A Brief Description of the Saerish Language

Throughout the development of Madoria I have fiddled with the languages of her inhabitants. I wanted mostly to have names with sounds unique to each culture, even if the meanings are similar. The approach I use in naming many places is to re-use the same names, but create a wide variety of languages to translate them. The approach to language design I use is an extension of the random syllable generation method from GDW's Traveller.

I'm no linguist, so Saerish is close to English in structure, with some elements from French (which I studied in high school). The grammatical stuff is just for fun and flavor, since it rarely plays a part in any of my games.



Most consonants are as in English, except for the following:

c always hard
chas in German ach
g always hard
lias in million
r a trilled /r/
rian untrilled /r/
sithe /sh/ in shift
thunvoiced as in earth


a short /a/ as in past
aea long /i/ like in pine, but spoken as two syllables
aia long /a/ as in pain
e a short /e/ as in pest
i a short /i/ as in list
o a short /o/ as in long
oelike /oi/ in coin, or to rhyme with Owen
u short /u/ like in dumb
uelong /u/ like in cartoon, but can be pronouced as two syllables

Declension of Pronouns

Saerish recognizes three genders, especially in formal speech. However, gender plays almost no part beyond the use of pronouns, since articles are neutral. Most nouns have a sense of gender, but in informal speech any non-living thing can be referenced by a neutral pronoun.

Subj    Obj     Poss
ich     moe     main    1st Person Singular
hiu     hue     hain    2nd Person Singular-formal (masculine)
liu     lue     lain    2nd Person Singular-formal (feminine)
thiu    thoe    thain   2nd Person Singular-informal (neutral)
hoe     hoe     hoen    3rd Person Singular (masculine)
loe     loe     loen    3rd Person Singular (feminine)
thoe    thoe    thoen   3rd Person Singular (neutral)
woe     os      woen    1st Person Plural
hiu     hiu     hiun    2nd Person Plural-formal (masculine)
liu     liu     liun    2nd Person Plural-formal (feminine)
goe     goe     gain    2nd Person Plural-informal (neutral)
soe     soe     soen    3rd Person Plural

Formation of Noun Plurals

  1. Many nouns undergo changes in the last internal vowel: a to ai, e to oe, i to ae, etc. These are nouns with stop endings (ch, g, d, etc.)
  2. Other nouns change consonant endings: f to v
  3. Some nouns combine the above two modifications: n to nt, r to rd, with vowel changes
  4. Other nouns are not altered.


ich banis       I am
hiu benis       you are
thiu baenis     thou art
hoe baenis      he is
woe banaes      we are
hiu benaes      you (all) are
goe baenaes     ye are
soe baenaes     they are

ich gimis       I have (ich gimist - I had; ich giminn - I am having)
hiu gaemis      you have
thiu girmis     thou hast
hoe girmis      he has
woe gimaes      we have
hiu gaemaes     you (all) have
goe girmaes     ye have
soe girmaes     they have

ich rewis       I go (ich rewist - I went; ich rewinn - I am going)
hiu ruewis      you go
thiu riuwis     thou goest
hoe riuwis      he goes
woe rewaes      we go
hiu ruewaes     you (all) go
goe riuwaes     ye goeth
soe riuwaes     they go

a,an            is
the             a,an
this            od
that            odaf
who             wom
what            wonn
where           rai
when            wellnos
why             was
here            trenn
there           wetren
everywhere      haesrai
everyone        haestro
anyone          histro
from            uf
for             ur
by              ta,tan
in              la,lan
out             ba,ban
on              all
off             ast
near            sethran
far             tartron
side            seth
and             gon
but             elch

As an example, here is a short excerpt of a (silly) verse in Saerish:

Loe riuwist rai ich rewist              She had gone where I had gone
Elch na'hae woe rewaest lanis           But never we went together
Loe fenist wonn ich fanist              She had found what I had found
Elch na'hae is fant woe gimaest         But never a find we shared

Common Names

Saerish commoners have only one name, but often attach an eponym if further distinction is required. Saerish upper class use two names, a personal name and a clan name.

Male Names

Athrun, Hastrun, Tathrun Brannath
Brosian Calbran
Drunhar Glanneth
Gaidrach Garhaith
Gurhard Gurhas
Gurmaith Gurnith
Lodrian, Lodrigan, Lorrigan Lodroth
Lonhar Lor, Lorhan
Modroth Mordraith, Morhaith
Mordrigan, Morrigan Rothrun
Sionnach Sionneth
Surgorn Tirrian
Trisian Weblor
Webran Webroth

Female Names

Ansia Ardella
Arianna Athna, Ethna
Drosianha Froenna
Glenna Goedella
Hirtha Penna
Riadanna Rionna
Rolga Rosionna
Tainna Tarra