Lore:Old Orcish

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Old Orcish is the ancient language of the Orcs, and most likely the precursor to the language known as Orcish. It is unknown when the langage became distinct from the other Elven languages, but the first written record of the language dates back to the rule of King Torug gro-Igron, before the first siege of Orsinium in 1E 950; nor is there any evidence to how it evolved into modern Orcish, which in 3E 417 was well established as the language of the Orcs of High Rock and Hammerfell.[1] Seeing that there is evidence for the Old Orcish language having been largely forgotten in Wrothgar by 2E 582,[2] it is questionable if the modern language is directly descended from Old Orcish, also due to the scarcity of information about both the ancient and the modern language.

Language Family and Genetic RelationshipEdit

Old Orcish is part of the Ehlnofex Language Family, and most likely a descendant of Aldmeris. It shares this ancestry with the other elven languages: Ald Chimeris, Dunmeris, Dwemeris, Falmer, Altmeris, Bosmeris, and Ayleidoon.[verification needed — see talk page]

LiteratureEdit

Like many other ancient languages, Old Orcish lacks a linguistic corpus, its literature being preserved, in a vast enough quantity for linguistic analysis, in but one known sample of poetry: "Torug ag Krazak" (translated into Cyrodilic as "Torug at the Summit"), a series of inscriptions at the tomb of Torug gro-Igron, the founder of the first Orsinium. Apart from this, little remains of this language but scattered words and phrases.

Old Orcish Translation
Torug ag Krazak, Uhz

Goltragga Torug ne murimush lochan sim
Goltragga Torug ne rohi Ornim lochan norgim krazak

Torug at the Summit, One

Chief Torug will not allow the looters to find his remains.
Chief Torug will allow no lesser Orcs to find interment above him.

Torug ag Krazak, Uhg

Goltragga Torug dek vorkhim lorak eb norgimin sim
Torug dulg krazak eb Jur ugo sim ren tum beshkar

Torug at the Summit, Two

Chief Torug gathered up his armored bracer and his dying body.
He climbed to the summit and placed himself in a cairn of his own making.

Torug ag Krazak, Aht

Torug gesh Glushun Zugka* ugo magicka lorish
Uba eb uba urgalick voshu Ornim tarask Torug golzarga ubeshka

Torug at the Summit, Three

Then he laid Sorrow's Kiss* upon his enchanted armlet.
Forever waiting for a worthy Orc to claim his most cherished possession.

* There was debate by the translator as to whether the faded letters in the original inscription contained the word "zugka", meaning "kiss", or "zugra", meaning "curse".

Old Orcish Word ListEdit

The following word list is one that has been gathered from the limited number of sources available, although the translations marked with an asterisk (*) are largely speculative.

AEdit

Ag 
At[3]
Agra 
Shield[4][5]
Aht 
Three[3]

BEdit

Beshkar 
Forge,[6] Making*[3] (noun)

CEdit

Crun 
Blood[4][5][7], Heart[8]
Crunzarga 
Revenge[7] (lit. blood-price)

DEdit

Dek 
Gathered[3]
Dulg 
Climbed[3]

EEdit

Eb 
And[3]

GEdit

Gesh 
Laid[3] (past tense of to lay)
Glushun 
Sorrow[3] (specifically the mountain of Sorrow)
Goltragga 
Chieftain[3][7]
Golzarga 
Most cherished[3]

JEdit

Jur 
Placed[3] (past tense of to place)

KEdit

Khazun Ghash 
Seamount*[9]
Krazak 
Summit,[3] Above[3]

LEdit

Lochan 
Find[3]
Lorak 
Bracer[3]
Lorish 
Armlet[3]

MEdit

Magicka 
Magic,[3] Enchantment[3]
Murimush 
Looter[3]

NEdit

Ne 
Not Allow[3]
Nor 
Death[6]
Norgim 
Death,[10] Interment[3]
Norgimin 
Dying[3]

OEdit

Osh 
Iron[7]
Or 
Stone[6][7]
Ornim 
Orc[3][7]

REdit

Rakh 
Blade,[11] Sword[11]
Ren 
In[3]
Rohi 
Lesser[3]

SEdit

Sim 
Body,[3] Remains,[3]

TEdit

Tarask 
Claim[3]
Tum 
Cairn[3]
Tumn 
Death[6]

UEdit

Uba 
Ever*[3]
Ubeshka 
Possession[3]
Ugo 
His[3]
Uhg 
Two[3]
Uhz 
One[3]
Urgalick 
Awaiting[3]

VEdit

Vorkhim 
Armored[3]
Vosh 
Courage,[11]
Voshu 
Worthy,[3] Courageous*[3]

ZEdit

Zarga 
Price*[3]
Zugka 
Kiss[3]
Zugra 
Curse[12][13]

Old Orcish GrammarEdit

Articles

  • Neither definite nor indefinite articles are used.

Torug dulg krazak eb Jur ugo sim ren tum beshkar / Torug climbed the summit and placed himself in a cairn of his own making.


Plurals

  • Nouns in the plural do not seem to inflect.

voshu Ornim...rohi Ornim / worthy Orc...lesser Orcs


Pronouns

  • 3rd person personal pronouns are often omitted.

Goltragga Torug ne rohi Ornim lochan norgim krazak / Chief Torug will allow no lesser Orcs to find interment above [him].

Comparing Old Orcish to Other LanguagesEdit

  • Magicka - magic, enchantment - cf. Aldmeris, Ayleidoon & Tamrielic Magicka
  • Ne - not allow - cf. Aldmeris ne- (not)
  • Ornim - Orc - cf. Aldmeris Orsimer, & Dragon Language Ogiim

ReferencesEdit