Language & Area Lore
You begin with a score of 5 in your Native Language, and 2 in your Native Area Lore. With any Living Language, you may specialize in a Dialect or a form of use. If your score is 4 or higher, you may choose one of each (or two dialects). For a Dead Language, you choose only a single specialization for Use, which substitutes for Dialect.
For Area Lore, you may specialize in a specific part of that area or a type of lore. If your score is 3 or higher, you may choose one of each (or two locations). Your Native Area can be no larger than a kingdom or Tribunal (whichever is greater). Otherwise, the widest Area Lore available is Mythic Europe. However, the wider an area, the less specific the details available.
This is based on the original work of Lachlan "Jarkman" Hayes, who arranged it according to current ArM5 language rules. I adapted and simplified it. Later, I made Xavi the Language Shark to correct our use of Spanish and Catalan, and incorporated many (but not all) of his suggestions into the latest revision.
The following is a list of local languages that characters may know or need to be familiar with.
- Occitan (Catalan, Provencal, Lanuedoc, Navarrese)
- Spanish (Leonese, Castilian, Aragonese)
- Galaician (Portuguese, Galician)
- French (Orleanais, Bourguignon, Poitevin, Norman)
- Latinus (various regional Mozarab dialects)
- Ladino (various regional Jewish dialects)
- Latin (Classical, Hermetic, Ecclesiastic)
Romance Languages, having derived from Latin, are somewhat mutually intelligible. Apply the following modifiers to communication, based on how closely or distantly related the two languages are…
- Same Language, Same Dialect: +1 to both speakers
- Same Language, Different Dialect: -1 to both speakers
- Closely Related: -2 to both speakers (Occitan vs French, Occitan vs Spanish, Spanish vs Portuguese)
- Somewhat Related: -3 to both speakers (Portuguese vs Occitan, Spanish or Portuguese or Occitan vs Mozarab or Ladino
- Distantly Related: -4 to both speakers (any pair unmentioned, including Latin)
- Basque (regional dialects)
- Arabic (Andalusian, Classical, Derija)
- Berber (various dialects)
- Greek (Classical, Romaic)
- Hebrew (?)
- Coptic (Coptic, Demotic, Archaic Egyptian)
Berber isn't related to any of the languages here, but may be Distantly Related to Coptic. Basque isn't related to any language at all. Arabic may be considered Distantly Related to Mozarab and Ladino. Ladino is Distantly Related to Hebrew.
Language Notes (bonus applied after modifier)
Occitan dialects are spoken throughout the region. Catalan is the native tongue of Andorra and Barcelona to this very day, as well as Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Languadocian is the tongue of southern France, and is the most like that language (+1).
Spanish is an anachronism, but is a convenient way to group together the dialects derived from Asturias. Castilian is the dominant dialect. Aragonese is somewhat different and a bit more similar to Catalan (+1).
Portuguese is descended from Galician, though Galicia is part of Leon (+1).
French is a simplification of the dialects of Northern France.
Mozarab (Latinus) is the language of a conquered people, spoken in Islamic regions of Spain. It is basically Latin (+1) mixed with Arabic.
Ladino is the Iberian equivalent of Yiddish. It is a dialect of Castilian (+1), incorporating elements of Arabic & Hebrew.
Hebrew is a Dead Language used by Jewish scholars.
Euskara, or Basque, is a mysterious language unrelated to any other. Basque is the French term, Vascones is Spanish. Not all Basques are Native Basque speakers, and many have anotherregioal language as their native tongue (such as French or Occitan).
Andalusian is the most common form of Arabic in the region, derived from the dialect of the Umayads. Deraj is the dialect spoken in North Africa (Morocco/Marrakesh). Classical Arabic remains the language of scholars and the Koran.
There are lots of Berber dialects
Learning New Languages
It is easier to learn languages related to your native tongue. This only applies to Living Languages as compared to your Native Language. The Romance Languages fall into this category for many.
In reference to the modifiers to communication for speakers of related languages, think of this as an adjusted temporary score. When learning that actual language, you need xp enough to increase that score by one point. After that, you are on your own. For example, if my Native Language is Spanish 5, my equivalent Occitan score is 2. For 15xp, I can increase my virtual score of 2 into an actual score of 3.