Relares (古刻語 Kokokugo?, "Ancient Word") is the ancient language of the Kingdom of Terises in Tales of Legendia. It is still read and spoken by the Ferines, and a few Relares words are still used in every day language of the Orerines. Norma Beatty, one of the protagonists of the story, is a scholar of Relares.
Relares is an ancient language, but as far as scholars have learned, it was not used like modern languages. It seems its primary use was as a naming language. The few Relares writings that have been deciphered serve as records of major events or declarations from important people. Relares is written using ideographs. Each character carries a basic idea and pronunciation. From that base, different meanings are derived by adding a letter to the ends of the characters. This final letter is only used when speaking, so it can be difficult to determine a character's meaning just from a Relares inscription.
Researchers have determined three letters which change the meaning of the characters.
- S - noun
- L - adjective
- N - verb
For example, take the symbol for fire, ke.
- Kes: fire, flame, or physical objects associated with fire
- Kel: hot, red, or conditions associated with fire
- Ken: to burn, be on fire, or actions associated with fire
Characters can be combined to form new words. The name of the language, Relares, breaks down as follows:
- Re-l: secret
- Are-s: writing
Pronunciation of Relares is simple, with each character having one sound. There are no silent letters, and vowels are pronounced in a similar fashion to the Spanish language. Some consonants have irregular pronunciations; cy makes the sound sh, so cyel sounds like shell. X is always pronounced like z, so xelhes sounds like zelhes.
Two characters carry special meaning when used before another character. The character for "nature", we, can make the following character plural or can add a feeling of "greatness" to the following character. Writing this character before the character for person, ne, creates the meaning of a "great person", or welnes. The character for "hole", xe, creates the opposite of the following character. For example, writing this character before the character for "curse", he, creates the word for the opposite of curse, a blessing, or xelhes.
While Relares itself is no longer used, modern speech uses many words derived from the language. However, scholars have noted a change in the pronunciations of some words through time, a fact that could explain why most people do not realize Relares's influence. When the second character begins with a consonant, the pronunciation of the preceding letter has changed as follows:
- S - sa
- L - ri
- N - na
Thus, the Relares word weltes, or "natural springs", has become werites in modern speech.
- Delques - "black wings"
- Eres - "fingernail"; used to describe the arte-like phenomena that certain people can perform
- Fennes - "one who prays"
- Ferines - "people of the ocean"
- Merines - "shining one"
- Nerifes - "human-formed sea"; name of the sea that the people of Terises worshiped
- Orerines - "people of the earth"
- Telmes - "morning star"
- Teriques - "wing of birth"; refers to the physical manifestation of a person's soul
- Welnes - "great intelligence"
- Weltes - refers to a natural spring
- Welzes - "hope"
- Xelhes - "blessing"