Soon after Christopher published Eragon, he realized that he would have to establish a set of basic rules of grammar for his invented languages, in addition to compiling dictionaries of their words. With each new book in the series, these lists grew. Now, for the first time, we’re releasing Christopher’s complete language files, containing everything that appeared in the Inheritance Cycle and perhaps a few things that didn’t!
A note on dictionaries from Christopher:
In most cases, the above dictionaries contain only translations of individual words and not phrases or entire sentences. For those one may look to the back material of Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance. Or, the dedicated reader may do the yeoman’s work of directly translating the lines they find interesting. Should they pursue this avenue of scholarship, certain subtleties of meaning will become clear that, for the sake of brevity, were glossed over when providing language guides for the Inheritance Cycle.
Proper names have likewise been omitted, with a few exceptions, such as the names of gods and clans, which may be rightly regarded as inherent parts of the relevant languages. Some names, such as Edur Carthungavë, which undoubtedly have meaning in their native tongue, have not been translated because, as of yet, no human—aside, perhaps, from Eragon Kingslayer himself—has discovered their significance.
Also, a warning for aspiring linguists; although great effort has been made to ensure the internal consistency of these dictionaries, certain liberties had to be taken. In the years following Galbatorix’s ascent to power, vast stores of knowledge were lost throughout Alagaësia. Compiling a tome such as this, then, has required enormous diligence and, one might say, creativity. On occasion, for example, it was necessary to guess at the root form of a common elvish word, or to extrapolate the spelling of an Urgal word from a scrap of badly-burned parchment.
All of which is to make clear that, despite the labors of a decade and a half, there may still be misplaced or misspelled words. Some words may even be the wrong ones entirely. So if it enters your mind to use this tome as a help when proposing to a dwarvish maiden, reader, I warn you: beware.