Jel is the native language of the Argonians. Unlike other modern Tamrielic languages, which all devolve from Ehlnofex, Jel originates from the ancient and intelligent Hist trees of Black Marsh. The Argonian Mere-Glim claimed that Jel was the "closest speech to thought", and that other races could not pronounce it well enough to freely converse with it. Nevertheless, Annaïg Hoïnart, a Breton, was able to learn enough Jel words to create a sort of pidgin language to converse with Mere-Glim.
The unintelligibility of Jel to other races is satirically alluded to in The Madness of Pelagius: "It was said that when the Argonian ambassador from Blackrose came to court, Pelagius insisted on speaking in all grunts and squeaks, as that was the Argonian's natural language."
Jel and Time
- "Mere-Glim wondered what would happen if he died. It was generally believed that Argonians had been given their souls by the Hist, and when one died, one’s soul returned to them, to be incarnated once more. That seemed reasonable enough, under ordinary circumstances. In the deepest parts of his dreams or profound thinking were images, scents, tastes that the part of him that was sentient could not remember experiencing. The concept the Imperials called "time" did not even have a word in his native language. In fact, the hardest part of learning the language of the Imperials was that they made their verbs different to indicate when something happened, as if the most important thing in the world was to establish a linear sequence of events, as if doing so somehow explained things better than holistic apprehension." – The Infernal City
Unlike other languages, Jel is unique in the fact that it boasts no time-specific variations of verbs, as Argonians – or at least the more traditionalist individuals – view all of life from birth to death as a single moment. To them, time is an illusion established to create a linear version of events and is therefore considered a limited way of perceiving reality. In fact, the hardest challenge for Argonians learning other languages is getting used to the presence of past-tense and future-tense verbs.
- A name for a drug, literally "seeing everything in ecstasy"
- Translates into "Hides-His-Eyes", an Argonian name
- "Vaporous", as taken from its use in Hejtsetha Thtithik, Hejtsetha Thtitleel, and Hej Xajhuthi Kroni
- "Vaporous, floating", as taken from its use in Hejtsetha Thtithik and Hejtsetha Thtitleel
- Hejtsetha Thtithik
- Wispmother, literally "vaporous, floating egg hatcher"
- Hejtsetha Thtitleel
- Wisp, literally "vaporous floating sphere"
- Hej Xajhuthi Kroni
- Literally "vaporous, dangerous crones", translated less directly as "beware of witchlights"
- "Exact-Egg-Cracker", the name of a great stepped pyramid in Lilmoth
- "Ample", also translated as "Giant"
- Kaj-jeke Thota
- "Ample stinging insect", referring to a Giant Wasp
- "Ample serpent", referring to a Giant Snake
- A type of vulgar interjection, when used in context it seems to mean "crap" or "shit"
- Literally "stands apart"[oog 1]
- "Assimilated", used to signify an Argonian who has adapted to a non-Argonian culture
- "Big-mouthed reptile" (taken from its use in 'Rormasu' and 'Wamasu', respectively)
- "Clan Chair", "Patriarch", "Leader", basically a wise father concerned with the welfare of the whole family
- "Elder Teacher"[oog 1]
- Literally "big-mouthed reptile that blinks above the water", referring to a crocodile
- "People of the Root", referring to the Argonians
- "Hip and tail ball", a popular Argonian sport
- A type of Argonian rum made from distilled sugar cane
- Non-Argonian guards, literally "Drykillers"
- "Snake", as taken from its use in Kajthux
- Literally "Swimming Frog"
- "Floating", as taken from its use in Hejtsetha Thtithik and Hejtsetha Thtitleel
- Roughly translated as "big-mouthed reptile of blood lightning"
- A type of vulgar interjection, when used in context it seems to mean "dammit"
- Translates into "Mere-Glim", an Argonian name
- "Sacred Nest", where Argonian eggs are tended to.[oog 1]
- A term for the ancient stepped pyramids found in Black Marsh
- "Yes", a type of affirmative
- A type of vulgar interjection
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o The Infernal City — Gregory Keyes
- ^ Haj-Ei in Morrowind
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion
- ^ a b Crafting Motifs 9: The Argonians — Doctor Alfidia Lupus
- ^ Dialogue in ESO
- ^ a b The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Black Marsh — Flaccus Terentius, 2E 581
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.
- ^ a b c Keshu: From Egg to Adolescence