Dwarves originally did not have a written language, instead passing their knowledge down through oral tradition. Humans taught dwarves how to write in Common, which was much simpler than runes; and over the years, dwarves altered the language into their own design. Dwarven looks like a weird hybrid of titan glyphs and human letters.
In World of Warcraft, the Dwarven language is listed as Dwarven under the Dwarf skill list, and Dwarvish in chat mode.
Dwarven Primer (official translations)
Here are a few Dwarven phrases and words, for which the translations have been officially confirmed by Blizzard, or have real world translations:
- Draig'cyfail = Dragonheart, a title given to the wizard Rhonin.
- Dwyar'hun = Star Bow (from the older dwarven dialect), a form of dwarven crossbow with spiked balls instead of bolts.
- Gwyarbrawden = Ritual among dwarven warriors, a way of connecting their blood. It was also a kind of justice. Those who swore Gwyarbrawden to another would avenge that person's death no matter the difficulty.
- Haggis = A dish consisting of a mixture of the minced heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep or calf mixed with suet, onions, oatmeal, and seasonings and boiled in the stomach of the slaughtered animal.(WC2)
- Khadgar = Trust.
- Khaz Modan = Mountain of Khaz, named after the titan, Khaz'goroth.
- Loch = A lake or partially landlocked or protected bay; a narrow arm of the sea.
- Magna = Protector, used for both male and female Guardians.
In dwarven culture, family names often indicate clan names as well. They are lesser clans within one of the three main dwarven cultures. Some family names are derived from names of honor earned through some feat, which replace the family's true name. For example, Falstad Dragonreaver's real name is Falstad Wildhammer. This shows that the new name could be passed on to their descendants, depending on the choice of the individual. Another example would be the members of "Thunderaxe", who joined the Dark Iron clan during the War of the Three Hammers, taking on the name "Pikesplitter".
Dwarves typically have names reflecting the sturdy nature of their past. Many also have surnames that were earned by a member of the family in service during a quest or in a particular moment of notoriety or infamy that has now become part of a family legacy.
- Male Names: Barab, Aradun, Thorin, Magni, Garrim, Wendel, Thurimar.
- Female Names: Chise, Helga, Ferya, Furga, Krona, Imli.
- Family Names: Thunderforge, Bronzebeard, Hammergrim, Thornsteel, Chunderstout.
Wildhammers follow many of the same naming conventions as their Ironforge brethren, taking names that reflect noble ancestors. Wildhammer surnames recall great accomplishments of family members and clans.
- Male Names: Kazdun, Hagrim, Dondar, Soldrin.
- Female Names: Kella, Lorim, Ar-ya, Senica.
- Family Names: Beastclaw, Greatbeard, Thundertamer, Windseer.
Untranslated words or phrases
- Angor — Dark Iron fortress in the Badlands.
- Baradin — A bay in western Wetlands.
- Bael'dun — Dwarven digsites in the Barrens and Mulgore.
- Dun Algaz — Dwarven pass from Loch Modan to Wetlands.
- Dun Baldar — Dwarven base camp in Alterac Valley.
- Dun Garok — Dwarven fortress in Hillsbrad Foothills.
- Dun Mandarr — A cave in Winterspring.
- Dun Modr — Former dwarven fortress in northern Wetlands.
- Dun Morogh — Dwarven highlands in central Khaz Modan.
- Gol'Bolar — A quarry in southern Dun Morogh.
- Grim Batol — A former dwarf stronghold in eastern Wetlands.
- Kharanos — A dwarven town in central Dun Morogh.
- Ruk MogOth red a mogoth ta eft Thros-garE Haldir. Kha gor ruk khaz ta ke ruk hrim eft thros-am-kha ruk kost-um havar go kost. A modoss hine ruk bergum eft thros-am-kha ga eft Haldir ke loch Thon we lo gefrunon ta mitta. Gar Ruk dagUm loch angor-magi ta har ruk! — Said by Brann Bronzebeard when trying to communicate with Horde adventurers.
- Thandol — The dwarven bridge connecting Khaz Modan to Lordaeron
- Thelgen — A cave in southern Wetlands.
- Thelsamar — A dwarven town in southwestern Loch Modan.
- Thor Modan — A dwarven settlement in Northrend.
Selected Dwarven words (speculation)
This is the list of words created by the in-game language parser for the "Dwarvish" language, and is listed as language number six (word range 204-314, 1236) in the Language text file.
In the in-game translator, the language parser for Dwarvish shares similar words to Gnomish.
Note: The language algorithm used by the in-game "translator" merely makes the words LOOK like Dwarven/Dwarvish. It does not actually use a specific dictionary. Therefore, translated in-game speech isn't true Dwarven.
|Number of letters in word||Word List|
|Two-letter words||Am, Ga, Go, Ke, Lo, Ok, Ta, Um, We, Zu|
|Three-letter words||Ahz, Dum, Dun, Eft, Gar, Gor, Hor, Kha, Mok, Mos, Red, Ruk|
|Four-letter words||Gear, Gosh, Grum, Guma, Helm, Hine, Hoga, Hrim, Khaz, Kost, Loch, Modr, Rand, Rune, Thon|
|Five-letter words||Algaz, Angor, Dagum, Frean, Gimil, Goten, Havar, Havas, Mitta, Modan, Modor, Scyld, Skalf, Thros, Weard|
|Six-letter words||Bergum, Drugan, Farode, Haldir, Haldji, Modgud, Modoss, Mogoth, Robush, Rugosh, Skolde, Syddan|
|Seven-letter words||Dun-fel, Ganrokh, Geardum, Godkend, Haldren, Havagun, Kaelsag, Kost-um, Mok-kha, Thorneb, Zu-Modr|
|Eight-letter words||Azregahn, Gefrunon, Golganar, Khaz-dum, Khazrega, Misfaran, Mogodune, Moth-tur, Ok-Hoga, Thulmane|
|Nine-letter words||Ahz-Dagum, Angor-dum, Arad-Khaz, Gor-skalf, Grum-mana, Khaz-rand, Kost-Guma, Mund-helm|
|Ten-letter words||Angor-Magi, Gar-Mogoth, Hoga-Modan, Midd-Havas, Nagga-roth, Thros-gare|
|Eleven-letter words||Azgol-haman, Dun-haldren, Ge'ar-anvil, Guma-syddan|
|Twelve-letter words||Robush-mogan, Thros-am-Kha|
|Thirteen-letter words||Gimil-thumane, Gol'gethrunon, Haldji-drugan|
|Fourteen-letter words||Gosh-algaz-dun, Scyld-modor-ok|
Word list (speculation)
- "Bael'Gar" = "Red Giant"
- "Bael" = "Red"
- "Dun" = "settlement/town" or "ground"
- "Bael'Dun" = "Redshire" or "Redground"
- "Loch Modan" = "Mountain Lake", definition not yet confirmed by Blizzard but is the most likely definition.
- "Modan" = "Mountain" or "Mountains"
- "Gar" = "Giant" 
- "Oie" = "yes"
- "Eta" = "No"
- "Thor Modan" = "Mountain of Thorim"
Outside of a few exceptions such as loch, no Dwarven words have any real-life counterparts, although their phonology appears to have Celtic (Dun Morogh, Gwyarbrawden), Germanic (Thandol, Thor Modan) and Semitic (Bael'gun, Khaz Modan) influences. This is in line with the archetypical dwarves of Tolkien's legendarium, which had Germanic-inspired names (frequently taken from Norse mythology), a Semitic-inspired language roughly based on Hebrew, and who would often be given Scottish or Irish accents in Tolkien's adaptations.
In other material
Dwarven has been the name for the languages of dwarves in many fantasy settings, including Lord of the Rings. It is also one of the standard languages in Dungeons and Dragons.
- ^ World of Warcraft Battle Chest Guide
- ^ White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 140. ISBN 9781588467737.
- ^ Knaak, Richard A.. Night of the Dragon, 109. ISBN 978-0-7434-7137-4.
- ^ Knaak, Richard A.. Night of the Dragon, 238. ISBN 978-0-7434-7137-4.
- ^ Knaak, Richard A.. Night of the Dragon, 17. ISBN 978-0-7434-7137-4.
- ^ Grubb, Jeff. The Last Guardian, 36. ISBN 978-0-6710-4151-9.
- ^ Rosenberg, Aaron. Tides of Darkness, 362. ISBN 978-1-4165-3990-2.
- ^ Ironforge - the Awakening of the Dwarves
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 137
- ^ DeCandido, Keith R.A.. Cycle of Hatred, 129, 148. ISBN 978-0-7434-7136-7.
- ^ Arthaus. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 190. ISBN 9781588460714.
- ^ Metzen, Chris; Bob Fitch, Luke Johnson, Seth Johnson, Mur Lafferty, James Maliszewski. Alliance & Horde Compendium, 55. ISBN 9781588460639.
- ^ White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 56. ISBN 9781588467737.
- ^ White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 168. ISBN 9781588467737.
- ^ Arthaus. Lands of Conflict, 131. ISBN 9781588469601.
- ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 34. ISBN 9781588467812.
- ^ White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 7. ISBN 9781588467737.