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Kislev Emblem Total War
"All their songs are sad, and all their wars are happy."
Popular Tilean Saying of Kislev.[1b]

Gospodarinyi is the language spoken by the people of Kislev, but it is know as Kislevain or Kislevite to outsiders.[4a] It is a blend of the original Ungol and Roppsmenn tongues with the addition of the languages brought by the migrating Gospodars. Over the centuries, this has become the dominant of the three languages, with the addition of some Reikspiel words and conventions from the south.[1b]

There are, of course, many different dialects within Kislev, and the language is spoken somewhat differently in different regions of the country, though the differences between these broad dialects are slight. There is almost never any difficulty in mutual understanding, and non-Kislevarin speakers are generally unable to distinguish them without conscious effort. The regional differences correspond mainly to old tribal divisions from hundreds of years ago, the most significant of these (in terms of numbers of speakers) are Sudevarin, which is spoken in the south, Krevarin, which is spoken in the east and centre of the country, and Dolvarin, which is the principal language of the north and of the tribal raiders who plague the farmers. In the stanitsas of the far north, the older tribes and families keep alive the distinctive Górelsk dialect, said to be the unpolluted language of the Ropsmenn, and they take great pride in their culture and language, which is said to be much more musical than standard Kislevarin. Some city dwellers—especially the less affluent population—also have their own distinctive dialects. An example of this is Tzavarin, still spoken by some of the population of Kislev, though these city dialects are now mostly extinct due to assimilation with standard Kislevarin.[1b]

Kislevarin is often said to be one of the most difficult languages for non-native speakers to learn, and while difficult for speakers of “classic” Reikspiel, it is not so difficult for those raised in the north and east of the Empire, since the regional dialect of Ostland and Ostermark owes much to early Kislevarin. What makes Kislevarin so difficult to master is that it has an extremely complex gender system, based on the fact that it combines three categories—gender (masculine, feminine, neuter), personality (personal versus non-personal), and vitality (animate versus inanimate).[1b]

Over the centuries, Kislevarin has borrowed a large number of words from other languages, most notably Reikspiel, since the Empire and Kislev share a border, and a high proportion of the inhabitants of Kislevite cities are from the Empire. Most such words are adopted by altering the spelling to keep the pronunciation but are written according to Kislevite phonetics. Thus, it is possible for a non-Kislevarin speaker to pick out the odd word here and there from a conversation, such as Stem-tzak (Steam Tank) and Roketz (Rockets). Here are other examples of borrowed words: szlachta (which comes from the Reikspiel word, adelsgeschlecht, meaning nobility) and burmistrz (which comes from the word burgomeister, meaning mayor).[1b]

Dialects

  • Dolvarin, spoken in the north.
  • Górelsk, occasionally spoken in the north. It is said to be the original Roppsmenn language.
  • Krevarin, spoken in the east.
  • Sudevarin, spoken mainly in the south.
  • Tzavarin, occasionally spoken in Kislev City.

Lexicon

A

B

  • Bachór: An unruly boy or child; also used to denote a warrior too stupid or unskilled to survive[1a]
  • Blyad: A woman of low morals[1a]
  • Boyar/boyarin: A noble lord/lords[1a]
  • Burmistrz: Mayor[1a]

C

  • Chapka: Fur-lined cap[1a]

D

  • Dewastacja: Devastation; mainly used as a solemn word to describe the land left behind after a Chaos incursion[1a]
  • Do widzenia: Good bye, or die well; often used interchangeably[1a]
  • Droyaska: Blademaster; a title bestowed upon a master swordsman whose skill is above all others[1a]
  • Druzhina: A noble[1a]
  • Dzień dobry: Good day[1a]

E

  • Esaul: An ataman’s steward[1a]

G

  • Gospodarinyi: Kislevarin; the name of the language for itself[4a]

K

  • Kibitkas: Portable huts[1a]
  • Kika: Elaborate headdresses worn by married women[1a]
  • Koniushy: The Ice Queen’s own Master of the Horse[1a]
  • Korzna: A rectangular or semicircular cut cloak of the nobility[1a]
  • Koszmar: A nightmare, a time when dark spirits are loose[1a]
  • Koumiss: A strong alcoholic beverage made from fermented mare’s milk[1a]
  • Kovnik: Captain[6a]
  • Kozhukhi: A sheepskin coat[1a]
  • Krashenin: Dyed linen intended for nobility[1a]
  • Krowa: A cow or a particularly stupid person[1a]
  • Krug: Literally “circles”; used to describe groups of Ungol horsemen[1a]
  • Kvas: A clear, distilled spirit popular throughout Kislev, renowned for its potency and medicinal properties[1a]
  • Kyazak: Outlaws or raiders[1a]

L

  • Lapti: blunt-pointed, hand-woven shoes[1a]

M

  • Matka: Mother[2a]
  • Mazurka: A dance from the old days of gallantry, full of suggestions of passion and love[1a]

N

  • Nekulturny: An uncultured person who does not comport himself properly and behaves without respect[1a]
  • Nya: No[2a]

O

P

R

  • Raspashnoe: An open-front overgarment[1a]
  • Raspotitsa: A time when snow blankets the steppe; literally “roadlessness”[1a]
  • Riddle-man: Another name for “city guide”[1a]
  • Rota: A unit of troops—horse archers, kossars, or winged lancers[1a]
  • Rubakha: An ankle-length, loose shift that can be worn as a man’s shirt or a woman’s underdress[1a]

S

  • Samogon: A crude moonshine[1a]
  • Stanitsa: A sizeable Kislev settlement, large enough to raise one or more rotas of horse archers, kossars, or winged lancers every year[1a]
  • Svolich: An insult used to question a person’s parentage or inferior lineage[1a]
  • Świnia: Pig or disgusting person who does not respect tradition[1a]
  • Szlachta: From the Reikspiel word, adelsgeschlecht, meaning nobility[1a]

T

  • Tirsa: A small village[1a]
  • Tovaritches: Comrades[5a]
  • Towarzysz: lit; comrade, the leader of a cavalry troop[3a]

U

  • Urtza: Four-year cycle of the Ungol Calendar[1a]

V

  • Venet: Elaborate headdress worn by maidens[1a]

Y

  • Yha: Yes[2a]
  • Yurta: An easily transportable tent constructed from wooden poles and animal skins[1a]

Z

  • Zal: The main meeting hall in a village[1a]
  • Za: From beyond; mainly used to describe where Chaos marauders come from, so as to avoid giving voice to the name of their realm[1a]

Trivia

  • Noticeably, Kislevarin borrows real world terminology from various northern Euro-Asian cultures, including Bulgarian, Estonian, Russian, Slovak and Polish languages.

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Realm of the Ice Queen
    • 1a: pg. 9
    • 1b: pg. 12
  • 2: The Ambassador (novel) by Graham McNeill
    • 2a: Chapter 7
  • 3: Ursun's Teeth (novel) by Graham McNeill
    • 3a: Chapter 8
  • 4: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th ED -- Core Rulebook
    • 4a: pg. 125
  • 5: The Burning Shore (novel) by Robert Earl
    • 5a: Chapter 11
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy Battles Core (8th Edition)
    • 6a: pg. 458

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