- Novic (Old Novic, Einovic, Nors Novic) (98%)
- Vash (5%)
Most Norsinovans speak one of three dialects of Novic with a minority speaking a another language Vash.
The first dialect of Novic, known as Old Novic, is the language of politics, high society, law, high literature and education in Norsinovia. The vocabulary is highly varied with subtle differences in meaning between similar words and as a result, misunderstandings are rare unless they are intentional. If someone has received high levels of education, typically they would speak most comfortably in Old Novic and be noticed for it by the larger population. Old Novic is spoken by about 20% of the Norsinovan population. Old Novic is likely to be the first language of highly educated aristocrats and politicians, high clergy, nobles.
The second dialect of Novic, known as Einovic, is the ‘common’ version of Old Novic spoken in Einovia, the country that colonized Norsinovia. Conversational and ubiquitous, Einovic is notable in that the majority of immigrants to Norsinovia speak Einovic as their primary language. If someone has grown up learning only Einovic, Old Novic is still understandable but is often seen as needlessly confusing. Similarly, if someone learns only Old Novic, Einovic seems overly simple and unrefined. Einovic is likely to be the first language of new immigrants from Einovia, second generation Norsinovans.
The third dialect of Novic, known as Nors Novic, is a Norsinovan regional dialect of Einovic. Nors Novic has come to incorporate a large amount of regional variation and as a result someone from Willow’s End is likely to recognize someone else as coming from Einfarrow or Meadhall based on the way they speak. The vernacular vocabulary is constantly changing in Nors Novic and sometimes misunderstandings can occur where a word has taken one meaning in the north and a different one in the east, but in general people seem to know what others are talking about. If someone has grown up learning only Nors Novic, Old Novic is still understandable but is often seen as needlessly confusing. Similarly, if someone learns only Old Novic, Nors Novic seems crude and uncivilized. Einovic and Nors Novic are very similar but for the regionalities in the same way that Nors Novic differs from place to place in Norsinovia, however there are far more variances in expression and turns of phrase. Speakers of Einovic and Nors Novic can communicate fluently, but the differences are obvious in both accent and vocabulary. Nors Novic is likely to be the first language of third or later generation Norsinovans.
Most Novic speakers know a bit of all dialects and tend to mix and switch between them. This blend is what is most commonly spoken by about 75% of the Norsinovan population and is the language of business and trade, conversation, and forms the majority of written communication.
All Novic languages share the same alphabet, basic grammar, and (most) spelling.
For game purposes, Old Novic, Einovic, and Nors Novic are treated as separate languages.
Approximately 5% of the population natively speak Vash, though most of these people can also speak Novic fairly well and all speak Novic well enough to get by in everyday activity. With the exception of highly educated scholars, speaking Vash is usually an indication of an ancestry connected with the Vashka, a nomadic and highly devout Novian subculture. The Vashka have long been viewed as a dead or dying people and many Norsinovans will greet Vashka in their lives with contempt or amusement. For this reason, people with ties to the Vashka tend to keep to themselves as much as possible and to hide their history from public view.
Vash has its own alphabet, but its grammar follows a similar logic as Novic.