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The Dwarfs are extremely proud of their native tongue, and they rarely speak in the company of other races, almost never teaching it to other creatures. To humans it is known as the ‘secret tongue of the Dwarfs’, sometimes overheard but never understood. The Dwarf language includes very few words of obvious Elven or Human origin. By contrast there are many loan words from Khazalid in the tongues of Men, which suggests that Dwarfs must have taught some fundamental words to their taller allies. This is most obviously the case of words pertaining to traditional Dwarven craftskills of smithing and masonry, skills which Dwarfs taught Men many centuries ago.
The grammatical structure of Khazalid can be very difficult for outsiders to glean. Khazalid usually places the subject before the verb in a sentence, however the way a word if pronounced or stressed can often determine where it should be thought of in relation to its place in a sentence. Some words are deemed so important that they are placed at the beginning of a sentence, and then again later on, regardless of formal structure. Khazalid has few individual words relating to abstract concepts, and most abstract concepts are described in relation to something physical, often using the same word as what they relate to. Most Dwarf words are formed from a short root word, for instance Kar (meaning "big stone") and a signifier, for instance -az (meaning the word it is attached to is relating to a place) - so Karaz literally means "big stone place" - however it is the Khazalid word for mountain. Signifiers are not limited to one either; adding -i signifies a race or profession, so Karazi means a mountain-tribe (literally "big stone place people").
Khazalid is written in Dwarven runes or Rhun, a complicated set of markings indicating various phonetic sounds and grammatical devices; the most "official" runes are the Aldrhun or old runes, an example of which would be the Great Book of Grudges. Often Dwarves find themselves (such as while mining or travelling) without paper or writing implements and must scratch runes into hard surfaces where it is much more efficient to scribe hard angles and lines than curves. This led to the development of a simpler set of runes called the Klinkarun (literally "chisel-runes") from Klinka - chisel and rhun - runes. (Note the "h" is dropped).
Image created using a Klinkarun font downloadable here
For a diagram of the Klinkarun see this page on games-workshop.com.
The sound of Khazalid is entirely separate from human speech and even further from the melodic sounds of Eltharin. It is a guttural language; and comparisons have been drawn to the rumbling of thunder. All Dwarves have deep, resonant voices and a tendency to speak louder than is technically necessary for the situation. Khazalid vowel sounds in particular are uncompromisingly precise and very heavily accented. Consonants are often spat aggressively or gargled at the back of the throat, and many Dwarf root words begin with harsh consonant sounds such as K, G and R. Contrary to humans, whose myriad dialects differ widely depending on geographic location-- even within the same language-- the Dwarfs remain fairly consistent in dialect across Karak Ankor, although there are exceptions (notably Malakai Malakisson from novel Daemonslayer (See Gotrek Gurnisson) whose "northern" dialect is represented as a Scottish burr).
While a root word gives basic meaning, it is not usually until a signifier is added to the end of a word that specific meaning is given. If a root word consists of only consonants such as Sk (relating to thieves) an "a" (making Ska the correct form) is usually added and then dropped when signifiers are added to the word's end. The Games Workshop website uses a similar example to this:
- Ska = The root word.
- Something to do with thieves or theft, relating to thieves or theft.
- Ska + az = Skaz
- A thief in general. (Note that the extra "a" is dropped).
- Ska + i = Ski
- Thieves in general (plural).
- Ska + az + i = Skazi
- A specific thief; "the thief".
- Ska + it = Skit
- "Steal", the act of theft.
- Ska + ak = Skak
- The concept of theft.
- Ska + ar = Skar
- Stealing, in the general sense that people have stolen since the dawn of time and will continue to do so forever.
- Ska + en = Sken
- Stealing, thievery, a theft which is currently taking place.
- Ska + al = Skal
- Any specific group of thieves, such as one might see in the slums of Altdorf-- as opposed to a named organisation of thieves.
- Ska + ul = Skul (or possibly Skaul, Skhul or Skahul)
- The art or mastery of theft; the profession of thievery.
- Ska + ha = Ska ha (or possibly Skaha)
- "Thief!" Used as an insult, or to indicate that you have just realised you have been stolen from.
- Ska = The root word.
Tense is shown by -it in the present tense and -ed in the future tense. Additional words An (an skit = will steal) and Ad (ad skit = had stolen) are used before the subject to indicate more complicated tenses and their relation to ownership of the actions described in a verb. In addition, these are often written together; for instance: adskit. The various tense signifiers are as follows:
- Will steal. Note the present tense -it is kept, though the statement is in future tense.
- Had stolen.
- Will have stolen. Note: Speaking about what will have happened by a certain time.
These are Dwarf relative pronouns, conjunctions and other useful elements of language. Although they are words, they are often appended before a word to give context.
- A - Of, with, within, to
- Ad - Did, done (when preceding a verb)
- Af - They, you (plural)
- Ai, I, Ip, Ap - Yes
- An - Will, shall, am going to, with purpose (preceding a verb)
- Anad - Will have done, shall have done
- Bin - In, on, beside, adjacent to, next to
- Anu - Soon, very soon, any minute now
- Bar - But, bear in mind, except for (Also word for fortified gate)
- Ek - He, she, it, you (singular)
- Nai, nar nuf - No, not, never
- Nu - Now, currently, at this time
- Ok - Why, how
- Or - I, me, myself
- Sar - May, could, might, perhaps will, possibly might (preceding a verb)
- Um - Them, those, these
- Un - And, also, as well
- Ut - Us, we, ourselves
- Wanrag - Where
- Wanrak - When (preceding a verb)
These terms describe important aspects of Dwarf culture, but have no official translation in Khazalid from English. In alphabetical Order:
- Beardling - A young Dwarf who has yet to prove his salt, typically under 50 years of age, with a short beard.
- Clogging - A punishment of the Engineers Guild, an offending Dwarf is made to wear wooden clogs and walks the Guild naked.
- Deeps - The levels which Dwarfs measure and organise their Holds into.
- Goblin Wars - A time when many Holds fell to Greenskins and Skaven.
- Time of Woes - A time of seismic upheaval which caused earthquakes and during which many Holds were damaged, directly preceeding the Goblin Wars.
These are known Khazalid words and phrases and their meanings in alphabetical order which have already appeared in Warhammer publications, rather than words created using root words and signifiers. For instance, Zhufbar is a compound word (the name of a Dwarf hold meaning "Torrent gate"), so Zhuf (torrent) and Bar (gate) have also been included as separate words. However if Zhuf and Bar had been mentioned separately, but not Zhufbar, then one would not combine the words and put them in this Lexicon, as including every possible word combination would be tiresome and make the article overly long. Obviously in the Warhammer world they would be written in runes or other characters rather than English characters.
- A - Of, with, within, to.
- Ad - Did, done.
- Af - They, you (plural).
- Agril - Silver metal.
- Agrul - Stone carving, lines on the face of a very old Dwarf.
- Ai, I, Ap, Ip - Yes.
- Ald - Old.
- Aldrhun - Old runes.
- An - Will, shall, am going to, with purpose.
- Anad - Will have done, shall have done.
- Ang - Ironwork, industrial work.
- Ankor - Domain, realm, country.
- Anu - Soon, very soon, any minute now!
- Arkhandrazkal - The art of inscribing runes on precious metal with a Troll's tooth.
- Arm - Irregular verb 'to be'. (Past tense "urz")
- Az - War axe.
- Az-Dreugi - Great axe.
- Azgal - Treasure hoard.
- Azkahr - Massive masonry.
- Azril - Silvery colour
- Azul - Metal of any kind, dependable, a sturdy Dwarf.
- Bak - Head (physical body part).
- Bar, Barak - Fortified gate, door.
- Bar Dawazbak - Dwarf Head Gate. (See Bar Dawazbak)
- Barag - War machine.
- Baraz - Bond, oath or promise.
- Bezek - Own, possess.
- Bezeki - Ownerpossessor.
- Bin - In, on, beside.
- Boga - A candle which blows out unexpectedly, making a tunnel dark.
- Bok - Banging head on a low tunnel ceiling, scar caused by this.
- Boki - Slang for Dwarf miners.
- Bolg - Fat belly. Also a state of extreme wealth, age and contentment .
- Bran - Clever, alert, mentally sharp.
- Brog - Bread, cake.
- Bryn - Gold which shines brightly in the sunlight. Anything that is shiny or brilliant, or brilliantly coloured or decorated.
- Brynduraz - A bright blue crystal valued by the Dwarfs. ("Brightstone") .
- Chuf - Piece of old cheese kept under hat in case of emergency.
- Dal - Old, Sturdy
- Dammaz - Grudge, bitterness.
- Dammaz Kron - Literally "Grudge Book"; can also refer to the Great Book of Grudges.
- Dar - A bet, wager or challenge.
- Dawazbak - Dwarf head.
- Dawi - Dwarfs.
- Dawr - As good and reliable as can be, without proving reliability through use over time.
- Deb - Untried, untested, unconditioned.
- Doh - Stupid, gullible.
- Dok - To observe, watch; an eye.
- Dongliz - Parts of Dwarf body impossible to scratch.
- Drakk - Dragon.
- Drek - A great distance; a great ambition/undertaking.
- Dreng - To slay in combat.
- Drengi - A Slayer.
- Dringorak - "Cunning Road", usually a trap-door or secret passageway.
- Dron - Thunder, loud boom/noise.
- Drongnel - A Dragon stew with strong mushrooms, marinated in ale.
- Drung - Defeat, vanquish.
- Duk - Low cramped tunnel.
- Dum - Doom or darkness, evil, Chaos.
- Dunkin - Annual Dwarf bathing ritual.
- Duraz - Stone.
- Durak - Hard (literally "Stone-like").
- Ekrund - A staircase descending into the earth.
- Elgi - Elf, Elves.
- Elgram - Weak, thin, feeble.
- Elgraz - Construction that seems about to collapse (noun).
- Endrinkuli - Engineer, mechanic. (See Dwarf Engineer.)
- Frongol - Mushrooms which grow at the back of a cave.
- Gal - Any kind of gold.
- Galaz - Gold which makes a nice ornament.
- Galbaraz - Oathgold.
- Gand - Find, discover.
- Garaz - Fearless, rebellious.
- Gazan - Wasteland, plains.
- Gazul Bar Baraz; Gazul Gand Baraz-- Invocation of Gazul, Lord of the Undereath. Literally "A bond to Gazul's Gate; Gazul help them find the gate."
- Ghal - Skull.
- Ghal Maraz - Skull-Splitter. (See Sigmar.)
- Gibal - Fragments of food in a beard.
- Ginit - Small stone in a boot which causes discomfort.
- Girt - Broad tunnel with plenty of headroom.
- Git - Irregular verb "to go" (past tense "ged").
- Gnem - Shortened form of Grobagorli
- Gnol - Old and reliable, proven to be trustworthy, wise.
- Gnoll-engrom - Respect due a Dwarf with a longer or more impressive beard.
- Gor - Wild beast. (See Beastmen.)
- Gorak - Great cunning; uncanny.
- Gorl - The colour yellow; gold which is soft and yellow.
- Gorog - Beer/Ale; high spirits; a drinking binge.
- Got - March/Travel quickly with purpose.
- Grik - Neck pain caused by stooping in tunnels.
- Grim - Harsh, unyielding.
- Grimaz - Barren area of land.
- Grimazul - Steel (trans. Unyielding Iron)
- Grindal - Long plait worn in the hair of a Dwarf maiden.
- Grint - Waste rock left from mining.
- Grizal - Poor meat.
- Grizdal - Ale which has been fermented for over a century.
- Grob - The colour green; also Greenskins (literally "Greenies").
- Grobagorli - Literally "goblin of the deserts".
- Grobi - Goblin, Goblins.
- Grobkaz - Goblin work, evil doings.
- Grobkul - Stalking Goblins in caves.
- Grog - Inferior ale/beer, human-like brew.
- Grom - Brave, defiant.
- Gromdal - Ancient artefact.
- Gromril - Extremely rare, valuable and sturdy yet light metal. (See Gromril.)
- Gromthi - Ancestor.
- Grong - Anvil.
- Gronit - Irregular verb 'to do' (past tense "gird").
- Gronti - Giant.
- Grumbak - Short measure of ale; trivial complaint.
- Grumbaki - A Dwarf who whines, complains or grumbles a lot.
- Grund - Hammer.
- Grundlid - "Hammertongue:" A secret language known by miners and engineers consisting of numbered and timed taps on a hard surface.
- Grung - A mine.
- Grungnaz - Making or smithing.
- Grungni - Dwarf Ancestor God of smithing and forging. (See Grungni.)
- Grungron - A forge.
- Guz - To consume food or drink. (May be where "guzzle" originated.)
- Hazkal - Ale which has been only recently brewed; a fiery young warrior.
- Hirn - Horn.
- Hunk - Carry heavy rocks, carry a great burden.
- Ik - Placing one's hand into something slimy and unpleasant in the dark.
- Irkul - Pillared vault hewn into rock.
- Izor - Copper.
- Kadrin - Mountain pass.
- Karag - Volcano or barren mountain.
- Karak - Enduring, lasting.
- Karaz Ankor - Literally "Mountain Domain", Realm of the Mountains: The Dwarf empire of Karak Ankor.
- Karak Azgal - "Treasure Mountain". (See Karak Ankor.)
- Karak Azul - "Metal Mountain". (See Karak Ankor.)
- Karaz-a-Karak - "Everpeak" or "Eternal Mountain". (See Karaz-a-Karak.)
- Karaz - Mountain.
- Kazad - Fortress.
- Kazak - War, battle, conflict.
- Khaz - Underground hall/chamber.
- Khazuk Khazuk Khazuk-ha - Shortened form, see Khazukan Khazakit ha.
- Khazukan - Dwarfs (literally "Hall-dwellers").
- Khazukan Kazakit-ha - "Look out! The Dwarfs are on the warpath!"
- Khrum - War drum.
- Klad - Armour.
- Klinka - A chisel
- Klinkarun - Commonly used runes, usually scratched into rock (literally "Chisel-runes").
- Kol - The colour black, black stone; sombre.
- Konk - Large and bulbous nose; gold which is ruddy in colour.
- Krink - Bad back due to stooping in tunnels.
- Kron - Book, record. (Possibly where the human word "Chronicle" originated.)
- Kruk - Unexpected disappointment; vein of ore which suddenly proves to be empty.
- Krunk - A disaster; an underground rock fall.
- Krut - Disease contracted from mountain goats.
- Kruti - Dwarf suffering from the above; a goatherd, an insult.
- Kulgur - The art of cooking Trolls.
- Kuri - Meat stew spiced with wild berries; uses any available ingredients and made by travelers .
- Kvinn - Lady.
- Kvinn Wyr - White Lady (A mountain near Karak Eight Peaks).
- Lid - Tongue (body part).
- Lok - Very intricate or embellished; worthy of praise.
- Makaz - Tool or weapon.
- Maraz - Splitter.
- Mingol - Tall watchtower built on lowland.
- Naggrund - Region of devastation or great industry and upheaval; roughly translates to devastation or desolation, but only when they apply specifically to industrial areas.
- Nogarung - Tankard used to drink from, made from Troll's skull.
- Ogri - Ogres.
- Ok - Cunning, skillful.
- Okri - Craftsman. (Also a common personal name.)
- Onk - Comradely assertion of dirt and grime on Dwarfs who have spent much time underground.
- Ragarin - Coarse/uncomfortable clothing made from Troll hide.
- Rhun - Runes; a word.
- Rhunki - Runesmith. (See Runepriest.)
- Rik - King, Lord.
- Ril - Gold ore which shines brightly in rock.
- Rinn - A lady Dwarf, King's consort.
- Rorkaz - Informal shouting contest.
- Ruff - Large underground dome, either natural or constructed.
- Runk - One-sided fight; a sound thrashing.
- Rutz - Slackness of the bowels caused by excessive ale consumption.
- Skarrenruf - The colour bright blue; daytime sky.
- Skaz - Thief.
- Skof - Cold meal, usually eaten underground.
- Skrat - Scavenge; harsh living; searching for gold in loose rocks or a stream bed.
- Skrati - Poor prospector.
- Skree - The loose rock on a hill or mountainside.
- Skruff - Scrawny beard (considered a terrible insult).
- Skrund - The act of cleaving rock; to work hard.
- Skuf - Drunken fight, skirmish. (May be the origin of the Human word scuffle.)
- Slotch - Mix of water, mud and bits of stone at the bottom of a mine or quarry.
- Stok - The act of hitting or striking.
- Strol - To travel or walk leisurely.
- Stromez - Stream.
- Thag - To kill in a dishonourable or dishonest fashion.
- Thagi - A traitorous killer.
- Thaggoraki - Ratmen (Skaven).
- Thrindrongol - Secret vault to keep ale or treasure or valuables in.
- Thingaz - Dense forest.
- Throng - Army or gathering of Dwarfs, a clan.
- Thrund - A hand gun.
- Trogg - Feast or bout of excessive drinking.
- Troll - Troll.
- Tromm - Beard; respect due to age or experience.
- Ufdi - A vain Dwarf; a Dwarf who excessively preens his beard, implies that he cannot be trusted to fight.
- Umanar - Roughly or approximately; indecision.
- Umgak - Poorly made. (Literally "Human-made".)
- Umgi - Humans.
- Unbaraki - Oathbreaker(s), an extreme insult.
- Und - Watchpost carved into the side of a mountain.
- Ungdrin - Underway; the ancient underground passage network of the Dwarfs.
- Ungor - Cavern or cave.
- Ungrim - A Dwarf yet to fulfill an important oath; untrustworthy.
- Urbar - Trade.
- Urbaz - Trading post, market.
- Urk - Orc or enemy.
- Uzkul - Bones; death.
- Valdahaz - Brewery.
- Varn - Mountain lake.
- Varr - Sea.
- Vongal - Raiding band.
- Vorn - A farm.
- Wan - Signifies a question when used at the start of a phrase, can also be used directly before a word to form a question.
- Wanaz - Disreputable Dwarf; unkempt beard.
- Wattock - Unsuccessful prospector; down-at-heel (insult).
- Wazzock - Foolish, gullible; someone who has exchanged valuables for something of little worth.
- Werit - State of confusion; a Dwarf who has forgotten where he put down his ale.
- Wutroth - Wood from an old Mountain Oak tree.
- Wyr - White.
- Zak - Isolated hut in the mountains.
- Zaki - Crazed Dwarf who wanders the mountains.
- Zan - Blood; the colour red.
- Zharr - Fire.
- Zharr Naggrund - Desolation of Fire. (See Zharr Naggrund.)
- Zhuf - Torrent of water, waterfall, rapid river.
- Zhufbar - Torrent-gate. (See Zhufbar.)
- Zorn - Upland meadow, plateau.
- Zon - The Sun.
- Zul - Iron