All those strange words in italics: the Ilmaen Quartet dictionary, part 1

Posted on October 30, 2017

I find there’s a magic to other languages, especially those that are currently used, but alien to most western ears and so little spoken outside their own countries. Traditionally (thanks JK Rowling, Maggie Steifvater, Terry Pratchett et al.) the alternate language in books is Latin because it’s so international, despite being considered a dead language. I’d hate to see these others become dead too, so just as the writers above and others have fought to keep Latin on the tips of our tongues, here’s my play for some others.

Languages evolve; we don’t speak English like the Elizabethans any more. Often words and grammar have changed in the 500+ years between us and the events of the Ilmaen Quartet. Bearing this in mind, it seemed only fair to create dictionaries, especially if you have been googling words in vain. We’ll start with:

Mhrydaineg (Welsh)
Wales and the southern half of England are now one Welsh speaking nation after the Catastrophe took out all the cities, where most English-speaking people lived. (Scotland and northern England are now one country too, the Northlands, and speak Scottish Gaelic.)

Cach – shit
Cariad – darling
Dros fy corff marw – over my dead body
Gwrach (pl. Gwrachod) – witch
Hendynion – Council of Elders
Mae fyddai ‘n syndod – it would be surprising
Mhrydain – Britain (south of Scotland)
Mhrydainaidd – (a number of) British people
Mhrydaineg – British language/nationality (i.e. Welsh)
Peli – balls
Saesneg – English (person and language), pre Catastrophe
Taid – grandpa
Twpsyn – idiot
Uffern – Hell

Part 2 will cover the languages Renia, Vel and Jesral encounter in Ilmaen itself.

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