...I completely missed that French was the most common language spoken by nobility in all countries at this time, up till the 16th century? 18th in Russia?
Man, do I feel uninformed... ;D

Easily rectified, though. What about places like Italy?

You know, that's really something that should probably be included in the book, for those unfamiliar with the time period...

It gets worse...
First, I'm no expert, so this is a fellow laymans description.
In early 13thC France THere are a number of main languages. In Southern France - Languedoc, Northern France - Languedoil(?). Various other parts of France have their own languages as well, including Brittany and Gascony. I think Norman French is different again. It is however the language of the Nobility wherever the Normans conquered.

So in 1220 Norman French would be the (main) Noble Language in Normandy, Southern France, England, Most of Italy, Sicily, Achaea (I think) and the Holy Land (well, the Christian parts of it). Some areas, particularly Italy may have resisted/absorbed the Norman language as teh Normans might have been damn good soldiers but they really were barbarians by local standards.

Even for the Normans, the language of scholarship and the Church was Latin.

In game terms I'd probably count Languedoc, Languedoil and Norman as being closely related - if a character has one language I'd either half the xp for counting towards the others or just count his ability in the others as one lower with no specialisation. But that's mostly guesswork.

In my current saga, set in the English-Welsh borderlands (classic 1220 start), there are four main languages - Latin, 'Norman/French', Welsh/Cymric and English. I think there is also one or more Gaelic/Irish (different from Welsh) speakers.
Only the 'noble' characters and some of the soldiers (companions or notable grogs) seem to know Norman I think. Only the eductaed characters know Latin. Everybody knows either English or Welsh or some of both I think.
I suspect this polyglot mix would have been rather common in border areas.

That'll be helpful, given that they're not far from that area.


These are from several different families of languages:
(1) Occitanian=Langue d'oc belongs to the same family as Provencal and Catala.
(2) The Langue d'oil and 'Norman French' are dialects of the same language and forefathers of today's French.
(3) In Brittany they spoke Briton, related to Welsh.
(4) In Gascony they should - but that needs some verification I cannot do now due to lack of tíme - still have spoken Basque, which is not even indogermanic.


Wrong - that will still be the Langue d'oc and, especially, the widely and internationally used Provencal: even the crusade will not change this.

Right - but it will last only another 100 years or so.

Wrong - this is Italian dialects, especially the Sicilian dialect of the court of Federico II, which some 50 years later will bring about the 'Dolce Stil Nuovo'.

Both hard to say. Certainly the Nobles there would all speak Lingua Franca, Italian and 'Norman French' to some degree - and they clearly had other problems than pondering about language.

Kind regards,


Heck, even I was taught some Provençal in elementary school in the 1980s. Not that any of it actually stuck, it was mostly "teach the kids some songs in Provençal, maybe they'll want to learn more".

How many languages does your covenant have to deal with...

Ours, in Stonehenge has:

Norse(Or its equivalent, we've Orkadian Mercenaries, probably swedish or norwegian.)

of course, Latin.

and we've had

How many languages does your magus speak? That was one of our starting issues-- the only language some of the magi could communicate in was Latin, which could make dealing with grogs problematic. Precious experience points were spent in gaining the local languages just so grogs could be effectively commanded. At this point, my magus speaks Arabic, Latin, Gothic, English, and French, with plans to learn Coptic, Greek, Welsh and Hebrew. It certainly makes the Artes Liberales score a bit more important than I'd first considered. Especially when you consider that some books might not be written in Latin, and how much can you trust your translator?