It is rare to experience a language other than Common Rokugani, mostly due to the xenophobic views the Rokugani have of other people and customs. Both Common and High Rokugani are sometimes referred to as Rokuganese in gaijin and older texts. Other languages do exist in the Empire, but are often spoken in very specific locations and circumstances.
Rokugani Languages Edit
The Rokugani language consists of syllables like any other. All letters are pronounced just as written, and there are no "soft" or "hard" versions of consonants. The few diphthongs are just pronounced as the letters composing them, but slightly quicker. Each syllable ends in a vocal, with the exception of the syllable "N", which is the only consonant that may stand without a vocal. There is no accentuation in the Rokugani language, and all syllables in a word are pronounced evenly. 
Common Rokugani Edit
Common Rokugani is spoken everywhere in Rokugan, and dialects make it possible to determine where an individual comes from. The dialects are usually clan specific (for example in Lion lands words commonly end with sharp final syllables)  but certain provinces also develop their own variants.
High Rokugani Edit
High Rokugani was similar to Common, but was used particularly in court and legal proceedings. It used long, flowery terms of address, and overemphasized pronunciation. It was always used at the Emperor's court as using Common in front of the Emperor assured great dishonour.
Written Language Edit
This is the language spoken by shugenja when they commune with the elemental spirits. This language was spoken long before mankind walked the earth and at the dawn of the Empire the great minds of Isawa and Iuchi learned how to decipher and speak it. Today it is taught to all shugenja at school.
Non-human Languages Edit
The Naga language is very difficult to master because of it's reliance on the Akasha, the group mind shared by all Naga. Humans cannot master this language, and to speak it without the Akasha would be to speak Rokugani without verbs. Any Naga spoken to like this would become frustrated trying to understand the "babble".
The language of the monstrous Oni from the Shadowlands must be known to be able to summon them with a measure of safety.
Gaijin Languages Edit
The gaijin languages are those spoken by those humans who are not from Rokugan. Few outsiders are heard within Rokugan, although the Unicorn have some knowledge they gathered during their travels. The Phoenix and Tortoise Clans have some understanding of the rough language of the Yobanjin from the northern mountains, and the Mantis Clan have some contact with the bizarre tounge of the Ivory Kingdoms over the sea to the south and west. The Scorpion Clan have from their travels in the Burning Sands encountered both the Senpet and Ashalan.
See also Edit
Major References Edit
- Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edtion, page 35.