Lore:Old Orcish

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Old Orcish is the ancient language of the Orcs, and most likely the precursor to the language known as Orcish. It is unknown when the langage became distinct from the other Elven languages, but the first written record of the language dates back to the rule of King Torug gro-Igron, before the first siege of Orsinium in 1E 950; nor is there any evidence to how it evolved into modern Orcish, which in 3E 417 was well established as the language of the Orcs of High Rock and Hammerfell.[1] Seeing that there is evidence for the Old Orcish language having been largely forgotten in Wrothgar by 2E 582,[2] it is questionable if the modern language is directly descended from Old Orcish, also due to the scarcity of information about both the ancient and the modern language.

Language Family and Genetic Relationship[edit]

Old Orcish is part of the Ehlnofex Language Family, and most likely a descendant of Aldmeris. It shares this ancestry with the other elven languages: Ald Chimeris, Dunmeris, Dwemeris, Falmer, Altmeris, Bosmeris, and Ayleidoon.

Literature[edit]

Like many other ancient languages, Old Orcish lacks a linguistic corpus, its literature being preserved, in a vast enough quantity for linguistic analysis, in but one known sample of poetry: "Torug ag Krazak" (translated into Cyrodilic as "Torug at the Summit"), a series of inscriptions at the tomb of Torug gro-Igron, the founder of the first Orsinium. Apart from this, little remains of this language but scattered words and phrases.

Old Orcish Translation
Torug ag Krazak, Uhz

Goltragga Torug ne murimush lochan sim
Goltragga Torug ne rohi Ornim lochan norgim krazak

Torug at the Summit, One

Chief Torug will not allow the looters to find his remains.
Chief Torug will allow no lesser Orcs to find interment above him.

Torug ag Krazak, Uhg

Goltragga Torug dek vorkhim lorak eb norgimin sim
Torug dulg krazak eb Jur ugo sim ren tum beshkar

Torug at the Summit, Two

Chief Torug gathered up his armored bracer and his dying body.
He climbed to the summit and placed himself in a cairn of his own making.

Torug ag Krazak, Aht

Torug gesh Glushun Zugka* ugo magicka lorish
Uba eb uba urgalick voshu Ornim tarask Torug golzarga ubeshka

Torug at the Summit, Three

Then he laid Sorrow's Kiss* upon his enchanted armlet.
Forever waiting for a worthy Orc to claim his most cherished possession.

* There was debate by the translator as to whether the faded letters in the original inscription contained the word "zugka", meaning "kiss", or "zugra", meaning "curse".

Old Orcish Word List[edit]

The following word list is one that has been gathered from the limited number of sources available, although the translations marked with an asterisk (*) are largely speculative.

A[edit]

Ag 
At[3]
Agra 
Shield[4][5]
Aht 
Three[3]

B[edit]

Beshkar 
Forge,[6] Making*[3] (noun)

C[edit]

Crun 
Blood[4][5][7], Heart[8]
Crunzarga 
Revenge[7] (lit. blood-price)

D[edit]

Dek 
Gathered[3]
Dulg 
Climbed[3]

E[edit]

Eb 
And[3]

G[edit]

Gesh 
Laid[3] (past tense of to lay)
Glushun 
Sorrow[3] (specifically the mountain of Sorrow)
Goltragga 
Chieftain[3][7]
Golzarga 
Most cherished[3]

J[edit]

Jur 
Placed[3] (past tense of to place)

K[edit]

Khazun Ghash 
Seamount*[9]
Krazak 
Summit,[3] Above[3]

L[edit]

Lochan 
Find[3]
Lorak 
Bracer[3]
Lorish 
Armlet[3]

M[edit]

Magicka 
Magic,[3] Enchantment[3]
Murimush 
Looter[3]

N[edit]

Ne 
Not Allow[3]
Nor 
Death[6]
Norgim 
Death,[10] Interment[3]
Norgimin 
Dying[3]

O[edit]

Osh 
Iron[7]
Or 
Stone[6][7]
Ornim 
Orc[3][7]

R[edit]

Rakh 
Blade,[11] Sword[11]
Ren 
In[3]
Rohi 
Lesser[3]

S[edit]

Sim 
Body,[3] Remains,[3]

T[edit]

Tarask 
Claim[3]
Tum 
Cairn[3]
Tumn 
Death[6]

U[edit]

Uba 
Ever*[3]
Ubeshka 
Possession[3]
Ugo 
His[3]
Uhg 
Two[3]
Uhz 
One[3]
Urgalick 
Awaiting[3]

V[edit]

Vorkhim 
Armored[3]
Vosh 
Courage,[11]
Voshu 
Worthy,[3] Courageous*[3]

Z[edit]

Zarga 
Price*[3]
Zugka 
Kiss[3]
Zugra 
Curse[12][13]

Old Orcish Grammar[edit]

Articles

  • Neither definite nor indefinite articles are used.
Torug dulg krazak eb Jur ugo sim ren tum beshkar / Torug climbed the summit and placed himself in a cairn of his own making.


Plurals

  • Nouns in the plural do not seem to inflect.
voshu Ornim...rohi Ornim / worthy Orc...lesser Orcs


Pronouns

  • 3rd person personal pronouns are often omitted.
Goltragga Torug ne rohi Ornim lochan norgim krazak / Chief Torug will allow no lesser Orcs to find interment above [him].

Comparing Old Orcish to Other Languages[edit]

  • Magicka - magic, enchantment - cf. Aldmeris, Ayleidoon & Tamrielic Magicka
  • Ne - not allow - cf. Aldmeris ne- (not)
  • Ornim - Orc - cf. Aldmeris Orsimer, & Dragon Language Ogiim

References[edit]

  1. ^ Events of Daggerfall
  2. ^ Kharsthun's dialogue in ESO
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an Torug at the Summit, Complete Translation
  4. ^ a b Agra Crun
  5. ^ a b Azrath's dialogue in ESO
  6. ^ a b c d Strange Rituals of the OrsimerChaplain Jorden, Priest of Arkay
  7. ^ a b c d e f Lashburr Tooth-Breaker's dialogue in ESO
  8. ^ Ashaka's dialogue in ESO
  9. ^ Seamount Orcs' dialogue in ESO
  10. ^ Yatzog's dialogue in ESO
  11. ^ a b c Vosh Rakh
  12. ^ Lady Clarisse Laurent's dialogue in ESO
  13. ^ Stibbons' dialogue in ESO