If you’re here, then you might have read MIDNIGHT FLIGHT or WINGS OF STONE, the first books in the Dragons of Ascavar series. The dragon-shifters are a race called the Kadirai, who have their own language and traditions. Read on for more on some of their language and terminology!

 

Naming

Matronymics

In some cultures, children are given names that designate them as the son or daughter of one of their parents. (Russian is a notable language that does this – in addition to a last name, most children have a patronymic identifying them based on their father’s name.)

The Stoneflight, which is Tarek’s flight, names their children with honor to the mother. For instance, Tarek’s given name is Tarek efan Izera, which means “Tarek, son of Izera.” (Izera being his mother.)

  • (n)efan(a) – “son/daughter of”
  • Based on the ending sounds of the child’s name and the beginning sounds of the mother’s name, you will modify efan. If your name ends in a vowel such as “Lara,” you will add the at the beginning. If your mother’s name starts with a consonant, you will add an a. This is to make the words flow more naturally.
  • Councilor Eszen, one of the queen’s advisors, has the name “Eszen efana Shundilzin.” His mother’s name begins with a consonant sound, so he would use efana to flow.

Honorifics/Suffixes

  • -(t)ahn: an affectionate suffix; used with someone you know well and are familiar with. For instance, someone who is a dear friend, or a child. You would never use this to someone considered to be of a higher social ranking. As with the matronymic, the beginning sound can change depending on the last sound of the name. Ashariah, the princess, would be “Ashariah-tahn,” but Tarek would be “Tarek-ahn.”
  • Su’ud redahn: a Stoneflight title that refers to royalty; does not translate exactly, but it is the Kadirai equivalent of saying “Your Majesty” to the queen

Flights and Locations

The Kadirai of Ascavar are divided into different “flights,” or clans. Each has its own lands and traditions, although they do speak a common language with small variations.

Lands

  • Ascavar: the world of the dragonflights; is a parallel world to ours connected by portals
  • Eldavar: refers to the human world
  • dahl: refers to the land or country ruled by a flight
  • Vakhdahl – the lands of the Stoneflight
  • Mardahl – the lands of the Ironflight

Flights

  • Zheranar – the Stoneflight
  • Ordahnar – the Ironflight

People

Though the first few books concentrate on the Kadirai, there are other groups in Ascavar.

  • Edra – a race of shapeshifters who can appear in human form or an animal form. They refer to themselves as “having the spirit of ___” whatever their other form is. They are not as powerful as the Kadirai, but they are numerous in Ascavar.
  • Vak – the nonmagical people of Ascavar. Some use the term to refer to humans in either world, but the term technically refers to those in Ascavar.
  • kuthra – mother
  • far-serahl – a deep, abiding relationship; not necessarily lovers but one that is more meaningful than regular friendship
  • om-serahl – a platonic friend
  • kadizhan – “little cousin” – a title that grants honorary status as a dragon, given to outsiders who have earned respect and honor
  • thodar – healer

Phrases

Take caution! Some of these phrases are very rude, so don’t say them to a dragon you just met! 😉

General

  • kaare – look! (an order/command)
  • inan tam? – who are you?
  • harekh vahl – we’re done
  • takh n’adan – let’s go!
  • dath sequa – an honorable greeting, used among the Stoneflight when soldiers greet each other
  • Nalak halar! (Nalak halar anan!)  – a proclamation among the Ironflight, a sign of respect. Nalak halar roughly means “We are chosen by the flame.” The appropriate response is nalak halar anan! which is an agreement and approval. Often used in diplomatic settings as a way to start conversation politely.

Naughtier Words

  • vezhare – shut up (very rude)
  • t’haran vo shedh – doesn’t translate; roughly means “people who roll in the mud.” It refers to Kadirai who choose to consort with the Vak. Very derogatory.
  • t’haran dan keth – people with no honor, undeserving of respect; this is very insulting. One should not use this in polite conversation.
  • vazredakh – a fairly mild curse, roughly equivalent to “son of a bitch.” Somewhat rude, but won’t start a fight at dinner.

Miscellaneous

  • al-hatari – life energy; a concept sort of like qi in which energy flows through and around all living things
  • hanassa – a magical amulet with the power of translation between different languages