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Old Orcish Language
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This article summarizes what is understood about the human languages, ideally the Nords, the Bretons, and the Imperials. For the article about the Redguard language, see the Yoku page.

Language Family[edit]

The Ancient Nordic language copies


The language does not have a known common name, it has been generally referred to as Nordic,[1][2][nb 1] or the northern tongue.[3]:22 There is also an Ancient Nordic variant that derives from the Dragon language.{{Ref|name= The Rune God of hermetic orders, Jhunal is considered the Nordic father of mathematics and language. He later became Julianos who is much more accepted across the provinces than before.[4] Several landmarks on mainland Skyrim and mostly on the island of Solstheim have Nordic names, whose translations are currently unknown.[nb 2] There is also a recognizable language from Atmora, aptly called Atmoran[5] but whether it evolved into the modern-day Nordic language or if it is related to Ancient Nordic is unknown.

Known Words[edit]

"Knife" (Ancient Nordic)[3]:22
"Home of Frost"[7]:552
"Era of the Elves" (literal translation)[1]
"Avenue of Valor" (Ancient Nordic)[7]:552
Either "Whit's Daughter" or "Wit Shatter" (Atmoran)[5]
"Storm's Tear" (Atmoran)[8]


The Breton language is commonly called Bretic,[9] which derives from Old Bretic.[10] There are very little references to the language itself, or even its older variant, all of it only mentioned by name. The traditional song of the Glenumbra Moors, the Sepharve is sung in Old Bretic every year for Broken Diamonds, the holiday that commemorates the people's revenge against the perpetrators that killed Empress Kintyra II in 3E 123. It is considered very difficult to translate into the common tongue, but by the Third Era, Old Bretic has been actively studied and the song had been accurately translated.[10] The Reachmen, the tribal people of the eponymous region are of Breton-descent and have their own identifiable language with no known common name.[7]:503[11]

Known Words[edit]

"Silver" (Reach-dialect)[7]:503
"Red Eagle" (Reach-dialect)[11]


The most common name for the language is called Cyrodilic,[12][13][nb 3] or the Cyrodilic language,[14] while a much butchered and fake variant of the language is called pig-Cyrodilic.[15][nb 4] It is by in large, the common language used widely across Tamriel, though there are some discrepancies that are worthy noting. In 1E 2813, all legal documentation was changed from High Elven to Cyrodilic and it became the common language, but in some sources, Cyrodilic is considered the predeccessor of the modern-day Tamrielic language.[16]:6 This may refer to something dubbed Old Cyrodilic, which is continuously used by the Wild Elves to omit themselves from the modern-folk across Tamriel that speak the common tongue.[17] Regardless, there have been instances where the common language is referred as Tamrielic.[18][19]

When the Slave Queen, Alessia defeated the Ayleid Empire, she had established Slave's Cant (which eventually became Cyrodilic) as the common tongue, around 1E 240.[UOL 1]

Known Words[edit]

"Backwards" (Old Cyrodilic)[20]

Cyrodilic Variant of Names[edit]

"Ne Quin-al" (Ta'agra)[21]
"Sura/Sura-do-Hega" (Yoku)[UOL 2]
"Pa'alatiin" (Ta'agra)[21]
Tiber Septim
"Talos" (Nordic)[22]


There are very few mentions of the Nedic language, where much of it was adopted into Yoku, the Redguard language.[23]


  • ^ 
  • ^  Several locations, mainly on Solstheim have names that translate in the real-world, drawing many parallels to various northern languages (e.g. Dutch, Germanic, Old Norse, Norwegian, Swedish, etc.) Some examples include Hvitkald translates to "White Cold" in Norwegian and Kolbjorn translates to "Coal" in Dutch, Swedish, etc. and "Bear" from Icelandic, Old Norse, etc.
  • ^  Considering that much of the Imperial race and their culture is heavily inspired by the Romans, based on the Colovian martial tradition, Nibenese architecture, and Imperial names like Trebonius Artorius and Herminia Cinna. It is likely that much of Cyrodilic if not all is based on the Latin language.
  • ^  This very well may be in reference to pig latin, which is when English words are altered to create fake one that sounds like Latin. (e.g. "pig-latin" becomes "igpay-atinlay") This further strengthens the connection between the Imperials and the Romans as no other culture has a similar language game as these two.
  • The Tamrilean Tractates is created in 1E 200 and the few known excerpts of the books are written in old-timey English.[24]
  • The real-world word, "ancestor" is considered the closest to Cyrodilic from the elven word, "Aedra." Likewise, the word, "Daedra" can mean, "not our ancestors."[25]


  1. ^ a b Before the Ages of ManAicantar of Shimerene
  2. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  3. ^ a b The Infernal City — Gregory Keyes
  4. ^ Varieties of Faith...Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  5. ^ a b Wittestadr loading screen in ESO
  6. ^ Reinhardt Red-Spear's dialogue in Bloodmoon
  7. ^ a b c d The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide — David Hodgson
  8. ^ Songs of the Return, Volume 5
  9. ^ King Edward, Part I
  10. ^ a b Broken DiamondsRyston Baylor
  11. ^ a b The Legend of Red EagleTredayn Dren
  12. ^ Eminaire's dialogue in ESO
  13. ^ The Wolf Queen, v4Waughin Jarth
  14. ^ A Dance in Fire, Chapter 5Waughin Jarth
  15. ^ A Culinary Adventure, Volume 2Rallaume Lemonds, Culinary Crusader
  16. ^ The Daggerfall Chronicles — Ronald Wartow
  17. ^ The Wild ElvesKier-Jo Chorvak
  18. ^ Swallowed Grove loading screen in ESO: Murkmire
  19. ^ The Alik'rEnric Milres
  20. ^ WithershinsYaqut Tawashi
  21. ^ a b Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Sugar and Blood: the Cats of the SouthImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  22. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: PrefaceImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  23. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: HammerfellImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  24. ^ Field Guide to River TrollsPhrastus of Elinhir
  25. ^ Aedra and Daedra

Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.

  1. ^ Kurt Kuhlmann's Posts — The Imperial Library
  2. ^ Tiber's Septim Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless