Low Gothic (or Imperial Gothic) is the common language of the Imperium. In the Age of the Imperium it is spoken as a first language on almost all civilised planets, and is accepted as a second language on planets within Imperial control with the exception of some medieval and feral worlds.
Low Gothic is a bastardised version of High Gothic, combining additional elements from several of the oriental languages of ancient Terra. Over the millennia it has changed greatly, and now bears almost no resemblance to the tongues from which it derived. Although a common language, it varies from planet to planet (and even from region to region), so that it is not always easy for two characters to communicate if they are from different worlds.
Medieval, feral and worlds suffering from long periods of isolation may have several indigenous languages derived either from High Gothic or one of the ancient Earth tongues. It was quite common during the Dark Age of Technology for worlds to be settled by small communities of "isolationists". These eccentric groups were often self-financed and their journeys unrecorded, many were of racial minorities attempting to recreate a sense of national identity away from the overpopulated Earth. Some of these groups made a deliberate attempt to revive long dead or moribund languages, perceiving them as a source of national identity and communal strength.
Known Low Gothic Dialects
- Aebathan — Originally used to mean the severing of an enemy gang-killer's throat in single combat. Later used to refer to the successful completion of a military campaign.
- Argel Tal — "The Last Angel".
- Gal Vorbak — "The Blessed Sons".
- Urizen — "Wisest of the wise".
- Ushmetar Kaul — "Sharp edge by which false reality may be slit and pulled away to reveal god".
- Vakrah Jal — "Chapter of Consecrated Iron".
- Aett — "Clan-home", "fireplace" or "den".
- Bjorn — "Bear".
- Drekkar — "Longship".[5b]
- Einherjar — "Blood-sworn".
- Jarl — "Wolf Lord".
- Saern — "Truth".
- Sálskjoldur — "Soul-ward"[5b]
- Skítja — A swear word, exact meaning unknown.[5a]
- Sverdhjera — "Blademaster(s)".[5a]
- Varagyr — "Wolf Guard".
- Vlka Fenryka — "Wolves of Fenris".
- Wyrdfast — "fate-caught".
- Retalla mire allek — "Kill or be killed".
- Garrsak — "Unity".
- Klom — A kilometre (slang).
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, [Needs Citation]
- 2: Runes (Short Story)
- 3: Wrath of Iron (Novel)
- 4: Honour Guard (Novel), Chapter Six
- 5: Blood of Asaheim (Novel)
- 6: Medusan Wings (Novella) — On Wings of Blood (Anthology), -02.0-
- 7: For the Emperor (Novel) — Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus), Chapter Three
- 8: Leman Russ: The Great Wolf (Novel), Chapter VI
- 9: The Horus Heresy Book One - Betrayal, pg. 68
|Imperium||Low Gothic • High Gothic • Cant Mechanicus|
|Xenos||Ork • Eldar • Tau • Necron|