Draconic is a language which has been spoken by dragons since prehistoric times. It is one of the most ancient of mortal languages, and is widely used as the lingua franca of wizards.

A less elegant form of the language is spoken by the reptilian kobolds.

Spoken form[edit | edit source]

Draconic has a great number of known dialects, variants, and accents. Each subspecies of true dragon has its own way of speaking the draconic language, for example, and one sufficiently learned in the language can discern a red dragon from a green dragon by sound alone.

Draconic has a harsh sound, with several hard consonants, sibilants (with distinct hissing sounds rendered as sj, ss, and sv), and a throated sound, (ach). These sounds are natural to dragons, but can grate on human ears. Draconic speech normally stresses the first syllable of a word, but can add emphasis by stressing both first and last syllable.

The draconic language changes very little over the centuries, which has been attributed to its origin in the divine supernal speech.[1]

Written form[edit | edit source]

Draconic is often written in the Iokharic script.[2]

The Iokharic script.

An five-pointed asterisk-like symbol is used to denote emphasis, which is said to represent the five heads of Tiamat. Dragons may use this to make a point, a command, a threat, or when referring to themselves.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Draconic is an ancient language, and the exact details of its creation are difficult. The legend of its creation varies considerably between worlds.

Dark Sun[edit | edit source]

In Athas, draconic was artificially created to serve as a common language of arcane magic. It was widely adopted by wizards, and from there became the language of the dragonborn, who were created in that world by Dregoth, the sorcerer-king of Giustenal.[3]

Nentir Vale[edit | edit source]

In the Nentir Vale, it is said that draconic, like many languages, was derived from from supernal, the original language of the gods. The Iokharic script was created by the draconic creator deity Io so that the dragons could record information for future generations.[1]

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Around 195 words in the draconic language are widely known.[4][5][6]

English to draconic[edit | edit source]

English Draconic Type Notes
above svern prep
adventurer toovir
after ghent prep
air thrae n
and vur conj
animal baeshra n
armor litrix n
arrow svent n
arrow vaess
ash vignar n
axe garurt n
bag waeth n
battle vargach n
beautiful vorel adj
before ghoros prep
behind zara prep
below vhir prep
beside unsinti prep
big turalisj adj
black vutha adj
bleed rhyisj
bleed valeij v
blood iejir n
blue ulhar adj
book turasjir
born as tibur
bow vaex n
bravery sveargith n
breath weapon frahraek
breathe frahr
breed maurg v
bribe durah v
bronze aujir n
burn valignat v
but shar conj
cave waere n
celestial athear n
century ierikc n
child vrak
claw gix n
cleric sunathaer n
copper rach n
cow rhyvos n
coward faessi adj
crippled thurgix adj
dance vaeri n, v
danger korth n
darkvision sverak n
day kear n
dead loex adj
deity urathear n
demon kothar n
die loreat v
disembowel gixustrat v
draconic creature darss
dragon darastrix n
dragonblood darastrixethe
dragonborn ux Bahamuti
dwarf tundar n
earth edar n
elf vaecaesin n
enchanted levex adj
enemy irlym adj, n
evil malsvir adj
expand turalisjth
eye sauriv n
far karif adj, adv
fashionable thul
fate haurach n
female aesthyr
few lauth n
fire ixen n
flee osvith v
fly austrat v
food achthend n
for ihk prep
forest caesin n
fortress hurthi n
friend thurirl adj, n
gem kethend n
give majak v
gnome terunt n
go gethrisj v
gold aurix n
good bensvelk adj
green achuak adj
half-dragon darasv
halfling rauhiss n
hammer jhank n
hate dartak n, v
heal irisv v
holy ioth
home okarthel n
human munthrek n
if sjek conj
in persvek prep
invigorate strix
iron usk adj
kill svent v
knowledge irthir
kobold petisse
leader maekrix n
learn vor
magic arcaniss n
male sthyr
man sthyr n
many throden n
meat rhyaex n
mountain verthicha n
name ominak n
near leirith adj, adv
night thurkear n
no thric adv
nor thur conj
normal munth
ogre ghontix n
on shafaer prep
one ir n
or usv conj
orc ghik n
pain loerchik
peace martivir n
pillage thadarsh v
platinum ux n
powerful versel
prolong ssearth
prophecy lorsvek
protect troth
quest geth
rain oposs n
red charir adj
replenish veschik
rest ssifisv v
ruler ssissth
savior of bejik
scroll sjir n
secret irthos adj, n
see ocuir v
serve faestir
shadow sjach n
shrink kosjth
silent ssej
silver orn n
skin (hide) molik n
slaughter kurik v
slayer of fintir
small kosj adj
smart othokent adj
so zyak adv, conj
soar hysvear v
song miirik n
sorcerer vorastrix n
spawn of Tiamat tiathar
speak renthisj v
speaker lexi
spear ner n
spellscale arcath
star isk n
steel vyth adj
stone ternesj n
stop pok v
storm kepesk n
strong versvesh adj
stupid pothoc adj
sword caex n
take clax v
talk ukris v
thief virlym n
through erekess prep
to ekess prep
tomorrow earenk n
tooth oth n
travel ossalur v
treasure rasvim n
ugly nurh adj
undead kaegro n, adj
under onureth prep
unfashionable nurthul
valley arux n
victory vivex n
want tuor v
war aryte n
warrior arytiss
water hesjing n
we yth pron
wealth noach n
weapon laraek n
white aussir adj
with mrith prep
wizard levethix n
woman aesthyr n
wood grovisv n
word lex
year eorikc n
yellow yrev adj
yes axun adv
yet sjerit adv
you wux pron

Draconic to english[edit | edit source]

Draconic English Type Notes
achthend food n
achuak green adj
aesthyr female
aesthyr woman n
ar- my prep
arcaniss magic n
arcath spellscale
ari- my prep
arux valley n
aryte war n
arytiss warrior
athear celestial n
aujir bronze n
aurix gold n
aussir white adj
austrat fly v
axun yes adv
baeshra animal n
bejik savior of
bensvelk good adj
caesin forest n
caex sword n
charir red adj
clax take v
darastrix dragon n
darastrixethe dragonblood
darasv half-dragon
darss draconic creature
dartak hate n, v
durah bribe v
earenk tomorrow n
edar earth n
ekess to prep
eorikc year n
er- my (friend) prep
erekess through prep
ethe- my (friend) prep
faessi coward adj
faestir serve
fintir slayer of
frahr breathe
frahraek breath weapon
garurt axe n
geth quest
gethrisj go v
ghent after prep
ghik orc n
ghontix ogre n
ghoros before prep
gix claw n
gixustrat disembowel v
grovisv wood n
haurach fate n
hesjing water n
hurthi fortress n
hysvear soar v
iejir blood n
ierikc century n
ihk for prep
ioth holy
ir one n
irisv heal v
irlym enemy adj, n
irthir knowledge
irthos secret adj, n
isk star n
ixen fire n
jhank hammer n
kaegro undead n, adj
karif far adj, adv
kear day n
kepesk storm n
kethend gem n
korth danger n
kosj small adj
kosjth shrink
kothar demon n
kurik slaughter v
laraek weapon n
lauth few n
leirith near adj, adv
levethix wizard n
levex enchanted adj
lex word
lexi speaker
litrix armor n
loerchik pain
loex dead adj
loreat die v
lorsvek prophecy
maekrix leader n
majak give v
malsvir evil adj
martivir peace n
maurg breed v
miirik song n
molik skin (hide) n
mrith with prep
munth normal
munthrek human n
ner spear n
noach wealth n
nurh ugly adj
nurthul unfashionable
ocuir see v
okarthel home n
ominak name n
onureth under prep
oposs rain n
orn silver n
ossalur travel v
osvith flee v
oth tooth n
othokent smart adj
persvek in prep
petisse kobold
pok stop v
pothoc stupid adj
rach copper n
rasvim treasure n
rauhiss halfling n
renthisj speak v
rhyaex meat n
rhyisj bleed
rhyvos cow n
sauriv eye n
shafaer on prep
shar but conj
sjach shadow n
sjek if conj
sjerit yet adv
sjir scroll n
ssearth prolong
ssej silent
ssifisv rest v
ssissth ruler
sthyr male
sthyr man n
strix invigorate
sunathaer cleric n
sveargith bravery n
svent arrow n
svent kill v
sverak darkvision n
svern above prep
ternesj stone n
terunt gnome n
thadarsh pillage v
thrae air n
thric no adv
throden many n
thul fashionable
thur nor conj
thurgix crippled adj
thurirl friend adj, n
thurkear night n
tiathar spawn of Tiamat
tibur born as
toovir adventurer
troth protect
tundar dwarf n
tuor want v
turalisj big adj
turalisjth expand
turasjir book
ukris talk v
ulhar blue adj
unsinti beside prep
urathear deity n
usk iron adj
usv or conj
ux platinum n
ux Bahamuti dragonborn
vaecaesin elf n
vaeri dance n, v
vaess arrow
vaex bow n
valeij bleed v
valignat burn v
vargach battle n
versel powerful
versvesh strong adj
verthicha mountain n
veschik replenish
veth- my (object) prep
vethi- my (object) prep
vhir below prep
vignar ash n
virlym thief n
vivex victory n
vor learn
vorastrix sorcerer n
vorel beautiful adj
vrak child
vur and conj
vutha black adj
vyth steel adj
waere cave n
waeth bag n
wux you pron
yrev yellow adj
yth we pron
zara behind prep
zyak so adv, conj

Notes[edit | edit source]

The prefix "ar" or "ari" is a possessive prefix used for all cases except for friends or relatives (er/ethe), or physical possessions (veth/vethi).

If someone other than the speaker possesses something, that individual's name is combined with the object and prefixed with "ar" or "ari"; e.g. aridarastrixiejir, "dragon's blood".

Publication history[edit | edit source]

Earlier editions[edit | edit source]

In the Council of Wyrms (1994), each type of dragon has their own language, though they share an ancient language known as High Draconic which serves to communicate between groups. FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990) describes various individuals speaking languages such as "green dragon" or "silver dragon".

D&D 3rd edition[edit | edit source]

Throughout D&D 3rd edition and onward, all true dragons and many dragonlike creatures and others speak a single language, draconic.

The draconic language vocabulary and structure was detailed in the article Dragontongue: A Draconic Language Primer, Dragon #284 (Jun 2001), p.38-39, by Owen K.C. Stephens. It included word types (noun, verb, adjective, etc), with unique categories for nouns such as creatures, weapons, elements, places, and wealth.

This list was reprinted in Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.157, omitting special noun categories.

An extended version with approximately 25% more words was printed in Races of the Dragon (2006), p.146-148. This removed the word categories entirely, so that words above without categories were drawn from that book. However, it printed useful lists both English-first and draconic-first.

Races of the Dragon also made two changes to the vocabulary. "Arrow" was changed from svent to vaess, as svent was duplicated on the list, meaning "kill"; vaess now matches the word for "bow", vaex. "Bleed" was changed from valeij to rhyisj, which better matches rhyaex, "meat", and rhyvos, "cow".

D&D 4th edition[edit | edit source]

Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons (2008), p.24-25, describes the draconic langauge and reprints the word list from the D&D 3rd edition Draconomicon. However, it does not incorporate the two word changes in Races of the Dragon, and does not include the fifty or so new words from that book. It does, however, include a font for the Iokharic script.

Some additional dragonborn sayings are described in Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn (2010), p.22. These have not been included in this article's wordlist, as they are sentences rather than individual words, and it is not directly clear if these can be translated literally, or which draconic words refer to which.

D&D 5th edition[edit | edit source]

The Iokharic alphabet appears in the Player's Handbook{{UnknownBook}} as an example of what draconic script might look like.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons (2008), p.24-26.
  2. Player's Handbook (4e) (2008), p.25.
  3. Dark Sun Campaign Setting (4e) (2010), p.14-15.
  4. Dragontongue: A Draconic Language Primer, Dragon #284 (Jun 2001), p.38-39.
  5. Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.157.
  6. Races of the Dragon (2006), p.146-148.
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