The Unexpected Heir
Several different tongues are spoken in the world of The Unexpected Heir. The most notable are below.
High Romathian is the primary language spoken by the lands under the Church of Asthorn. All Holy Writings and Edicts are written in High Romathian, and the nobility and high culture speak in it nearly exclusively.
Low Romathian is a less refined variation of High Romathian, commonly spoken by peasants and the lower class throughout the lands controlled by the Church and even beyond. Low Romathian has diverged somewhat from High Romathian, although it is considered a dialect rather than its own language. Speakers of High and Low Romathian occasionally have some trouble deciphering what each other are saying.
The Yvethi trade tongue is an attempt by the Yvethi to standardize a language for trade. Due to their widespread influence, many traders have learned to speak it, although it is not nearly as ubiquitous as the Yvethi might hope. Yvethi trade tongue is notable for the ease with which one can learn it, as its pronunciation is very close to phonetic for many languages, including the Romathian, Proto-Vaestian, and Imperial tongues.
The Yvethi home tongue, or fleet tongue, is the original language spoken by the Yvethi upon their arrival in the known world. It is no longer commonly spoken outside of very traditional Yvethi. After initial conflicts with natives of Fjorfall, the Yvethi began to integrate themselves into surrounding societies in an attempt to avoid seeming like an outsider and to appear less threatening. Thus, in most Yvethi ports, the trade tongue is spoken instead. Those Yvethi who still speak the home tongue generally do so only privately among each other. There are few, if any, examples of non-ethnic Yvethi learning the home tongue.
Proto-Vaestian is a defunct language spoken by those in Vaestia in ages past. It is the root language for the Aestnian, Denrothi, and Maeren languages.
Aestnian is a language spoken somewhat commonly throughout the Six Kingdoms, especially by the lower class. In the southern parts of the continent, Low Romathian is more common, but Aestnian gains in popularity as one moves further north. It is quite common not only in Aestnia, but also in Lethbrand and Hendrysson. Most of the upper class of these kingdoms can speak Aestnian, but prefers High Romathian.
Denrothi is a language spoken in certain parts of the Six Kingdoms. It is far less widespread than Aestnian. Spoken nearly exclusively in Denroth and small parts of Temgrin, Denrothi originates from the same root language, Proto-Vaestian, as Aestnian, but the two are not mutually intelligible. Constant contact has led to the significant presence of loanwords shared between the two languages, however.
Maeren is another language which traces its roots to Proto-Vaestian. Spoken only in Maerwycke, it is an important part of that region's culture, and both upper and lower classes speak it primarily. Both High and Low Romathian have spread into Maerwycke significantly slower than in the rest of the Six Kingdoms.
Mawkhish is a nearly defunct language originating in Zunstaria. While the disparate peoples of that scattered continent spoke many languages prior to its conversion by the Church through its Prophet Zunstar, nearly all are now completely dead. Mawkhish is still spoken by some remote communities, although the larger settlements have adopted High and Low Romathian instead.
Corelmirish is still commonly spoken in Corelmire. Most children also learn High or Low Romathian as well now, but Corelmirish is the main language spoken on the island continent.
Imperial is the common name for the language of the Albernecht Empire. Originally called Gracian for the region it originated in, it eventually came to represent the Empire as a whole rather than the small kingdom where it got its start. Although the Empire sprawls across vast tracts of land on several continents and is composed of many people of varying ethnicities and religions, Imperial is the official language and is widely spoken. Only in some of the more remote or recently conquered colonies is it not common. There are many minor languages spoken in the Empire, but none are particularly noteworthy.
In Fjorfall, several languages exist, branching from the Proto-Fjori root language. Most are similar enough in syntax and sentence structure to make learning a second Fjori language relatively simple. In the Southern League, the council has attempted several times to establish a common language among its member states, although none of these attempts have been successful. The most commonly spoken Fjori language is Hrymirbjerg. The Yvethi trade tongue is also rather common among Southern League merchants, as well as the Romathian languages.
Yesham's many kingdoms of varying religions speak a vast number of languages, being the most heterogenous continent lexically. The most commonly spoken language, including the leaders of Qullos among its notable speakers, is Streft. The Yvethi trade tongue is common along the southern coasts, as well as Hrymirbjerg and some other Fjori languages in certain areas. Western Yesham sees High and Low Romathian as a frequently spoken language, while in the northeastern parts of the continent, Imperial is fairly common.