomish, komic, agatean, dwarfish. Performing Clarify (the ritual which lets you understand written languages) shows the same languages, minus wommon.

Grunt can be used for speaking but not writing. Everyone can speak it automatically, but nobody can understand it (it just looks like grunting). Witches can, however, grunt pointedly enough to produce the desired effect if mocking someone while speaking grunt.

Common is no longer used, items marked (written, embroidered or engraved) in common may be translated at a shop on Upper Broadway in Ankh Morpork.

Tips for TMing languages

You need to be speaking a language ("speak <language>") to TM it. Listening to or reading things in a language you can't understand perfectly, while speaking it, will take gp.


Spoken language can be TMed only by hearing someone else speak it. You need to be speaking in the language (syntax "speak") in order to TM by listening, but you do not need to be saying anything.

If you want to idle somewhere for spoken TMs, the best places to do that are usually the places where you can hear what's said in nearby rooms -- for example, on the Plaza of Broken Moons in Ankh-Morpork, you can hear anything said anywhere in the Plaza from anywhere on it. These spots also tend to be fairly busy -- an added bonus, since spoken language seems to TM much more easily when you're listening to multiple people.

If you're wandering around, then you should also list the goods or even browse the items of any traders, merchants, vendors, or contractor npcs you see--they'll generally say several lines, one for each thing they're selling.

Pamphlets are a popular way of TMing from other players: reading one will make you spam says for a little while, and possibly infect other people so that they do the same. You can generally TM from listening to a player who is at a higher level (or no more than 9 levels lower) in the language than you are. Also, if you're grouping with other people who are trying to tm the same language, you can speak the language and then make an alias to group say something, then say it out loud:

alias gs group say $*$;say $*$

You will be able to understand npcs completely when you reach 90 levels of proficiency in speaking, and they will be able to understand you when you reach 60 levels. Once you reach 90 levels, you can only TM from listening to other players (who still must be no more than 9 levels lower than you).

For locations best for TMing spoken langugages, see the appropriate language article:


Written language can be TMed by reading and writing it. You need to be speaking in the language (syntax "speak") in order to TM it.

This can be done by reading signs in the location where this language is spoken, but a more common approach would be to purchase a primer. These items are player-created books that contain text written in one or more languages that you can easily carry around and peruse at your own leisure. Primers are often for sale in player shops.

You can also create your own primer by writing something and reading it. For a non-native language, you should be able to read and understand completely at 90 levels of proficiency.

Once you reach 90 levels of proficiency of written in a non-native language, you can only TM off something written by someone at no more than 9 levels lower than you.

See also


Rituals granting language knowledge:

External links