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What Did You Say? Languages of Neopia


by horserider12302

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Neopia, as you have undoubtedly noticed, is very culturally diverse, from the angelic beings in Faerieland to the dark denizens of the Haunted Woods. Traveling from land to land, it is not uncommon to find variations in cuisine, music, and, perhaps most importantly, language. Now, most of these differences are easy to overcome, but if you truly want to immerse yourself in all the area has to offer, you will have to learn the local dialect. Unfortunately, most languages can take years to learn fully, and a lot of Neopians do not have that kind of time, especially if they wish to go on a vacation sometime in this decade.

This handy pocket sized guide is intended to help you learn the basics of many indigenous languages by examining each world separately. It will go over topics such as language origins, how they are spoken, and who they are spoken by. After consulting it, you will have not only understanding of different tongues, you will be more culturally sophisticated! (Note: For further teachings, please refer to Linguistics Made Easy, Volumes 1-20).

Let’s begin...

Meridell

Neopia Central’s closet neighbor is rich with history, thereby possessing some of the oldest languages in Neopia. Aside from Old English, the most common tongue of Meridell, there is one other: Drakkonic.

Drakkonic History

Drakkonic is the traditional language of the Draiks, having been in use for thousands of years. It is a dialect that has virtually been unchanged from the time of its first utterance, that point being somewhere around four thousand years ago. It was the only language used by the Draiks until settlers invaded well over a hundred years ago, and began to decline as the Draiks adapted to the settlers' own languages. Today it is rarely used outside of old-style ceremonies and magical incantations, though in some parts of Meridell you will find clans who use it as their primary tongue.

Drakkonic Basics

Drakkonic, though one would not guess, is softly spoken and smooth, consisting mainly of Ss and Ks. The Drakkonic alphabet consists of 18 letters (the most used of which are A, D, K, L, M, R, S) and sounds, such as OU, AE , and TH. There are no letters B and P in the Drakkonic language, so any word with a B or P in it develops an M sound (so Brightvale would end up sounding like Mrightvale).

Words

Kulor - friend

Naerin - Hello/Greetings

Kulortuoai - Welcome friend

nolkudis - to eat

sekharlodis - to travel

Final Word

While Drakkonic is a fascinating language to learn, it is considered advanced, and is hard to grasp. Unless you are spending 24 hours a day with a traditional Draik clan, it is not recommended that you learn this language.

Haunted Woods

As far as we know, there is no language special to the Haunted Woods, as most of the creatures there speak in grunts, groans, screams, or simply attack you silently. On that note we move on to...

The Lost Desert

The Lost Desert holds many treasures, a few of which are artwork, architecture, mythology, and not one but two different yet similar languages—Old Sakhmetian and New Sakhmetian.

Old Sakhmetian History

Old Sakhmetian was the only language in the Lost Desert until the arrival of the first explorers, and remained the main form of communication until the kingdom went into the Great Dark Age, stopping all educational and technological progress for three hundred years. A short time after the Dark Age it was replaced by New Sakhmetian. Today the language is considered dead by many Neopians, but a small handful of residents are still rumored to speak it.

Old Sakhmetian Basics

Old Sakhmetian is considered the hardest language to learn by scholars, owing to the fact that the language is made up of letters, ideas (example: harvesting), and a combination of both, of which there are more than three thousand words in each category, each one with its own hieroglyph. This language is best left to the experts.

New Sakhmetian History

After the Great Dark Age, The Lost Desert fairly burst with advancement in all the areas of education and the arts. New Sakhmetian was created as a watered down version of the old language, to be used as a kind of shorthand for writing and speaking quickly. The language caught on, and surpassed Old Sakhmetian in popularity. It is the first official language of Sakhmet to this day.

New Sakhmetian Basics

This dialect has long since evolved from heiroglyphics to two easier versions: one character based and one written in letters for foreigners to read. You will often see signs in Sakhmet written both ways. The language has not strayed far from the Old version, having kept the separate letters and ideas. The alphabet has been scaled down a bit as well, so as to save Neopians from having to memorize all those words. New Sakhmetian relies heavily on the ‘kh’ sound, as well as Ss and Rs. Speech is very deliberate, with words formed in the space at the top of the mouth. Words with a dash separating two letters indicates that the speaker should pause slightly at the dash before moving on the next part of the word (Example: Ki-ek). Words are often spaced, a surviving aspect of Old Sakhmetian, when the spaces between words made it easier to write as hieroglyphics.

Some Words

Ha ni-ek - Hello

sened na - Goodbye

hanebti - bright land

sey i-en ka - beauty

Final Word

Sakhmet, being a prime tourist attraction, holds daily tours during which you will learn several useful phrases in Sakhmetian. Though these phrases might not help you to communicate with the Sakhmetians, once you arrive home you will be able to show off to your friends!

Tyrannia

Tyrannia, the most primitive of the Neopian countries, boasts the oldest and most famous of Neopian languages, Tyrannian, also known as the ‘Ugga Ugga’ language.

Tyrannian History

Tyrannian itself is history, being the first used language in the entire world. It was rumored to have died out as new languages were born, but the discovery of Tyrannia in Year 3 proved that the language had indeed survived. It is the only form of communication in Tyrannia, which can prove to be frustrating for some vacationers.

Tyrannian Basics

At first listen Tyrannian may seem to be a simple series of grunts, but on closer inspection you will find that Tyrannian, though basic, is actually quite organized. Words are spaced evenly, with dashes in between only if the speaker is talking fast (Ugga-ugga-ugg! To quote a shopkeeper). There is no word for ‘the, your, my, his, hers, etc.’ To connect an object with yourself or anyone else, use gestures such as pointing to yourself or someone else.

Some Words

graguda Tyrannia - Welcome to Tyrannia

ugg ugg - please

phew - smell

Uggh-ugga-ugg! - This is my food!

Final Word

Tyrannian is easy and fun, altogether a wonderful beginners’ language. Once you master this, all other languages will be easier to learn.

Terror Mountain

Terror Mountain does not have its own original dialect, since it was a desolate area for many years until Neopians settled there, bringing with them languages from their own lands. We will not go over Terror Mountain in this guide.

Maraqua

The world underwater is a whole different world from the one above the surface. The Maraquans have different architectural styles, culinary tastes, and physical appearances, so it’s only fitting that their language is unique as well.

Maraquan History

The Maraquan language was first recorded by the pirates passing through the area one hundred years ago. It was described as “sounding akin to claws on sandpaper when spoken above water, but as musical and lovely to the ears as morning birdsong when spoken under the water.” This statement is true, for the dialect can only be understood if spoken underwater. It is still widely spoken in Maraqua, but not anywhere else for obvious reasons.

Maraquan Basics

The Maraquan language is heavy on Fs, Us, and Ls, the three letters making up most of the words in an average Maraquan’s vocabulary. There are almost no harsh letters (Z, X, and D have been removed from the alphabet). Maraquan is extremely hard to translate into any language, because it is written in runes with almost no spaces in between the words. There is also no letter based version of Maraquan, furthering the language's difficulty.

Some Words

fueula - Good morning

fumao - Good evening

marano - water

quana - city

Maraqua - water city

Final Word

All in all, Maraquan is a wonderful way to communicate with the undersea Neopians. Be sure of your pronunciation, for many Maraquan words sound and appear the same. You may want to praise your guide, but you just might insult them instead!

Mystery Island

Just a short swim away from Maraqua is Mystery Island, an exotic land boasting bright beaches, gorgeous jungles, and fascinating old temples and ruins. The main language for islanders is known as Hewani, but is better known as Cocospeak.

Hewani History

Mystery Island has long been secluded from the rest of Neopia, not having been discovered until recently, when a group of adventurers stumbled upon (or rather, crashed into) the island by pure accident, finding new pets and a tribe of little walking coconuts titled the Cocos by their discoverers. These explorers made some attempt to learn the Hewani language, but abandoned the feat once more settlers started arriving. Today the islanders must learn many languages for their many jobs involving the tourists, but over half the population still speaks Hewani as a first language.

Hewani Basics

Hewani makes full use of its 16 letter alphabet. There is at least one vowel in each word, and apostrophes are used to place emphasis on the syllable after the apostrophe (example: nuhu’eni). Hewani is written in letters and runes, as shown on codestones, which were long in use by the Cocos as amulets before Ryushu and the Techo Master found another use for them. It is spoken very breathily, with the speaker’s tongue rarely being used.

Some Words

nuhu’eni - island

newango - jungle

he’nou- water

bo’nangela - volcano

O helu nio’ngo - Good day

Final Word

If you are planning a vacation to Mystery Island and want to learn this language, be reminded that everyone you will meet on your vacation will be able to speak your language (unless, of course, you stray away from the tour guides and go into the jungle, but this is not advisable), so learning Hewani is not necessary. However, it will impress the islanders that a foreigner knows their dialect, so the decision is up to you.

Krawk Island

Krawk Island was, to be blunt, a desolate rock before the Krawk petpets, pirates, and merchants set up port there. Because of this the island has no native language except for the Krawk petpet language. Attempts have been made to decipher the dialect, but for reasons unknown Krawks lose the ability to speak the language after they are turned from petpet into Neopet.

Faerieland

Ahh, Faerieland. This idyllic haven in the clouds is called home by faeries of every shape and size. At first, you might not think Faerieland has a native language since the faeries seem to speak whatever language is most useful for the current task, but in fact, the faeries have a language that has existed long before Faerieland did.

Faerie History

Long ago, the faeries were scattered across Neopia, each making a home for themselves in a different part of the world. There was no way to communicate except in written form, so the faeries, each of whom spoke their own regional language, developed a writing system that they could use to talk to one another. As time passed and faeries found strength in numbers, the written language evolved slowly into a spoken tongue, and it spread all across Neopia so that the faeries were united, if not by boundaries, but by dialect. The Faerie language today has not been changed since its creation, and is still going strong due to the creation of the city Faerieland.

Faerie Basics

Faerie is a beautiful, flowing, yet very forceful language. The Faeries alphabet is almost exactly like the English alphabet excluding the K, X, Z and Q, making any word with those letters form an S or a guttural (back of the throat) H sound (Example: King and Queen would become ‘Khing and Qhueen,’ Zap and Xylophone would become ‘Sap and Sylophone.’) Words are formed at the front of the mouth, often by placing the tongue against the teeth to form certain sounds. Faerie is written in both runic and letter-based form.

Some Words

elrhiorr - forest

seyla - Hello

baelin - to walk

cernuos - tower

jharulo - darkness

felein mora - excuse me

Final Word

Faerie is an amazing language to learn, but it is also very powerful. There are many ancient spells and scriptures written in Faerie, so you must be careful. If you come across an old book with Faerie writing in it, be sure not to read it out loud.

Our little guide has finally come to a close. We’ve highlighted the most spoken languages, but keep in mind that there are many more—some of which are spoken by minorities, some yet to be translated, and some that haven’t even been discovered yet! Now that we are done, I hope you’ve learned a thing or three, and that this guide will have helped you communicate with your fellow Neopian more easily. Good luck, traveler, and until next time, adios, au revoir, sayonara, sened na, and goodbye!

Author’s Comments: I would like to thank my overactive imagination for help on this article. Oh, yeah, and feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

 
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