Darnassian ( calls it Darnassae) is the primary language of the night elves. It has both written and spoken equivalents. There are two specific dialects: Darnassian, the current language; and an older script, a strange dialect, that can be found in ancient night elf ruins (perhaps Elven).
The naga, high elves, and blood elves are descended from night elves, so Darnassian bears some resemblance to the Nazja and Thalassian languages. There are, however, strong ideological differences between the night elves and their distant kin. Thus, a linguist must take great care in drawing comparisons between Darnassian and its two cousin languages. Night elves tend to consider such comparisons offensive.
This is one of the four elven dialects. The elven dialects in the Warcraft universe do not yet have any canonical grammar, and still are limited predominantly to a few names and phrases.
It has been pointed out that Darnassian, an old language, shares the same root word with the name of the Night Elven capital, Darnassus, a city created relatively recently. Some reasons as to why this may be include: 1) the language was always called Darnassian, and the city was named for the language; 2) there was no name for the language prior to the foundation of the city, and so they bore the same, 3) the name of the language was changed, 4) "darnass" has a translation that is not yet known, or 5) Blizzard didn't necessarily think out all the continuity aspects of the city name.
Darnassian primer (official translations)
Here are a few common Darnassian phrases and words, for which the translations have been officially confirmed by Blizzard:
- "An'da!" = "Papa!" (A nick name for a father)
- "Ande'thoras-ethil." = "May your troubles be diminished."(A farewell.)
- "Ana'doreini talah!" = "For the nature survival!"
- "Andu-falah-dor!" = "Let balance be restored!" (A war cry.)
- "Ash Karath!" = "Do it!"
- "Bandu Thoribas!" = "Prepare to fight!" (A challenge to an enemy.)
- "Ellemayne" = "Reaver" 
- "Elune-Adore." = "Elune be with you." (A greeting.)
- "Fandu-dath-belore?" = "Who goes there?"
- "Ishnu-alah." = "Good fortune to you" (A greeting.)
- "Ishnu-dal-dieb." = "Good fortune to your family." (A greeting.)
- "Jai'alator" = "Noble blade of Elune" 
- "Shalla'tor" = "Shadow Render" 
- "Shan'do" = "Honored Teacher" (A title and term of respect.)
- "Thero'shan" = "Honored student" (A title and term of respect.)
- "Tor ilisar'thera'nal!" = "Let our enemies beware!" (A war cry.)
- "Kal'dorei" = "children of the stars", "people of the stars". (Starborne, night elves).
- "Nordrassil" = "crown of the heavens"
- "Quel'dorei" = "children of noble birth" ("Highborne", "High-borne", "high elves").
- "Sunstrider" = "he who walks the day"
- "Teldrassil" = "crown of the earth"
- "Sin'dorei" = "children of the blood"
- "Xaxas" = A short title with many meanings, all dire. "Chaos, "fury", "The embodiment of elemental rage, such as found in erupting volcanos or shattering earthquakes", "elemental fury", "catastrophe". Often used to refer to the black dragon Aspect Deathwing.
- "Zin-Azshari" = "The glory of Azshara"
Night elf names
Night elf names always have a special meaning. First names derive from an elven word or the name of a famous hero having a totemic or ancestral connection. Surnames are indicative of the family line and often date back millennia.
- Male: Ilthilior, Mellitharn, Khardona, Andissiel, Mardant, Tanavar.
- Female: Kaylai, Keina, Deliantha, Meridia, Freja, Alannaria, Nevarial.
- Family: Moonblade, Glaivestorm, Proudstrider, Oakwalker, Nightwing, Staghorn.
Non-translated Darnassian words or phrases
- Al'ameth - A lake in southeastern Teldrassil.
- Aldrassil - An inhabited tree in northeastern Teldrassil.
- Allaminar! - Word of magic that creates a illumination spell, which causes a bright light.
- Ameth'Aran - Former night elven city in Darkshore.
- Anu'dorini Talah, Ru shallora enudoril - said by the Voice of Elune.
- Ara-Hinam - A night elven village, long since destroyed.
- Arauk-Nashal - A location on the Broken Isles.
- Arlithrien - Pools in southwestern Teldrassil.
- Astranaar - Night elven town in Ashenvale.
- Bashal'Aran - Former night elven city in Darkshore.
- Ban'ethil - A barrow den in central Teldrassil.
- Constellas - A former night elven settlement in Felwood.
- Darnassus - The current capital of the night elves.
- Dolanaar - Night elven town in central Teldrassil.
- Dor'Danil - Barrow den in eastern Ashenvale.
- Eldara - Tower in northeastern Azshara.
- Eldarath - A ruined city in Azshara.
- Eldre'Thalas - Dire Maul.
- Elune'ara - A lake in Moonglade.
- Enu thora'serador - Said by a priestess of Elune during 
- Ethel Rethor - A tower in western Desolace.
- Falathim - Lake in western Ashenvale.
- Falfarren - River in central Ashenvale.
- Feralas - Lush jungle in southwestern Kalimdor.
- Hyjal - Historical mountain in northern Kalimdor.
- Isildien - Night elf ruins in southern Feralas.
- Izal-Shurah - A great highborne library in the city of Suramar.
- Jademir - A lake in northern Feralas.
- Kalidar - Alleged former name of island currently known as Teldrassil.
- Keermissar! - Word of magic that causes three whirling magic stars to flash forth and strike an enemy.
- Kel'Theril - Former night elven city in Winterspring.
- Lariss - A pavilion in northeastern Feralas.
- Loreth'Aran - A night elven ruin on Bloodmyst Isle.
- Mathystra - Former night elven city in Darkshore.
- Mennar - Lake in southern Azshara.
- Mazthoril - A cave in Winterspring.
- Morlos'Aran - A former night elven city in Felwood.
- Mystral - Lake in southern Ashenvale.
- Oneiros - Night elven ruins in northern Feralas.
- Ordil'Aran - Former night elven city in Ashenvale.
- Rut'theran - A village in southern Teldrassil.
- Sar'theris - A beach on the coast of Desolace.
- Sardor - Island off the Feralas coast.
- Satyrnaar - A satyr town in eastern Ashenvale.
- Shal myrinan ishnu daldorah - An incantation used by Celebras to assemble the Scepter of Celebras.
- Solarsal - Night elven ruins in Feralas.
- Suramar - A former night elven city, now sunk beneath the ocean.
- Sylvanaar - A night elven town in Blade's Edge Mountains.
- Talrendis - A night elven camp in southwestern Azshara.
- Tethris Aran - A former night elven city in northern Desolace.
- Thalanaar - Night elven settlement in eastern Feralas.
- Vordrassil - Failed World Tree in the Grizzly Hills of Northrend.
- Zin-Malor - Temple in Eldarath.
- Zin-al-Elune - In "Balancing the Scales"
By comparing similar words of known meaning, the following could be roots of words or words themselves.
- "Adore" = "[Be] with you" (from Elune-Adore)
- "Ishnu" = "Good fortune" (from Ishnu'alah and Ishnu-dal-dieb)
- "Dorei" = "Children" / "People" (from Kaldorei and Quel'dorei
- "Kal" = "Star[s]" (from Kaldorei)
- "Quel" = "Noble" (from Quel'dorei)
- "Drassil" = "Crown" (from Nordrassil and Teldrassil)
- "Nor" = "Heavens" (from Nordrassil)
- "Tel" = "Earth" (from Teldrassil)
- "Shan" = "Honored" (from Shan'do and Thero'shan)
- "Do" = "Teacher" (from Shan'do)
- "Thero" = "Student" (from Thero'shan)
- See also: Darnassian translation (speculation)
This is the list of words created by the in-game language parser for the Darnassian language, and is listed as language number two (word range 101-202) in the Language text file.
Note: The language algorithm used by the in-game "translator" merely makes the words look like Darnassian. It does not actually use a specific dictionary. Therefore, translated in-game speech isn't true Darnassian.
|Number of letters in word||Word List|
|One-letter words||A, D, E, I, N, O|
|Two-letter words||Al, An, Da, Do, Lo, Ni, No, Ri, Su|
|Three-letter words||Ala, Ano, Anu, Ash, Dor, Dur, Fal, Nei, Nor, Osa, Tal, Tur|
|Four-letter words||Alah, Aman, Anar, Andu, Dath, Dieb, Diel, Fulo, Mush, Rini, Shar, Thus|
|Five-letter words||Adore, Balah, Bandu, Eburi, Fandu, Ishnu, Shano, Shari, Talah, Terro, Thera, Turus|
|Six-letter words||Asto're, Belore, Do'rah, Dorini, Ethala, Falla, Ishura, Man'ar, Neph'o, Shando, T'as'e, U'phol|
|Seven-letter words||Al'shar, Alah'ni, Aman'ni, Anoduna, Dor'Ano, Mush'al, Shan're|
|Eight-letter words||D'ana'no, Dal'dieb, Dorithur, Eraburis, Il'amare, Mandalas, Thoribas|
|Nine-letter words||Banthalos, Dath'anar, Dune'adah, Fala'andu, Neph'anis, Shari'fal, Thori'dal|
|Ten-letter words||Ash'therod, Dorados'no, Isera'duna, Shar'adore, Thero'shan|
|Eleven-letter words||Fandu'talah, Shari'adune|
|Twelve-letter words||Dor'ana'badu, T'ase'mushal|
|Fourteen-letter words||Anu'dorannador, Turus'il'amare|
|Fifteen-letter words||Asto're'dunadah, Shindu'falla'na|
|Seventeen-letter words||Ando'meth'derador, Anu'dorinni'talah, Esh'thero'mannash, Thoribas'no'thera|
The novel Cycle of Hatred mentions "four elven dialects". The Naga, high elves, and blood elves all speak languages derived from Darnassian. The Naga (former Highborne elves), speak the language Nazja, which is as corrupted as the creatures who speak it. The language of the high elves, who were exiled from Kalimdor, changed into what is now known as Thalassian. It is also the language of the blood elves.
Darnassian, Thalassian, and Najza seem to have many common phrases, as is evidenced by Prince Kael'thas' use of "Ishnu'alah", Lady Vashj's "Ishnu'dal'dieb", as well as the names of the different elf subtypes, the Kaldorei, Quel'dorei, and Sin'dorei.
The high elves have very long life spans compared to humans, so Thalassian might be so similar to Darnassian that it would be more correct to call it a dialect, rather than a separate language. However, various sources call them languages, and imply that there would be difficulty in communication between the separate languages.
Beyond the current spoken version of Darnassian there is at least one more ancient dialect of Darnassian, written in Darnassian runes. However, it is possible that it is the language currently known as Elven which is also spoken on Mount Hyjal.
- Darnassian and Thalassian seem very close to each other. They have a superficial resemblance to the elven speech of Tolkien's universe, which primarily is comprised of the older Quenya and the later Sindarin, although at this point they appear to be completely unrelated.
- ^ Quotes by Arathandris Silversky
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Darnassian. The Warcraft Encyclopedia 361. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2007-09-10.
- ^ a b Cycle of Hatred, 67.
- ^ "Destiny Awaits!", ?.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Alliance Player's Guide, 128.
- ^ "Flashback", ?.
- ^ Stormrage, 84
- ^ "Flashback", ?.
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, 47.
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, 48.
- ^ The Founding of Quel'Thalas
- ^ Day of the Dragon, 136.
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 74.
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 39.
- ^ a b Magic and Mayhem, 57-8.
- ^ Shadows & Light, 134.