Languages of the Colonies


The dominant language in the Twelve Colonies is Colonial Standard, and with strikingly few exceptions, everybody living in the Cyrannus System knows how to speak it fluently. However, humans have by no means forgotten their languages of origin: on Virgon, for instance, those who grow up learning Standard might have picked up a few words of the local dialect here and there, while on Sagittaron one might well pass through several small villages without hearing a word of Standard.

This page outlines the real-world equivalents of our game's most important languages. Please keep the following four qualifications in mind.

First, our IC languages do not correspond exactly to their RL counterparts. This guide just gives you a rough idea of how they might sound.

Second, to be in the Colonial Fleet, you must be proven proficient in Standard (that is, be a native speaker or have received the in-universe equivalent of TOEFL certification).

Third, every student is taught Standard in public schools, though home-schooled students and students who went to private or religious schools might well have evaded this requirement.

Finally, please note that Standard has achieved such penetration that most people default to learning it save in the most rural or isolated of areas, where speakers of the local dialect are concentrated.

Learning Dialects

If your character knows one (or more) of these local dialects, please send us a +request after you complete CharGen so we can set them on your PC. Do be reasonable: given the dominance of Colonial Standard in all facets of life, it would take a concerted effort to speak one of these dialects at anywhere near Veteran level (fluency). If you grew up speaking snippets of it at home, you'd probably have between 1 to 3 dots; if you studied it in college, you'd have around 4. If you think your character is an exception to the rule, give us a justification in your +request and we'll figure something out.

If you want to learn a language on grid, you will have to spend XP as normal.

Dialects and Approximate RL Equivalents

The following dialects and their approximate RL equivalents have been established by our players throughout the course of RP. Dialects of Colonies not listed here have not yet been referenced IC, though they can certainly be added should the need arise. Please remember that — with the exception of Standard — all dialects described below are regional and subject to significant variation. If your character hails from one of these places but speaks a slightly different (or very different!) dialect, nobody will blink twice.

  • Colonial Standard: American English
  • Aerilonian: Irish and Scottish Gaelic
  • Canceran: Heavily accented Australian/New Zealander English
  • Sagittaran: Farsi
  • Taurian: Maori and Welsh
  • Virgan: French
  • Old Gemenese: Latin and Ancient Greek. Like its real-life equivalents, this language is now defunct, preserved only in the words of religious rituals and the Temples' vast collections of sacred texts.
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