Languages of Golarion and Beyond

Last updated December 19th, 2017.

Languages lurk in the forgotten reaches of splatbooks, adventure paths, and bestiaries, not just in the Inner Sea World Guide. Of those languages that are defined in a rulebook, not all of them are PFS legal. Also remember that a character can learn to read lips by choosing that option as a “language” learned with a rank in the Linguistics skill.

This page is almost certainly incomplete. If you’ve spotted a language that’s not on our list, please drop us a line!

Table of Contents

How to Read the Listings

Each language will be in either a PFS Legal, Restricted, or Not Legal category.

  • PFS Legal means that language can be taken with a rank in linguistics.
  • Not Legal means that language cannot be taken unless it is on a chronicle sheet.
  • Restricted means that there is some other requirement.

Each legal language has a flag describing how frequently it appears in PFS play. In most cases, scenarios are designed for characters who speak Common; other languages only come into play infrequently at best.

  • Common languages (not to be confused with Taldane) might be useful a couple of times per PFS season, or sometimes more.
  • Uncommon languages might be useful once a PFS season.
  • Rare languages might be useful once every few PFS seasons.
  • Very rare languages may never have been used in PFS to date.

The main entry for each language will have at least one reference where the language may be found. For more popular languages, not every source will be listed, as there may be dozens.

The Pathfinder wiki was an exceptionally helpful resource for sanity-checking this list for completeness. I’ve added links to it where appropriate.

Human Regional Languages

The Pathfinder wiki has more information on many of these languages.

Human Languages of Avistan

PFS Legal

  • Common (Taldane) [required language] – Taldane is the common language of the Inner Sea as a result of the Taldan Empire’s historical dominance. Also the official language of Amanandar in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Hallit [uncommon] – Spoken by the Kellids of the far north.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • People of the North, page 7
  • Shoanti [uncommon] – spoken by the Shoanti of northwest Avistan.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Skald [uncommon] – spoken in the Land of the Linnorm Kings, Brevoy, Irrisen, and Ustalav.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • People of the North, page 11
  • Varisian [uncommon] – spoken in Varisia, in western Avistan.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Shadowtongue [rare] – spoken largely in Nidal.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251

Not Legal

  • Pathfinder Sign – a series of codes. Is sometimes referenced in scenarios and is often assumed to be understood by Pathfinders in those contexts, but is not otherwise legal to take as a language.
    • Black Markets, Page 24
  • Varisian Sign Language – well-developed sign language frequently used by the Sczarni.
    • Black Markets, Page 24
  • Varki – spoken by the Varki of Icemark in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.
    • The Varki people are from Lands of the Linnorm Kings pages 18-21 and Inner Sea Races page 65.
    • The Varki language is mentioned in AP 50: Jade Regent Part 2, Night of Frozen Shadows, page 58.

Human Languages of Garund

PFS Legal

  • Grippli – spoken widely throughout the Mwangi Expanse. See the entry under Racial Languages.
  • Osiriani [common] – The most widespread language in Garund.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251.
  • Polyglot [uncommon] – Not one language, but a set of languages that share roots and are mutually understandable used across the Mwangi Expanse.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251.
  • Vudrani – spoken in Jalmaray, Katapesh, and Nex. See the entry under Human Languages of Casmaron.

Not Legal

  • Kuru – the language of the corrupted cannibals known as kuru. See the entry under Racial Languages.

Human Languages of Casmaron (including Qadira)

PFS Legal

  • Kelish [common] – Spoken in the Padisha Empire of Kelesh. Also used as a trade tongue in Goka, in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer page 50
  • Vudrani [rare] – used in distant Vudra, but also in Jalmaray, Katapesh, and Nex. Also used in Goka, in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50

Not Legal

  • Iobarian – spoken by the inhabitants, human and otherwise, of the ruined empire of Iobara in northern Casmaron.
    • AP 69: Reign of Winter Part 3, Mother, Maiden, Crone
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge, page 75

Human Languages of Tian Xia

These languages are all PFS-legal.

  • Dtang [rare] – language of Dtang Ma and the Tian-Dtang people.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Page 49
  • Elven – spoken in Jinin. See the entry under Racial Languages.
  • Giant – spoken in Chu Ye. See the entry under Racial Languages.
  • Goblin – spoken in Kaoling. See the entry under Racial Languages.
  • Hon-La [rare] – language of Hongal and Shaguang, and the Tian-Las people.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Page 50
  • Hwan [rare] – language of Hwanggot and the Tian-Hwan people.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Page 50
  • Kelish – see entry under Human Languages of Casmaron.
  • Minatan [rare] – a combination of similar languages used across the Wandering Isles and Minata.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Minkaian [uncommon] – language of Minkai and widespread across Tian Xia.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Nagaji – broadly used in the Dragon Empires as well as in Nagajor. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Necril – used by undead in Tian Xia. See entry under Other Languages of Golarion.
  • Samsaran – language of Zi Ha. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Senzar – sometimes used by humans inhabiting the Wall of Heaven. See entry under Other Languages of Golarion.
  • Taldane (Common) – language of Amanandar. See entry under Human Languages of Avistan.
  • Tengu – language of Kwanlai also used across the Dragon Empires. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Tien [common] – the common language of Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Vudrani – see the entry under Languages of Casmaron.
  • Wayang – used throughout the Dragon Empires. See entry under Racial Languages.

Human Languages of the Crown of the World

PFS Legal

  • Erutaki [rare] – the language of the Erutaki tribes.
    • The Erutaki people are from the Inner Sea World Guide, page 207.
    • The Erutaki language is from People of the North, page 12.

Not Legal

  • Varki – see the entry under Human Languages of Avistan.

Other Languages of Golarion

PFS Legal

  • Aklo [common] – the language of the Serpentfolk empire, as well as dark fey and the Darklands.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer page 50
  • Draconic – the language of dragonkind, used across the inner sea. See the entry under Racial Languages.
  • Necril [very rare] – the language of the dead.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Orvian [rare] – the language of the deepest level of the Darklands, Orv.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Senzar [very rare] – language of kami, the spirits of the land of Tian Xia, and is sometimes used by humans in the Wall of Heaven. May be related to Sylvan.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Page 50
  • Sylvan [common] – the language of the fey and the First World.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Undercommon [uncommon] – the language of the Drow and the Darklands.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50

Restricted

  • Druidic [uncommon] – the language of druids. Exclusive to druids.

Not Legal

  • Canto – a crude language of the Darklands that relies on acoustics to communicate long distances.
    • Into the Darklands, page 3
  • Nightsong – the whistled language used by the Nightjars of Pharasma.
    • Inner Sea Temples, page 37

Elemental Languages

These languages are all PFS legal.

  • Aquan [common] – language of the Elemental Plane of Water, and other undersea nations including Xidao.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Auran [common] – language of the Elemental Plane of Air and mountainous regions in Golarion, including Zi Ha and the Wall of Heaven in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Ignan [common] – language of the Elemental Plane of Fire, as well as especially warm areas on Golarion such as central Nagajor and the mountains of Valashmai in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empire’s Gazetteer, page 50
  • Terran [common] – language of the Elemental Plane of Earth and the Darklands.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50

Languages of Other Planes

PFS Legal

  • Abyssal [common] – language of the Abyss, demons, and oni.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer page 50
  • Celestial [common] – language of the good-aligned outer planes, angels, and in Tian Xia the nations of Tianjing and Kwanlai.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Infernal [common] – language of Hell, devils, and some oni.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Protean [rare] – an infinitely malleable language of chaos and the Maelstrom that is almost impossible to speak without magical help.
    • Bestiary 2, page 213
  • Sylvan – the language of the fey and the First World. See the entry under Other Languages of Golarion.

Not Legal

  • Cyrunian – the language of Witchwyrds. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Jandelayan – the language of the mysterious realm of Jandalay, and its Oliphaunt.
    • Mythic Realms, page 58

Languages of Other Worlds

PFS Legal

  • Adlet – the language of adlets on Triaxis. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Azlanti – dialects of Azlanti are spoken in various parts of the Golarion system. See the entry under Ancient Languages.
  • Brethedan – the language of the brethedans. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Elven – extensively spoken on Castrovel. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Finger-tapping sign language of Cumo [very rare] – a “sign” language used in the markets of Cumo on Triaxis, with sleeves covering hands, to confidentially communicate prices. This language might only communicate numbers.
    • AP 70: Reign of Winter Part 4, The Frozen Stars
  • Lashunta – the language of the lashunta of Castrovel. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Ningese [very rare] – the language of the Immortal Suzerainty of Ning on Triaxis.
    • AP 70: Reign of Winter Part 4, The Frozen Stars
  • Triaxian [very rare] – the language of the triaxians of Triaxis (in Starfinder, they are known as ryphorians).
    • AP 70: Reign of Winter Part 4, The Frozen Stars
    • People of the Stars, page 12
  • Yaddithian – the language of yaddithians. See entry under Racial Languages.

Not Legal

  • Androffan – the language of Androffa, the homeworld of most (if not all) of the spacecraft that crashed in Numeria. Technology Guide, page 5. May be learned only through a chronicle sheet.
  • Balachka – not strictly a language, Balachka is a set of dialects of other languages spoken primarily by the Cossack ethnicity of an unusual world.
    • AP 71: Reign of Winter Part 5, Rasputin Must Die!, pages 40 and 58
  • Church Slavonic – a liturgical language used on an unusual world. Influenced Russian and other languages in the region.
    • AP 71: Reign of Winter Part 5, Rasputin Must Die!, page 56
  • Cimmerian – a language thought to have been spoken on the Pontic-Caspian Steppe of an unusual world in the distant past.
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge, page 60
  • Czech – historically also known as Bohemian, this tongue of an unusual world is a fusional language with a rich morphology and relatively flexible word order.
    • AP 71: Reign of Winter Part 5, Rasputin Must Die!, page 12
  • Cyrunian – the language of Witchwyrds. See entry under Racial Languages.
  • Greek – this is a tongue of an unusual world.
    • AP 71: Reign of Winter Part 5, Rasputin Must Die!, page 52
  • Ib – a language of facial expressions and hand gestures spoken by the strange, lost aquatic race of Ib.
    • AP 111: Strange Aeons, Part 2, Dreams of the Yellow King
  • Polish -this is a tongue of an unusual world.
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge, page 75
  • Proto-Indo-European – a language thought to have been spoken on the Pontic-Caspian Steppe of an unusual world in the distant past.
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge, page 52
  • Russian – this is a tongue of an unusual world.
    • AP 71: Reign of Winter Part 5, Rasputin Must Die!
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge
  • Sarmatian – better-known as Scythian or Scytho-Sarmatian, this was a language spoken in the Eastern Europe and south Russia regions of an unusual world in the distant past.
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge, page 75
  • Scythian – better-known as Scytho-Sarmatian, this was a language spoken in the Eastern Europe and south Russia regions of an unusual world in the distant past.
    • AP 72: Reign of Winter Part 6, The Witch Queen’s Revenge, page 60
  • Shobhad – the language of the shobhads of Akiton. See the entry under Racial Languages.

Racial Languages

The Pathfinder Wiki has more information on some of these languages.

PFS Legal

  • Adlet [very rare] – language of adlets, wolflike inhabitants of Triaxis.
    • Bestiary 3, page 9
    • AP 70: Reign of Winter Part 4, The Frozen Stars
  • Boggard [rare] – language of boggards.
    • Bestiary, page 37
  • Brethedan [very rare] – language of the balloon-like brethedans, who primarily live on the planet Bretheda but who may live on other gas giants as well.
    • Bestiary 4, page 23
  • Catfolk [very rare] – language of catfolk.
    • Bestiary 3, page 47
  • Draconic [common] – language of dragons, and also the language of the nation of Xa Hoi in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Primer, page 50
  • Dark Folk [rare] – language of dark folk and oubs.
    • Bestiary, page 53
  • Dwarven [common] – language of dwarves.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • D’ziriak [very rare] – language buzzing and chittering used by the insectile d’ziriak.
    • Bestiary 2, page 113
  • Elder Thing [very rare] – language of the Lovecraftian elder things, also known as “old ones.”
    • Bestiary 4, page 85
  • Elven [common] – language of elves, including the  nations of Kyonin in the Inner Sea, the nation of Jinin in Tian Xia, the drow of the Darklands, and Snowcaster Elves of the north.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
    • People of the North, page 9
  • Garuda [very rare]- language of the garuda.
    • Bestiary 3, page 123
  • Giant [uncommon] – language of giants and some oni. Used in Chu Ye in Tian Xia.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Girtablilu [rare] – language of the scorpion-like girtablilu.
    • Bestiary 3, page 130
  • Gnome [uncommon] – language of gnomes.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Goblin [common] – language of goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears. Used in Kaoling in Tian Xia. Different races speak and write goblin very differently.
    • Bestiary, page 27
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Gnoll [uncommon] – language of gnolls.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, page 251
  • Grioth [very rare] – language of the batlike grioths.
    • Bestiary 5, page 137
  • Grippli [rare] – language of the froglike gripplis.
    • Bestiary 2, page 149
  • Halfling [uncommon] – language of halflings.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, page 251
  • Kasatha [very rare] – language of kasathas.
    • People of the Stars, page 8
    • Bestiary 4, page 174
  • Kech [very rare] – language of the simian kechs.
    • Bestiary 3, page 167
  • Lashunta [very rare] – language of the lashunta of Castrovel.
    • Inner Sea Bestiary, page 25
    • People of the Stars, page 10
  • Mi-Go [rare] – the language of the Lovecraftian Mi-Go.
    • Bestiary 4, page 193
  • Munavri [very rare] – the language of the munavri of the Darklands.
    • Bestiary 6, page 197
  • Nagaji [rare] – the language of nagaji.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Orc [common] – language of orcs.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Pidgin of Giant, Goblin, and Orc [other]- spoken by ettins.
    • Bestiary 1, page 130
  • Reptoid [very rare] – language of the reptoids.
    • Bestiary 5, page 202
  • Rougarou [very rare] – language of the doglike rougarou.
    • Bestiary 6, page 242
  • Sahuagin [other]- possible language of the sahuagin. May not actually exist, as sahuagin aren’t listed as speaking the language, but it is on the merfolk and gillman lists of possible bonus languages.
    • Bestiary, page 204
    • Inner Sea World Guide, page 310
  • Samsaran [rare] – language of the samsaran and Zi Ha.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
    • Bestiary 4, page 230
  • Sasquatch [very rare] – language of the sasquatch.
    • Bestiary 3, page 236
  • Shae [very rare] – language of the shadowy outsiders known as shae.
    • Bestiary 3, page 242
  • Sphinx [rare] – languages of sphinxes.
    • Bestiary, page 257
  • Syrinx [very rare] – the language of syrinx.
    • Inner Sea Bestiary, page 51
  • Tanuki [very rare] – the language of tanuki.
    • Bestiary 3, page 259
  • Tengu [rare] – the language of tengu and the official language of Kwanlai.
    • Bestiary, page 263
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
  • Thriae [rare] – language of the thriae, insectile monstrous humanoids.
    • Bestiary 3, page 263-267
  • Treant [rare] – the language of treants.
    • Bestiary, page 266
  • Vanaran [rare] – the language of vanara.
    • Bestiary 3, page 280
  • Vegepygmy [rare] – a crude language of rhythmic taps, beats, and clicks used by the vegepygmies, who cannot otherwise speak.
    • Bestiary, page 273
  • Vishkanya [rare] – the language of vishkanya.
    • Bestiary 3, page 281
  • Wayang [rare] – the language of wayang, and prominent in the Wandering Isles of Minata.
    • Dragon Empires Gazetteer, page 50
    • Bestiary 4, page 274
  • Yaddithian [very rare] – the language of the homeless, starfaring yaddithians.
    • Bestiary 6, page 285
  • Yithian [very rare] – the language of the Lovecraftian yithian, a race of psychic body-snatching travelers from another time.
    • Bestiary 3, page 286

Not Legal

  • Aboleth – the language of the alghollthu, the aboleths and veiled masters.
    • Listed as legal in Inner Sea Bestiary, page 25 and Bestiary 6, pages 82 and 270, but not intended to be legal due to notes on other sources.
    • Bestiary, page 8
  • Ceratioidi – the language of the ceratioidi of Outsea.
    • AP 32: Kingmaker Part 2, Rivers Run Red, page 80
  • Cyrunian – the language of Witchwyrds, interstellar and interplanar travelers.
    • AP 14: Second Darkness Part 2, Children of the Void, page 88
  • Drow Sign Language –  according to AP 18: Second Darkness Part 6, Descent into Midnight (pages 26 and 38) this sign language is known as Sakvroth on Golarion.
    • Bestiary 1, page 114
  • Flail Snail – the combination sign language and slime language of the flail snails.
    • Bestiary 3, page 118
  • Ghol-gan – a language of the Ghol-gan empire. This language may not be canonical, as Cyclops is described as being the language of the Ghol-gan empire in other sources.
    • Isles of the Shackles, page 49
  • Gug – a language of the gugs of the Darklands. May no longer be canonical, as gugs are not described as speaking this language.
    • Into the Darklands, page 3
  • Kuru – language of the corrupted cannibals known as kuru.
    • Isles of the Shackles page 51
  • Sakvroth – a sign language of the Darklands. According to AP 18: Second Darkness Part 6, Descent into Midnight (pages 26 and 38), this is another name for Drow Sign Language.
    • Into the Darklands, page 3
    • Inner Sea Races, page 7
  • Shobhad – the language of the shobhads of the planet Akiton.
    • Distant Worlds, page 63
  • Urdefhan – a language of the daemonic urdefhan. May no longer be canonical, as urdefhan are not described as speaking this language.
    • Into the Darklands, page 50

Ancient Languages

PFS Legal

These languages are PFS legal, but can only be learned with ranks in Linguistics.

The Pathfinder Wiki has more information on these languages.

  • Ancient Osiriani [uncommon] – speakers of Ancient Osiriani can speak contemporary Osiriani, but with an archaic accent.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Azlanti [uncommon] – spoken in the Azlanti Empire and in many other lands before Earthfall.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Cyclops [rare] – the language of the cyclopes empire of Ghol-gan.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Jistka [rare] – the language of the Jistka Imperium, one of the earliest post-Earthfall empires that stretched across northwest Garund and southwest Avistan. It is still in use by scholars and royalty.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Tekritanin [rare] – the language of the Tekritanin League of northern Garund.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, Page 251
  • Thassilonian [uncommon] – the language of ancient Thassilon.
    • Inner Sea World Guide, page 251

Not Legal

  • Shory – the extinct language of the Shory, the renowned aeromancers who built colossal flying cities.
    • AP 83: Mummy’s Mask, Part 5, The Slave Trenches of Hakotep, page 67

Pathfinder Society Core Campaign Languages

These languages, each of which appear elsewhere above, are all legal selections in Core, based on the No Hablo Shoanti blog post.

Modern Human Languages

  • Hallit (Kellid)
  • Kelish (Kelishite)
  • Osiriani (Garundi)
  • Polyglot (Mwangi)
  • Shadowtongue
  • Shoanti (Shoanti)
  • Skald (Ulfen)
  • Tien (Tian)
  • Varisian (Varisian)
  • Vudrani (Vundrani)

Ancient Languages

  • Ancient Osiriani
  • Azlanti
  • Cyclops
  • Jistka
  • Tekritanin
  • Thassilonian

Other Languages

  • Necril
  • Orvian