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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




In novels, some eldar characters don't know the gothic language. Some of them do. Some of them speak it with way more technical correctness than the average human. But when and where do they actually pick it up? Especially craftworlders. Craftworlders, by definition, devote their focus to whatever path they're currently on. Doing some Duo Lingo courses in your free time kind of seems like more work and effort on a side project than the path system would allow. I like to headcanon that there's some sort of Path of the Diplomat that would include picking up a bunch of xenolinguistics and cultural knowledge, but I don't get the impression that every craftworlder that speaks gothic in a BL novel has walked a path where such a skill would come up often.

And then there are drukhari. I'd imagine most drukhari grunts (wyches, kabalites, wracks, etc.) are too busy fulfilling duties, plotting against their bosses, and getting their pain fix to be spending a lot of time learning a second language at the local library. Is gothic really an interesting enough diversion for some true born to hire a gothic tutor for language classes? Granted, I could see it being a useful enough skill for listening posts, ambushes, negotiations, and enjoying the content of human screams for someone in your kabal to speak it, but wouldn't it be a pretty rare skill?

I have an easier time seeing harlequins and corsairs picking it up as "talking human" is more likely to be directly relevant to their jobs.
   
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The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

I'm sure the Eldar have over the millennia made some texts regarding the languages of most species they have encountered so that any who wish to can learn those languages.

It could even be part of any path that would see you interacting with other species. If you're going to be fighting humans, you should probably understand their languages. Every Eldar will be at a different point in their current path, so certain individuals may or may not know a specific language, but it would probably be something they would look towards developing eventually.

Remember that Eldar live a long time, so they have far more free time to devote to something like learning a language. They might also learn it much quicker due to their psychic nature. When you live for thousands of years, devoting 6 months to speed learning a new language is trivial.

Harliquins and Corsairs would of course be more likely to learn human languages as they interact with humans much more often, and possibly more often in a friendly manner. Remember not all humans are part of the Imperium, and there is a substantial grey area where there are humans within the Imperium might interact with aliens.

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Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

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Exalted Beastlord




Also, something something the brutal simplicity of human speech pales in comparison to the intricate subtly of elf-talk. Being of incredible refinement only need a paltry amount of time to pick up such a coarse language.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






My guess is with great disdain...? Through gritted teeth?

Imagine having to lower yourself to use the tongue of the mon-keigh when you are so much more intelligent and superior... Ugh... gross.

In all honesty I think its probably very easy to them. Learning by ear etc.
They just really really dont like it.

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AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "


 Eonfuzz wrote:


I would much rather everyone have a half ass than no ass.


"A warrior does not seek fame and honour. They come to him as he humbly follows his path"  
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut






I recall in one story a dark E used a translation device to taunt a human captive.

"But the universe is a big place, and whatever happens, you will not be missed..." 
   
Made in tw
Been Around the Block





They have an abundance of time for being edgy pointy eared alien elves. Simple as that. Also, as people mentioned above, being highly adept in psychic stuff helps a lot as well.
   
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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






How does anyone learn any language?

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives? Why not join us?

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Longtime Dakkanaut




In the Eldar Path trilogy novels, it seems to show the Eldar as having near eidetic memories so picking up a language is probably far easier for them.
   
Made in gb
Utilizing Careful Highlighting




U.k

Some will have been on the path of the outcast as well and spent time off craftworld before returning.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Humans cover most of the Galaxy with their empire. Their language is spoken on more worlds than any other and its highly likely that alien races will have to interact with the Imperium.

As a result I'm sure that learning Gothic is likely something many Eldar do as part of general education and training. Sure its a lesser language, but at the same time if you're going to operate off-craftworld on alien worlds; most are going to be human. So its just good sense t obe able to speak the local lingo, read signs and interpret messages you intercept etc....


Having a more correct ability to speak it is quite common for a person learning a second language formally because they learn it in a formal strict sense; they don't have generations of adaptation and local variation to build upon. It can also happen with Eldar because they learned it hundreds of years ago so it sound older/more proper because its not had several hundred years of general adaptation

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Killer Klaivex







Apparently Eldar as a language has infinite more subtleties and variations in its words and inflections. Speaking Gothic comparatively is the equivalent for them of us going, 'You big scare alien fight other big scare alien. Bang sticks and much gore. Loot for everyone'. It's crude, lacks any kind of layering, and generally not something you'd do if you had a choice.

But rangers and harlequins and the like travel all over the galaxy, so they pick it up anyway. You might think French is silly because it genders everything, but when in France....

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/10 12:19:32



 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
How does anyone learn any language?

This is unfair: you have stolen my answer!

The answer is inside you; but it is wrong. 
   
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Khorne Chosen Marine Riding a Juggernaut




Southampton, UK

"How do Eldar Pick Up Gothic?"

Start with the black eyeliner...
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Orks can speak low gothic, so it shouldn’t be an issue for eldar ha
   
Made in tw
Been Around the Block





Off-topic, but I remember an instance during the War of the Beast where an Ork was speaking proper Gothic (he served as a “diplomat” kind of guy iirc), I think it would be more interesting to discuss how in the actual hell did he manage to do that...or are Orks always capable of speaking high Gothic, but simply refuse to do so because “humies are da weakestz”?
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Maybe it’s another one of their psychic manifestations, or a form of odd boy that we haven’t seen in the codex. Gobby Boyz
   
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[DCM]
Ambitious Archon





Port Carmine

I'm pretty sure even Drukhari would find the time to learn a few choice insults in Mon-keigh.

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 Cognitive wrote:
Off-topic, but I remember an instance during the War of the Beast where an Ork was speaking proper Gothic (he served as a “diplomat” kind of guy iirc), I think it would be more interesting to discuss how in the actual hell did he manage to do that...or are Orks always capable of speaking high Gothic, but simply refuse to do so because “humies are da weakestz”?


The general idea is that Ork culture has to expand to the point where you get Ambassada' Boiz for that. No different to any other specialisation.


 
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






 Ketara wrote:
Apparently Eldar as a language has infinite more subtleties and variations in its words and inflections. Speaking Gothic comparatively is the equivalent for them of us going, 'You big scare alien fight other big scare alien. Bang sticks and much gore. Loot for everyone'. It's crude, lacks any kind of layering, and generally not something you'd do if you had a choice.

But rangers and harlequins and the like travel all over the galaxy, so they pick it up anyway. You might think French is silly because it genders everything, but when in France....


Sounds accurate

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AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "


 Eonfuzz wrote:


I would much rather everyone have a half ass than no ass.


"A warrior does not seek fame and honour. They come to him as he humbly follows his path"  
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Excellent responses, everyone. Craftworlders seemed like they'd be the least likely to pick up gothic due to their lifestyle revolving around focusing on one skill set to the exclusion of others. But I guess picking up a few relevant phrases while on various paths might give you a patchwork knowledge that, for an eldar, serves as a decent basis for the language as a whole. Assuming you don't just learn it on the path of the child or book up on it while on the path of the outcast or something.

Iracundus wrote:
In the Eldar Path trilogy novels, it seems to show the Eldar as having near eidetic memories so picking up a language is probably far easier for them.

From what I recall, the eidetic memory thing was the main character of the first book using his time on the path of the dreamer to relive past experiences. It seems the path of the dreamer gives you a sort of pseudo-eidetic memroy/mind palace skill.
   
Made in fr
Stalwart Tribune





The ones least likely to speak any gothic at all would be the Exodites. But basically, gothic is the lingua franca in the galaxy so it makes some sense that all sorts of xenos speak it. Some Necrons probably learn gothic only so that humans can understand their evil monologuing...
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





There must be millions of other human languages used across the galaxy, I bet not all humans speak gothic. It’s more likely that as gothic is the official language of the imperium spoken across the whole administration then it makes sense that eldar would want to be able to speak it in order to converse with humans when they have to.

Even the necrons can communicate with humans and they have been asleep for millennia.
   
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The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

Not all humans will speak Gothic, most probably only speak a local language. but any humans who interact with the rest of the Imperium in some fashion will speak it as that is the common language of the Imperium. And most local languages are probably similar to it enough for communication to be possible.


Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Eldar are all psychic, so maybe it's pretty trivial for them to skim language out of the heads of beings they encounter and learn how to speak it.

So perhaps whether you speak Gothic as an Eldar is more of a personal choice - do I want to lower myself to thought-skim this animal so I can communicate with it?

As for Orks, it's always been part of the background that Orks aren't stupid, just very direct and with a very particular view on life. So I don't find it weird to consider that Orks might learn Gothic, especially if you are taking the interpretation that Orks sometimes trade and fight with humans as mercenaries.

   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




 Da Boss wrote:
Eldar are all psychic, so maybe it's pretty trivial for them to skim language out of the heads of beings they encounter and learn how to speak it.

So perhaps whether you speak Gothic as an Eldar is more of a personal choice - do I want to lower myself to thought-skim this animal so I can communicate with it?


This doesn't seem to be the case. At least not for eldar who aren't on the path of the psyker. We see an example of this in Overfiend(?) where a ranger is selected to act as a translator between the eldar and some marines because no one else among the eldar seems to speak gothic. The eldar involved seem very keen on communicating with the marines, so this doesn't seem to be a matter of, "Yuck. I don't want to mind meld with that." Pretty sure they had a farseer present too, so learning language through thought skimming might not even be possible for psykers or at least not a widely-practiced skill among psykers.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Grey Templar wrote:
Not all humans will speak Gothic, most probably only speak a local language. but any humans who interact with the rest of the Imperium in some fashion will speak it as that is the common language of the Imperium. And most local languages are probably similar to it enough for communication to be possible.


Makes sense. We see a version of this whenever a BL story has hive gangers struggle to understand what nobles or non-hivers are saying. That said, I think it's more a case of strongly-localized dialects rather than full on different language. Consider how guard regiments seem to be able to understand each other without too much difficulty despite coming from tons of different worlds. Consider any time an average human speaks with a space marine. There's the time Shadowsun teamed up with a random human (I think she used a translator, but that implies the translator could make sense of the human's words based on existing language samples). Calpurnia seems to be able to speak with Hydraphurian locals without having mentioned any extra linguistic training (she does mention studying up on several topics to adjust to her new environment, but language isn't one of them).

A wide variety of local languages probably exist throughout the galaxy, but it does seem that pretty much all humans speak some version of gothic. Humans seem more likely to know non-gothic languages in addition to gothic rather than instead of.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/12 20:02:13


 
   
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Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Hmm. I think I've got to stop participating in this forum because I just don't read enough Black Library books to keep up with what all the various authors are saying and make sense of the background for the game any more.

   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




 Da Boss wrote:
Hmm. I think I've got to stop participating in this forum because I just don't read enough Black Library books to keep up with what all the various authors are saying and make sense of the background for the game any more.

Hey, we're happy to have you. Don't let a lack of knowledge keep you form participating. If anything, nerds like me are glad for an excuse to break out some obscure 40k trivia.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Wyldhunt wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Eldar are all psychic, so maybe it's pretty trivial for them to skim language out of the heads of beings they encounter and learn how to speak it.

So perhaps whether you speak Gothic as an Eldar is more of a personal choice - do I want to lower myself to thought-skim this animal so I can communicate with it?


This doesn't seem to be the case. At least not for eldar who aren't on the path of the psyker. We see an example of this in Overfiend(?) where a ranger is selected to act as a translator between the eldar and some marines because no one else among the eldar seems to speak gothic. The eldar involved seem very keen on communicating with the marines, so this doesn't seem to be a matter of, "Yuck. I don't want to mind meld with that." Pretty sure they had a farseer present too, so learning language through thought skimming might not even be possible for psykers or at least not a widely-practiced skill among psykers.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Grey Templar wrote:
Not all humans will speak Gothic, most probably only speak a local language. but any humans who interact with the rest of the Imperium in some fashion will speak it as that is the common language of the Imperium. And most local languages are probably similar to it enough for communication to be possible.


Makes sense. We see a version of this whenever a BL story has hive gangers struggle to understand what nobles or non-hivers are saying. That said, I think it's more a case of strongly-localized dialects rather than full on different language. Consider how guard regiments seem to be able to understand each other without too much difficulty despite coming from tons of different worlds. Consider any time an average human speaks with a space marine. There's the time Shadowsun teamed up with a random human (I think she used a translator, but that implies the translator could make sense of the human's words based on existing language samples). Calpurnia seems to be able to speak with Hydraphurian locals without having mentioned any extra linguistic training (she does mention studying up on several topics to adjust to her new environment, but language isn't one of them).

A wide variety of local languages probably exist throughout the galaxy, but it does seem that pretty much all humans speak some version of gothic. Humans seem more likely to know non-gothic languages in addition to gothic rather than instead of.


There are thousands of languages just on earth. The galaxy must have a mind blowing amount of languages, especially as most of humanity was cut off from earth for thousands of years during the age of strife
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




mrFickle wrote:

There are thousands of languages just on earth. The galaxy must have a mind blowing amount of languages, especially as most of humanity was cut off from earth for thousands of years during the age of strife


Modern Earth has thousands of languages, but modern Earth isn't ruled by the imperium. The imperium has a vested interest in making as much of humanity as possible have a language in common so that they can keep "translators" off of the daunting list of logistic concerns their enormous bureaucracy has to deal with. We see some of what the assimilation process looks like for conquered worlds in the HH novels. Making gothic the official language of any worlds they control within a few generations of conquest seems very inkeeping with the sort of thing we see them doing. If you can't get a business license or a bus pass or admittance into a government-sanctioned graveyard without speaking gothic, you probably speak gothic.

Basically, if you're on an imperial world, gothic is the language you have to know. Anything else is a language that you might know. I don't doubt that humanity has a million different languages before the great crusade, but 40k is set 10,000 years after an evil organization took over most human worlds and started intentionally making them efficiently compatible with the rest of their empire. The non-gothic languages that still exist seem like they're probably...
* Variations on gothic. See: various hivespeak languages.
* Languages from planets that have had less direct oversight from the imperial bereaucracy (see: Fenris, Nocturne, probably a bunch of planets on the edge of the imperium).
* Languages that are useful, possibly specifically for purposes of having conversations in front of people that only speak gothic. So languages for factions that want to discuss doing illegal things in public. Maybe languages for sacrisans that's basically just full of knight maintenance jargon. Merchant speak. Etc.
   
Made in fr
Stalwart Tribune





Sisters from the Orders Dialogous and Famulous are there to help with communication between worlds. There are probably a lot of translators outside of the Sororitas, too.

On worlds where off-worlders come and go all the time (like some big trade center or pilgrimage site), gothic would probably be the base language for everyone. On more isolated worlds, people would probably speak some local language(s), but those who have to interact with the Imperium would still know gothic.
   
 
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