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Hen Llinge, or Elvish,[1] is the language of the Aen Seidhe elves. As it is one of the oldest languages still in use, it is referred to as the Old or Elder Speech while the lingua franca is Common Speech. It is used not only by elves, but also by mages and scholars. Sung versions of Elder Speech are used by dryads, sirens, and nereids. Nilfgaardian, Skellige and Zerrikanian dialects all derive from Elder Speech.

Real world origins[]

Its vocabulary is based heavily on the Celtic languages of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, although in some cases Sapkowski has used also connotations with more "popular" languages, like German and English. The two basic verbs, "to be" and "to have", are borrowed from Italian and Latin.[2]

The author invented the language for orcs and elves,[3] but so far only the latter have appeared in the official continuity.

For the purpose of Netflix's The Witcher, renowned linguist David J. Peterson recreated the Elder Speech as a fully developed constructed language. In contrast with Sapkowski's writings, Peterson's latinization of the language reflects the intended pronunciation, leaving the irregularities to the language's native script (which he had also invented). For example, inváerne is latinized as inveirne and Hen Llinge as Hen Linge.[4]

Note: for the purposes of consistency with the Saga and the games, words coined for the TV series listed below follow the transliteration from Elder Runes rather than Peterson's romanization. For the latter, visit Hen Linge page on the linguist's wiki.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ' Names Phrases


Elder Speech English
a'baeth[1] kiss, to kiss
aark floe[5]
aark, aark phonetic presentation of the sound ravens/crows make
abb mouth (of a river) (from Welsh aber)
addan, adan dance; dancer; dancing
adhart[6] forward
first person singular subject personal pronoun I (dryad dialect)
aecáemm[6] to follow
aedd shard, piece
aef to have, has
aefder later, after
aen from, to, for, with, of, in, out of, at, by, down, in, into, until, on, like, as
aen'drean enter?
aenye fire
aesledde[1] ride on a sleigh/sled
aespar to shoot (from Italian: sparare)
aëte summer (From French: été)
aevon river (from Welsh: afon, Breton: avon) (glys in Nilfgaardian language)
aep of (From the Welsh patronymic ap)(mostly used for marking hereditary ties)
aép in, to
agwetheill / agwethill[7] to open
aine light (possibly enlightened)
an small, also an indefinite article: a, an
an'givare[8] informer, spy (From Swedish: angivare, a person who reports someone else's criminal actions)
a'taeghane today
ar of (from Welsh/Irish: on)
ard mountain, mountainous, upper, top, or "the highest" (From Irish: High)
arse arse (UK), ass (US), butt, rump


Elder Speech English
ban peak, summit, place/village? (context dependent) (From Welsh: ban/fan, Irish: ben)
beag[6] little (From Irish: beag)
beanna woman (From Irish: bean)
beann'shie banshee (From Irish: bean sí)
belean'graec[6] important (Possibly derived from Dutch: belangrijk)
Birke the fourth savaed in the elven calendar, also Spring Equinox; related to birch tree
blath flower (from Irish: bláth)
blathan garland; flowers
blathanna Genitive: flowers', of flowers (from Irish)
blathe the fifth savaed in the elven calendar; possibly 'flowering'?
bleidd wolf (From Welsh: blaidd)
bloed blood, silly (From Dutch: bloed to mean "blood") (From German: blöd/bloed to mean "stupid")
bloede bloody, gory, damn (UK: bloody hell)
broggha,[6] breoga[9] frog (From Welsh: broga)
Brokiloéne of Brokilon, Brokiloni


Elder Speech English
caed forest; grove (From Welsh: coed)
cáelm calm, peaceful, quiet; slowly, quietly; calm, quieten
cáemm to go, arrive
caen can (verb)
caer fortress, castle, keep (kaer in Skellige dialect) (From Welsh: caer)
cáerme fate, destiny
Cáerme Destiny
carn kurgan, barrow, burial mound, cairn
carraigh rock (From Irish: carraig)
ceádmil greet (in The Witcher appears as caed'mil; also as caedmill), greetings (possibly from Irish greeting: Céad Míle (failte romhat) meaning "one hundred thousand (welcomes to you)
ceas'raet[6] empire (of Nilfgaard)
ceann head, tip; end (as in end point) (Irish: ceann)
cerbin raven (similar to several languages e.g. Romanian corb)
cinerea Ilyocoris
col mountain/hill valley? (appears in the name of Col Serrai, a valley or ravine in Brokilon; in a number of languages including Irish and English col refers to a dip between two peaks, ultimately deriving from Latin collum, which means "neck")
coram lion
conyn stalk (as in plant stem) (From Welsh: conyn)
craag rock/cliff (From Welsh: careg/craig)
creasa must, necessity, obligation, inevitability, duty
crevan fox


Elder Speech English
daetre behind, back
daerienn[6] sorceress, sorceresses
darganfod[6] discover, discovery, discovered (From Welsh: darganfod)
darl'len[6] read (From Welsh: darllen)
dearg red (From Irish: dearg) (Ellylon)
dearme sleep; good night (phrase) (From Italian: dormire)
deien[6] to serve (from Dutch dienen)
deireádh end (noun), last, finish (From Irish: deireadh)
deith flame
deithwen white flame
dh'oine human (in The Witcher also in form dh'oinne) (from the Irish for person/people: duine/daoine)
dhu black (From Welsh: du, Irish: dubh)
dice to speak, to talk (From Spanish: dice / From Latin: dicere)
dol dale, dell, vale, valley (Welsh: dôl)
drád[7] face
drelch[7] beast
d'yaebl devil (in The Witcher both a sword and a wolf bear this name) (From Spanish: diablo)


Elder Speech English
easnadh sigh (Ellylon) (from Irish osnaigh)
eate summer (from French été)
eigean necessary, must, have to (From Irish: is éigean)
eimyr hedgehog
elaine fair, beautiful (From Irish: álainn)
elle of alder(s)
ell'ea okay, alright, correct (interrogative)
en indefinite article (a/an)
en'leass laced, tied (Ellylon)
enid daisy
ensh'eass enchanting, enthralling, charming, glamorous (Ellylon)
ess to be, is (From Italian: essere / Latin: esse)
esse will be, will (From Italian: essere / Latin: esse)
essea I am (From Italian: essere / Latin: esse)
esseath you are (From Italian: essere / Latin: esse)
evall horse (From French: cheval)
eveigh immortal
evellienn everything, all, everybody, everyone
evn'gesaen[6] ambassador


Elder Speech English
feainn sun; also the sixth savaed in the elven calendar
feainnewedd Sun-Child, Child of the Sun
fen meadow, pasture
foilé frantic, mad (From Italian/: folle)
folie frenzy (From French folie)
fraeren brothers ? (perhaps from Italian: fratelli or french: frères)


Elder Speech English
gaeth gate, portal ?
gàidh (genitive: gaidth)[6] garden
gar'ean note; consider; be careful
geas curse; geis is a magical obligation/prohibition in Irish mythology. Also; geas, geasa
geehaet[6] hard
ghar[6] word
gláeddyv (plural: glaeddyvan) sword (From Welsh: cleddyf / Latin: gladius?)
glamarye glamour
glean bottom, low (From Welsh: glan)
gleanna valleys (in genitive?)
gloir[6] glory (From French: gloire)
glosse to look, watch, stare (From German: glotzen)
glys small river, stream
gvaern[6] mistress
gvalch'ca (she-)falcon (From Welsh: gwalch/walch)
gwen, gwyn white (also -wen) (From Welsh: gwyn)
gwent, gwynt[6] wind (From Welsh: gwynt)
gwennelen alabaster (in genitive?)
gwyd[10] sycamore maple
gwynbleidd White wolf
gynvael ice


Elder Speech English
hael greeting (long life to...); health (From English: hail, hale)
haela medicine; drug? (From German: heilen)
hanse unit, armed group of friends, gang (From English: hanse)
hav'caaren hawker(s); based on Elder Speech word for 'rapacious' (greedy)
hen old, oldest, elder (From Welsh: hen)
herba[6] herb
het[6] it, that (From Dutch: het)
holl[6] all (From Welsh: holl)


Elder Speech English
ichaer blood, (from Ancient Greek: ιχώρ; ichor: blood of the Gods, an ether golden fluid, toxic to humans)
imbaelk sprouting
inis island (From Irish: inis)
invaerne (in) winter (From Italian: inverno)


Elder Speech English
kelpie kelpie


Elder Speech English
laeke, loc lake (from Irish: loch)
laith lady (Ellylon)
lara seagull
ledwedd[6] painting
lionors lioness (Skellige jargon)
llamas maturing
llinge language, tongue (from Italian: lingua)
loa'then[6] hate (From English: loathing)
loc'h lake (Ellylon) (from Irish: loch)
Loc'hlaith Lady of the Lake (Ellylon)
luned daughter / young girl


Elder Speech English
marw[6] dies, die (From Welsh: marw/meirw) (from Irish: maradh)
me me, my, mine (From Irish; mé, meaning I)
meáth meet
mid- middle, in the middle of
milva kite (bird) (from Latin: Milva)
mire look, observe (From Spanish: mira)
mistle waxwing, or mistle thrush, also one of the Rats
minne love (noun) (Means "Love" in old German)
modron mother (Skellige jargon)
moigh[7] water (perhaps from English: moist or Proto-Semitic: *māy)
morc book, tome
morvud enemy[5]
muire sea (from Irish: muir)


Elder Speech English
na or (From Irish: ná)
naev'de nine of (From Italian: nove di)
neén no, not (From German: nein)
nell'ea am I wrong? (interrogative, negative form of ell'ea)
ninnau[6] we, us; ourselves (From Welsh: nina/ninau)
nolla[7] earth (from English: knoll, or Proto-Germanic: *knulla-)
n'og young
n'te do not


Elder Speech English
oiach[7] you all


Elder Speech English
pavienn ape
pest pestilence, plague, blight
pherian Halfling, hobbit (from Sindarin: perian, plural periannath)
pont bridge (From Welsh: pont)


Elder Speech English
que that (From Italian: che, French: qui/que, Latin: qui/quae) or what ("que suecc's?" - what is going on?)
quirk, quirk phonetic representation of the sound sparrows make


Elder Speech English
raenn run (From German: renn)
rhena queen (Latin: regina)
rhenawedd[6] queen's daughter/son, princess/prince ?
rhon[7][10]/rhoun[7] king
Roethainne[6] Redanian
ruadhri riders, horsemen (Ellylon)


Elder Speech English
salah[6] to pray (From Arabic: صَلَّى (ṣallā))
saov spirit, soul, ghost?
savaed One eighth of the year in the elven calendar
scoia'tael squirrel(s) (From Italian: scoiattolo)
seidh hill, mound (From Irish: Sidhe)
seidhe of hills, hill's (From Irish: Sidhe); elf[5]
shaent sing (From French: chanter)
sidh elf (dryad dialect) (From Irish: Sidhe)
sledd[1] sleigh
sor'ca sister, little sister (from Polish: siostra / siorka)
spar shoot (verb) (From Italian: sparare)
spar'le (order) shoot him
squaess excuse (squaess'me - forgive me. From Italian: scusami); to forgive
stráede road, path (From Welsh: stryd/From Italian: strada)
sh'aente to sing (From French: chanter)


Elder Speech English
taedh bard, poet
te you (From Italian/Latin: te)
tearde later
tearth fear
tedd time, age, season
thaesse shut up
thevynn[7] heather (plant)
thu[6] you (Nilfgaardian language) (From French: tu)
tir land, ground; country (From Welsh/Cornish/Breton/Irish: tir)
tirth wild boar
tor tower (From Italian: torre, From Welsh: twr, From Irish: túr)
torc'h power (Ellylon)
treise strength, vigour, power (From Irish: treise)
tuathe whisper (Ellylon)
tvedeane twelve, dozen
twe[6] two


Elder Speech English
ui[7] and
uniade[6] union, uniting, joining; merger (From Welsh: Uniad)


Elder Speech English
va go (From French/Italian: va)
va'en trip, journey
vaer'trouv[6] to hope, to trust (From German: Vertrauen)
va fáill goodbye, farewell
vaine vain
vara wares; goods (Possibly from Swedish: vara)
varh'he[6] bitch
vatt'ghern witcher
veloë fast, quick; quickly (From Italian/French: veloce)
vhóel[7] death
voe'rle stop, halt?
vond[7] door
vort further, away (from oneself), still (from German fort "away")
vyverne[11] wyvern


Elder Speech English
wedd child
weddin diminutive form of 'wedd', child; kiddo
wen white (From Welsh: Wen/wyn)
woechin[7] glyph
woechina[7] glyphs
woed, woéd, woedd wood; forest (From Welsh: Coed/Coedwig, also English: wood)


Elder Speech English
y of
yeá yes, so
yghern[6] Giant centipede
ymladda[6] combat, fight (From Welsh: Ymladd)
yn on, over, upon, one
ys downward, from below
ysgarthiad[6] shit, excretion


Elder Speech English
zael[7] to rise
zireael swallow (bird)
zuirseime[7] Chaos
zvaere swear (to take an oath)


Elder Speech English
'ere here (Dryad dialect)


Elder Speech English
Aedd Gynvael Shard of Ice
Aen Elle Alder Folk, People of the Alders
Aen N'og Mab Taedh'morc "Practices for a Young Bard"
Aen Saevherne Sage
Aen Seidhe Hill Folk, People of the Hill
Aen Woedbeanna[8] Woman of the Woods/Forest
Aenyell'hael[8] Baptism of fire, also the name of a novel
Aenyeweddien[11] Child of the Fire
Aevon y Pont ar Gwennelen River of Alabaster Bridges, Pontar
Ard Gwyd Sycamore Mountain
Ard Carraigh High Rock
Aymm Rhoin[6] Rite of Naming
Belleteyn blossoming
Birke Spring equinox; the fourth savaed in the elven calendar; 'birch tree'
Ban Ard Upper (peak ?)
Ban Gleán Lower (peak ?)
Brokiloén Brokilon
Caed Dhu Black Forest/Grove (From Welsh: Black Woods)
Caed Myrkvid Myrkvid Forest/Grove
Caer a'Muirehen Old Sea Keep; Keep of the Elder Sea (Blood of Elves, UK); Witchers' fortress
Ceann Treise a cascade in Brokilon; possibly Point of Vigour
Conynhaela a magical cure which enables the rapid regeneration damaged or broken bones
Craag An once a village, now a necropolis in Brokilon; meaning uncertain, possibly 'small rock/crag'
Dol Adalatte Valley of the Adalatte river.
Dol Blathanna Valley of the Flowers.
Duén Canell The Place of the Oak
Enid an Gleanna Daisy of the Valleys
Glyswen White River
Gvaern Ichaer[6] Bloody Mistress
Gwenllech river: White Stones
Gwendeith fortress: White Flame
Gwynbleidd White Wolf (From Welsh: Blaidd Gwyn)
Hen Ichaer Elder Blood
Imbaelk Imbolc, germination; the third savaed in the elven calendar
Lammas maturing; the seventh savaed in the elven calendar
Mear'ya Maria, Mary (for some reason brings not so nice connotations)[8]
Midaëte Midsummer
Midinvaerne Midwinter
Mirthe Mirt
Muire d'yaeblen[6] Drowner
Saovine 'Soul day'?; the first savaed in the elven calendar
Seidhe Llygad Eye of the Mountain[6]
Shaerrawedd Shaerra's Child
Tor Lara Tower of the Seagulls, Gulls' Tower
Tor Zireael Tower of the Swallow, Swallow's Tower
Velen autumn equinox; the eighth savaed in the elven calendar
Xin'trea Cintra in Elder Speech.


Elder Speech English
Aen'drean va, eveigh Aine![11] Come, immortal light! I summon you!
Aen me Glaeddyv, zvaere a Bloedgeas, Ard Rhena, Lionors Aep Xintra! By my Sword, I swear Blood Oath, the Highest Queen, Lioness of Cintra!

(Skellige jargon)

Ayd f'haeil moen Hirjeth taenverde.[6] Conquer with courage rather than strength.
A d'yaebl aép arse A devil up your arse
Bloede pest Bloody plague (imprecation)
Caelm, evellienn! Calm, everyone![12]
Caemm 'ere! Come here! (Dryad dialect)
Caen me a'baethe? Give me a kiss?[12]
Ceádmil, Wedd Brokiloéne! Greetings, Child of Brokilon!
Dubhenn haern am glândeal, morc'h am fhean aiesin My gleam penetrates the darkness, my brightness disperses the gloom
Duettaeánn aef cirrán Cáerme Gláeddyv. Yn á esseáth The Sword of Destiny has two edges. You are one of them
Elaine tedd a'taeghane[12] Lovely weather we're having. Literally: a nice time today
Elaine tedd a'taeghane, a va'en aesledde[1] The weather today is beautiful, so let's get the sleigh
En'ca minne Little love (a term of endearment/pet name, akin to 'darling')
Ess'creasa, sor'ca[8] We have no choice, little sister
Ess've vort shaente aen...[12] Sing me a song about...
Feainne Ichaer[6] Sun's blood
Gar'ean! N'te va![12] Watch out! Don't go in there!
Glaeddyv vort, beanna Drop the sword, woman
Glaeddyvan vort! Drop the swords!
Geas Muire Curse of the Sea
Herba zireael[6] Swallow's herb
Ire lokke, ire tedd Another place, another time
Ledwedd varlledu cyall, no ghar[6] Paintings should convey emotions, not words (Ellylon)
Lambert caen me a'baeth aep arse[1] Lambert can kiss me in the ass
Luned aep Hen Ichaer[11] Daughter of the Elder Blood
N'aen aespar a me[12] Don't shoot me
N'aracche aen woed endicen.[6] Let sleeping arachasae lie.
Nell'ea. T'en pavienn, Aen Seidhe. No way. You're an ape, elf.
Ni'l ceim siaar[6] Don't let them escape (Ellylon)
N'te dice'en[12] Don't say anything
N'te va Do not go / stop / halt
M'aespar que va'en, ell'ea?[12] Are you going to shoot me or what?
Mir' me vara[12] Show me your goods
Maethe taerde[6] Good luck(?)
Que'ss aen me dicette, Enid? Vorsaeke'llan? Aen vaine? What [would you say / are you saying??] to me, Daisy? Forsake them? In vain?
Que glosse? What are you looking at?
Que l'en pavienn, ell'ea? You're just an ape, yeah?
Que suecc's? What's going on?
Squass'me Excuse me; forgive me
Thaess aep Shut up
va fáill goodbye
Va vort a me, Dh'oine. N'aen te a dice'n. Get away from me, human. I won't say anything to you.
Va'en aesledde, ell'ea?[12] We'll go for a sleigh ride, alright?
Va'esse deireádh aep eigean, va'esse eigh faidh'ar Something ends, something begins
zaeleill aep[7] rise up


Elder Speech English
Aen verelith cyrre naid. Ader eich blaen eide'me.[6] I give you my heart. But I shall take your head.
Darl'len, Aen Seidhe![6]

Neen evelienn Scoia'tael marw. Cáemm aep woedd, holl Aen Seidhe. Darganfod an uniade ninnau. Ymladda dh'oine. Ess'tedd, esse creasa.[6]

Read, Aen Seidhe!

Not every Scoia'tael is dead. Come to the woods, all Aen Seidhe. Discover and join us. Fight the humans. It is time, it will be the place.

Elaine blath, Feainnewedd

Dearme aen a'caelme tedd

Eigean evelienn deireadh

Que'n esse, va en esseath

Feainnewedd, elaine blath

Beautiful flower, Sun Child

Dream of/in a calm time

Everyone must end

Thus it will be, gone you are

Sun Child, beautiful flower

Va fail, elaine - caed'mil, folie! Glaeddyv dorne aep t'enaid, bunn'droh ithne i'yachus[6] Good bye beauty, hello madness. Sword thorn of soul, [unknown, ithne may relate to Irish "ith" or eat, i'yachus may relate to Irish "iach" or "eo" or "iachus" in Welsh (healthy)]
Thomas Moreau, Professor

Ellas k'havani allder aen Dol Naev'de, ellas allder n'corrason. Glorsann a'Aelirenn.[6]

Thomas Moreau, Professor

Salvation lies not in Dol Naev'de [Valley of the Nine] but in our hearts. Glory be to Aelirenn.