The ancient Dragon Language is the language used by dragons. Text in the Dragon Language is found on walls in ancient dungeons and on burial grounds. The runes used for writing the language are described in the Dragon Alphabet article.
With sufficient understanding, certain words can be shouted to produce magical effects such as conjuring fire, cold, or wind; slowing time; or pushing an enemy away. This ability is known as the Thu'um.
The language is structurally similar to English, with three exceptions: it has no equivalent to English's apostrophes, it tends to place prepositional phrases earlier in sentences, and verb tense is often ignored.[OOG 1] To make a word plural, the last letter of the singular word is repeated and followed by an "e". For example, the plural form of "kel" (an Elder Scroll) is "kelle".
The singular possessive ("my", "your", "his", or "her") is formed by adding the letter "i" to the end of the word, except when the word ends in "ii", in which case an "l" is appended. The plural possessive ("our" or "their") is formed by adding the letter "u". To indicate a perfect verb form (as in "has silenced"), the letters "aan" are added to the end of the word.
Some phrases have a different meaning in the Dragon Language. The phrases below are examples of these phrases.
- Necromancy (literally: arise-dead)
Drem Yol Lok
- "Greetings" (literally: peace fire sky)
Krif voth ahkrin
- "Fight Bravely" (literally: fight with courage)
- "Sky above, Voice within" (literally: Sky, Voice)
Orin brit ro
- "(a) fully beautiful balance", dragon phrase for irony (literally: even beautiful balance)
- "gods (of) creation" / "creator gods" (literally: gods built/created)
Wuldsetiid los tahrodiis
- "the whirlwind/vortex of time is treacherous/turbulent"
Ziil gro dovah ulse!
- Your soul is bound to me for eternity!
- Stronger (literally: Most strong)
Dragon names are typically formed of three monosyllabic words that, as a whole, may be rendered as a Shout. Each dragon name is unique, and so dragons are able to use these Shouts to address each other across vast distances.
While dragon names are easily separated into their word components, translating them as a whole is another matter. The main complication arises from how the character Esbern, reads the name Odahviing (literally: Snow-Hunter-Wing), converting it into a coherent phrase; "Winged Snow-Hunter". No other examples exist to indicate how a dragon's name may be translated, but if other names were translated in the same way, it can be extrapolated that Boziikkodstrun would be "Bold Storm-Wielder" or that Sahloknir would be "Phantom Sky-Hunter".
Dragon names that can be translated include:
- Alduin: Destroyer-Devour-Master
- Boziikkodstrun: Boldly-Wield-Storm
- Dukaanfinsot: Dishonor-The-White
- Durnehviir: Curse-Never-Dying
- Krahjotdaan: Cold-Maw-Doom
- Krosulhah: Sorcerer-Day-Mind
- Kruziikrel: Ancient-Dominate
- Mirmulnir: Allegiance-Strong-Hunt
- Nahagliiv: Fury-Burn-Wither
- Odahviing: Snow-Hunter-Wing
- Paarthurnax: Ambition-Overlord-Cruelty
- Relonikiv: Dominate-Wise
- Sahloknir: Phantom-Sky-Hunt
- Sahrotaar: Mighty-Servant/Slave (Sahrot-Aar) or Phantom-Word-Servant/Slave (Sah-Rot-Aar)
- Viinturuth: Shine-Hammer-Rage
- Vuljotnaak: Dark-Maw-Eat
- Vulthuryol: Dark-Overlord-Fire
Dragon names that are as yet untranslated include:
- Naaslaarum, Nahfahlaar, Numinex, Skakmat, Voslaarum
- Dragon Language: Myth no More — Hela Thrice-Versed
- Events of Skyrim
- Paarthurnax's dialogue in Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide — David Hodgson
- Dragonborn game data
- Songs of Skyrim — Giraud Gemaine, Historian of the Bards College, Solitude
- Alduin's dialogue in Skyrim
- Odahviing's dialogue in Skyrim
- Draugr dialogue in Skyrim
- Dragon Shouts in Skyrim
- Holdings of Jarl Gjalund
- Borri's dialogue in Skyrim
- Nahkriin's dialogue from Skyrim
- Dragon Shouts in Dragonborn.
- Dragon dialogue from Skyrim
- Durnehviir's dialogue in Skyrim.
- Word Walls found in Dragonborn
- Einarth's dialogue in Skyrim.
Note: the following references are not found in-game. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.