View Full Version : Eldar Rune Radicals?

20-10-2008, 00:40
Hi guys,

Don't judge me, but I take Japanese as a language. Anyway, our teacher just recently taught us about the radicals in Kanji. Essentially, for those not in Japanese/Chinese whatever, you break down the kanji into smaller parts, and these smaller parts all have their different meanings.

For example, in a kanji, there might be a radical for fire, or man or tree or something like that.

So, me being a huge nerd, I wondered if there had ever been any fluff or anything of that sort on Eldar runes.

For example, I figured that the triangle (which figures somewhat prominently) means "war", and since I was bored I made up radicals for the rune for the Avatar, and putting them all together, it means "bloody handed god of war".

So yeah.

Discuss. :)

20-10-2008, 03:24
I'd always thought the triangle was the symbol of the Eldar? Or, to be more precise, a root symbol denoting something being of Eldar in origin, or an Eldar.
Other than that, I think there are smaller parts of Eldar runes that have a common meaning, like the "fangs" on the runes for Vipers and Wave Serpents translating as snake (or something), a "crosshair" denoting a proper tank (hence why it's on the Fire Prism and Falcon runes, but not the Wave Serpent or Vyper), a "cross-bar" meaning a higher rank (for example, a Dire Avenger is the rune for a Guardian, but with a bisected bar coming down from the bottom of the triangle. Wraithlord runes have an extra crossbar than the rune for Wraithguard, and so on).

20-10-2008, 03:31
That would make more sense, wouldn't it? Silly me!

Thank you very much for your input!

If I had more time, I'd create a glossary sort of thing. Unfortunately though, I don't.

20-10-2008, 23:29
Sounds like a cool project. Unfortunately there's not a lot of information to work with, but since there's unlikely to be an official lexicon of the Eldar language any time soon, you can at least count on your theories not being invalidated. :p

The runes that we usually see seem to suggest an idea rather than a word - one of the old Eldar codex books had a section that explained that the Eldar language is built around references to their culture, so the symbol for "falcon" refers to the bird, the gravtank or the messenger of the Eldar gods, depending on context. Some aspect warrior runes follow this pattern - the Swooping Hawk symbol has wings, the Fire Dragon one looks like a snake - but some don't, presumably because the designers couldn't figure out a simple way to show "avenger" or "reaper." For those, you'd pretty much have to make up meanings for the different components of the symbol.

Inquisitor Engel
21-10-2008, 00:49
Even ATTEMPTING to turn the Eldar language into something readable or even comprehensible to any of us is an exercise in folly. I tried once, having a very, very rudimentary language of German, French and Spanish, but ultimately it just felt too structured and too boring to be real Eldar.

21-10-2008, 06:18
Eldar society, structured? Rigid? Overly formal? Almost bland? How could you come to that conclusion?:p

Gorbad Ironclaw
21-10-2008, 07:07
It is very structed, but there language is supposed to be hugely complicated to the extend that it have taken some families generations to get just a basic understanding of it.

Each rune will have multiple different meanings all depending on the context so while you might have correctly identified one rune to mean something in one text, it could mean something very different in another text, and we don't have enough runes, or enough info on the eldar mythology to really pin it down. (IMO)

21-10-2008, 08:02
Eldar: First take everything ever said in current british english ever, then translate (literally) it through japanese mongolian mandarin and dutch. Then do it again.

Now we have our dictionary!

To say anything it has to be figured out in our result and then translated backwards through every single language on the planet.

I mean if you've got a lifespan easily measured in millenia then you can go a bit nuts making sure your 60 million year old language can nail -exactly- what you want all the time right?

Anyway, I'm holding out hope (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) that creatures anethema will have a decent amount of background stuff on the various alien races. Eldar in particular. The the dark heresy stuff so far is anything to go by its probably not a futile hope.

FFG having hired half a dozen world class linguists to figure out the eldar language yeah. But giving us enough so that crazy people from teh internetz can start figuring it out better possibly!

Also, iirc ulthwe's symbol looks (all together) sorta like an eye with long lashes (or possibly stylised tears) but seperatly its what? The triangle at the top with a similar one underneath and a couple of long strands below?

So yeah, if I was gonna try thats where I'd start, names of the craftworlds. Since we have their eldar names and the translations and the symbols.

21-10-2008, 14:36
I believe the triangle symbolizes something like a spearhead or a primitive form that can be used as a edgy weapon,thats why i can agree with the theory of triangle-war thing,since all the concept of eldar contains soft fluid forms.

21-10-2008, 15:05
don't bother, most of it it to just look good. the swooping hawk symbol has wings, the scorpion symbol has a scorpion tail etc. The various runes have had multiple designers over the many years of GW, and not all of the are on the same page when it comes to radicals or components of the runes. You can figure an eye means psyker (or seer), inverting a rune means inverted meaning, but there's not standard definition. It's also meant to be alien, so they threw in some stuff at random too. There's hardly enough information available anyway to build any kind of "eldar rosetta stone". The older books even state that the language has psychic intonations too.

Same with other sci-fi "languages". Yes, there's a website for the "official" klingon language, for instance, but the films just use random characters, nothing translatable. (incidently, I threw my surname -phoentically- into an online klingon-english language translater, and wound up with "belief and acceptence of ritual torture by women". nice.)