Languages

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Learnable languages

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

Each of these except grunt 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.

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.

Language schools

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

Ankh-Morpork Guild of Assassins

The Kompt de Yoyo is in the Modern Language and Music classroom above ground level and to the east in the Guild of Assassins.

He can teach to assassins for free and to non-assassins for a small fee the basics of written and spoken for the following languages:

Assassins can ask the Kompt de Yoyo to tell them stories in different languages, but he refuses to do so for non-assassins.

He also sells musical instruments and supplies to all.

Warning: You can only get a small amount of spoken and written from him, and doing so prevents you from using all other language schools and training facilities. The only exception to this is the Djelibeybi language school, for unknown reasons.

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).

Teaching times in all classrooms: (Please note that different examinations take place at different times of the day)

  • Midnight to 7am: Beginners - Repeating phrases said by the teacher.
  • 8am to 3pm: Intermediate - Looking up words from the 2 last pages in the dictionary.
  • 4pm to 11pm: Advanced - Multiple choice exam with 10 questions, the answers to which have to be compiled using multiple pages from the dictionary. The Djelian exam differs slightly with every question being one or two words that must be translated.


For Agatean to other languages, upon completion of the exam, the player will be granted 25-35 levels of spoken, and 20-30 levels of written. Reasearchresearch is needed to check if these figures correspond to foreign speakers learning Agatean.

Djelibeybi language school

This school is located on the eastern side of the marketplace in Djelibeybi. Classrooms are located off a central room on the second floor, and lessons are only available at certain times:

  • 1am to 5am - Djelian Lessons for Klatchian students. East, taught by Dilangelo.
  • 6am to 2pm - Djelian Lessons for Morporkian students. East, taught by Dilangelo.
  • 9am to 5pm - Ephebian Lessons for Djelian students. North, taught by Perdikas.
  • 10am to 7pm - Klatchian Lessons for Djelian students. Northeast, taught by Shamil.
  • 11am to 8pm - Morporkian Lessons for Djelian students. South, taught by Angela.
  • 3pm to 11pm - Djelian Lessons for Ephebian students. East, taught by Dilangelo.

The southeastern room contains a cord you can pull, supposedly to get one on one tutoring, but it appears to be useless beyond the sound of a bell ringing in the hall outside research.

Note: 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, students must put a 1 talent (&&&&&&&&&&&+2000 DjToon 10.00) deposit down on a textbook. 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 and the deposit will be refunded.

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

The first lesson costs 2 talents (&&&&&&&&&&&+4000 DjToon 20.00) in addition to the textbook fee.

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 (&&&&&&&&&&&+8000 DjToon 40.00).

For the third lesson, the student must have 40 spoken levels in the language they are learning. This class costs 6 talents (&&&&&&&&&&+12000 DjToon 60.00).

To take the exams, the student must have 50 or possibly fewer levels in the language they are learningresearch. The exam costs 8 talents (&&&&&&&&&&+16000 DjToon 80.00). Note that there is a spoken and written exam that you enrol for separately. The teacher will suggest to you that you should return your textbook for a refund after the first one you complete - but you should keep it until you complete both exams.

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 26 written).
  • Morporkian lessons for Agatean students (beginner lessons only - 5 levels of both spoken and written).

Learning Morporkian here gives much lower results than from the BP Language Institute, while learning Agatean here can give better results than the language institute.

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

Copperhead mines

Hidden in the Copperhead mines are the means to learn Dwarfish.written and once you have learned it well you will be able to learn Dwarfish.spoken during a quest also in the Copperhead mines.

Guild languages

Some other languages are only available upon joining certain guilds and cannot be learned in any other way.

There are two such guild-specific languages:

Wizard 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:

Language Can be spoken and heard with Tongues Can be written and read with Clarify
Gnomish Yes Yes
Komic Yes Yes
Krullian Yes Yes
Tsortean Yes Yes
Common/Wommon No No

Performing Tongues lets you understand many spoken languages and performing Clarify lets you understand many written languages as specified above in addition to the learnable languages, but not guild languages.

Common was a language that everyone understood that is no longer used because it got replaced with many different languages. 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 people gp equal to your level in the appropriate aspect of the language: if you have 62 levels in spoken Djelian, listening to someone say something in Djelian will cost 62 people gp. If you don't have enough people gp available, you won't spend any gp listening to or reading the language, and therefore seem to have no chance to tm; it is therefore advisable to get some levels on people.points before trying to TM a language;

Spoken

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. Note that even if you can't understand them well enough to know what specific items you can browse, you can still browse "all" of them.

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:

The following MUD alias, credited to New, is very useful for helping others TM any language:

'#Aga $*$;'#Bri $*$;'#Dje $*$;'#Dwa $*$;'#Eph $*$;'#Gno $*$;'#Kla $*$;'#Kom $*$;'#Kru $*$;'#Mor $*$;'#Tso $*$;'#Ube $*$

Written

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. Another possibility, which overall seems to be cheaper than primers are newspapers, but they might not be available for all languages.

You can also create your own primer by writing something and reading it (Special:Random is a good source of text for this, or other varied words like Display of tricks, AM Daily/Green Slab articles etc). 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.

Bonus TMs

At 90 in a language, you are considered to be fluent in the language. There is a known bug that has been considered to be not worth fixing and the advantages minimal enough to not be considered abuse that makes it possible to TM spoken beyond 90, up to 99. There is no change to your fluency for these post 90 language skills. There is the possibility of gaining some extra people.points TMs while trying to get to 99 in a language. Mostly, however, the 99 levels in a language is simply a bragging right.

The only way to TM a spoken language past 90 is by listening to another player speaking the language, and their skill must be below 90 but within 9 of yours.

Example: If your language is at 94 levels, you will only consume gp and have a chance to TM to 95, if you listen to a player speaking it who is at 85-89 in the language.

Similarly, to get that 99th level you will need someone who is at 89.

Written languages have no way to post 90 TM.

A important note

If you learn, for example, only written Ephebian in a language from The Kompt de Yoyo in the Guild of Assassins, you will not be able of TMing the other aspect of the language itself (in this case, spoken Ephebian) because you only have 0 on that aspect. For TMing properly the other aspect, you will need to learn it from the Kompt de Yoyo.

See also

Languages:

Rituals granting language knowledge:

External links