What Did You Say? Languages of Neopia
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).
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 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, 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).
Kulor - friend
Naerin - Hello/Greetings
Kulortuoai - Welcome friend
nolkudis - to eat
sekharlodis - to travel
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.
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.
Ha ni-ek - Hello
sened na - Goodbye
hanebti - bright land
sey i-en ka - beauty
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, 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 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
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.
graguda Tyrannia - Welcome to Tyrannia
ugg ugg - please
phew - smell
Uggh-ugga-ugg! - This is my food!
Tyrannian is easy and fun, altogether a wonderful beginners’ language. Once
you master this, all other languages will be easier to learn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
fueula - Good morning
fumao - Good evening
marano - water
quana - city
Maraqua - water city
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!
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.
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 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.
nuhu’eni - island
newango - jungle
bo’nangela - volcano
O helu nio’ngo - Good day
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 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.
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.
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 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.
elrhiorr - forest
seyla - Hello
baelin - to walk
cernuos - tower
jharulo - darkness
felein mora - excuse me
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.