Is There a Comprehensive List of Languages in DnD?

Language is a vital component of communication because it enables everyone to communicate their thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others. One of the exquisite features of D&D is how simple it is for players to converse with NPCs, opponents, and other characters using languages. 

While creating characters in D&D 5e, you may choose which language they can speak because it has tons of potential to make the game more engaging and fun. However, many new players could not decide which languages to choose.  

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the comprehensive list of languages available in D&D 5e. 

A Comprehensive List of Languages Available in D&D 5E

D&D 5e provides a wide range of languages for any character to read, speak, or write in the game. Let us discuss them in detail.

Languages and their typical speakers

Standard Languages

LanguageTypical SpeakersScriptAvailabilityDifficulty out of 5
CommonHumansCommonCommon1 star
DwarvishDwarvesDwarvishCommon2 stars
ElvishElvesElvishObscure3 stars
GiantOrges, GiantsDwarvishUncommon2 stars
GnomishGnomesDwarvishCommon2 stars
GoblinGoblins, Goblinoids, HobgoblinsDwarvishUncommon1 star
HalflingGoblinoidsCommonCommon1 star
OrcOrcsDwarvishCommon1 star

Common language

The common language originated as the trade language of the world. The language is fluently spoken by humans, sentient beings, and civilized beings. Over time common language evolved from a simplistic trade language to an all-encompassing day-to-day language, and every player uses it in almost all the roleplay situations of the game.

Dwarvish language

The Dwarvish language uses the dwarven script, a simple runic system design inscribed onto metals and stoneworks. Primarily spoken by the Dwarf class and is not a fancy language. It is easy to understand language and does not convey double meaning or creative wordplay.

Elvish language

The elves speak the elvish or elven language. The elvish language uses an Elvish script, an ornately flashy system of intertwined lines that flow into one another. It is a contextual language that relies on enunciation and body language and stimulates a lot of double meanings and wordplays.

Giant language

The giant language uses the dwarvish script and is different from primordial language. It is one of the oldest languages, mainly spoken by giants and beings descended from giants.

Gnomish language

Gnomish is a basic runic language based on the dwarvish script. It has a simple structure and fluid tones. Gnomes speak the gnomish language, which is perfect for academics, arts, and engineering pursuits. So, it is known as the scholar’s language.

Goblin language

The goblin language uses the dwarvish script, and goblins, goblinoids, and hobgoblins speak it. It sounds like a low guttural hissing. 

Halfling language

The Halfling language is also known as the semish language. It uses the common script, which features rounded symbols written with ink on paper. The halfling class speaks the halfling language.

Orc language

The orc language uses the dwarvish script. The orcs and half-orcs speak the orc language. It is a relatively simple language, which lacks words to convey higher meaning, and is typically grunted and shouted. 

Exotic Languages

LanguageTypical SpeakersScriptAvailabilityDifficulty out of 5
AbyssalDemonsInfernalsObscure3 stars
AbolethAbolethPescantorObscure5 stars
CelestialCelestialsCelestialsObscure2 stars
DraconicDragons, DragonbornDraconicUncommon2 stars
Deep SpeechAboleths, CloakersGnomishObscure5 stars
InfernalDevilsInfernalsObscure4 stars
PrimordialElementalsDwarvishObscure4 stars
SylvanFey creaturesElvishObscure3 stars
UndercommonUnderworld tradersElvishUncommon1 star

Abyssal language

The Abyssal language derives from abyssal, which uses barazhad script, an etched, flourished, runic system. Sometimes, represented with infernal runes, but its rigid structure does not convey the inflections or emotions behind the abyssal language. The abyssal is one of the oldest and most taught religious languages. 

Aboleth language

The aboleth language uses the pescantor script. It consists of horizontal word bars, which are the letters hanging down in a series of wavering glyphs. Underwater creatures, such as aboleth or fish-like aberration, speak the aboleth language.

Celestial language

The celestial is a language of good outsiders, chaotic and lawful alike.

It is one of the oldest and has changed very little over time. Religious academics and wizard apprentices typically study it.

Draconic language

The draconic is the language of the dragons but spoken by reptilian creatures too. Draconis uses its draconic rune system, designed to be written with claws. It is one of the oldest languages, second to the primordial language. It has changed very little over time. Apprentice wizards are usually proficient with draconic language due to their relationship between magic and dragons. 

Deep Speech

Deep Speech is the language of aberrations, an alien mode of communication that originated in the Far Realms. It uses the gnomish pictograph script as the only way to convey the messages. It is a very complex and highly contextual language that heavily relies on more than just sound. It uses body language, smell, trilling, gurgling, and unpleasantries. 

Infernal language

The infernal language uses an infernal script, which is etched, flourished, runic system. It is hauntingly beautiful but alien to some characters because it consists of thought patterns. Religious academics and wizard apprentices typically study it.

Primordial language

The primordial language evolved into many different languages, such as Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Giant, Ignan, and Terran. It uses the barazhad script and is sometimes represented with dwarvish runes. It predates most of civilization, and its origin is unknown. The primordial language is now dead, and no cultures or peoples speak it, but some particularly ancient and powerful elementals may remember it.

Sylvan language

Sylvan is regarded as the language of nature because its speakers are nature spirits and creatures. It is an old language and has changed a little over time. It flows easily and is similar to the elvish language. 

Undercommon language

The uncommon language originated as the trade language of the world. 

It is developed in the Underdark and is a smattering of other languages, widely understood by almost all sentient denizens of the Underdark. Although it uses an elvish script, it does not resemble it. 

Special (class limited) language

LanguageTypical SpeakersScriptAvailabilityDifficulty out of 5
DruidicDruidDruidicSecret5 stars

Druidic language

Druidic is the secret language of druids. As soon as you reach the druid level, you can attain it. The forces of nature impart this knowledge to the druids. Unlike other languages, it does not occupy a slot in the language list. A druid cannot teach it to non-druid class characters. It is written in the druid script and consists of intertwined forms, swirls, lines, and symbols.

If you are skilled in speaking and writing with language, you can speak multiple languages and can decipher them easily. The base DC is 20 for the simplest message, 25 DC for the standard texts, and 30 DC for higher for intricate, exotic, or content pieces written on a page. 

If the check succeeds, you understand the language, if it fails, make DC 5 wisdom to avoid a false conclusion about the written or verbal message.

How Do You Learn Languages in D&D?

Learning a language in D&D takes eight to ten weeks of in-game play and requires someone in the group or a language expert to teach the language to other members during their travel and adventuring. 

To learn a language, first, find a teacher willing to teach a language to your character. Your DM determines how long it will take and if one or more ability checks are required. The training lasts eight to ten weeks and costs 25 gold a week for 250 gp. After spending the requisite time and gold, you learn a new language or gain proficiency with the new tool.

Can You Learn Every Language in D&D?

There is no limit on the languages you can learn in the game. So, you may learn any or all the languages in D&D during downtime. 

According to the SRD Training section on Downtime Activities: You can spend time between adventures learning a new language or training with a set of tools. Your DM may allow additional training options. With the extensive downtime involved, you may acquire knowledge of many languages depending on your race, class, and background features. 

If multiclassing and feats are allowed, different characters can learn the following number of languages in the game according to PHB (Player’s Handbook) and XGte (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything):

Player’s Handbook (PHB)

Half-Elf: Half-Elf can learn three languages. Your character can speak, read, and write Common, Elvish, and any one additional language of your choice.

Acolyte: Acolyte can learn two languages. You are allowed to choose any two languages for your character.

Ranger 14: A Ranger can learn three languages at level 14. It can learn any one language at level 6 and another two languages from the flavored enemy feature after reaching level 14.

Knowledge Cleric 1: A Knowledge Cleric character can learn two languages. It can choose any one language from Celestial, Abyssal, or Infernal. The second language is available to the character depending on his race.

Mastermind Rogue 3: Mastermind Rogue characters can learn two languages. It can learn any two languages of your choice. 

Druid 1: A Druid character can learn one secret language.

Linguist feat: It gives you a +1 to your Intelligence stat and allows you to learn three languages of your choice.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGtE)

Prodigy feat:  It grants you one skill proficiency, one tool proficiency, and allows you to learn one language of your choice. 

What Are the Best Languages to Learn in D&D?

These are the best and most functional languages to learn in D&D:

Elvish language

Elves are a common and ancient race. You may encounter several of them and may have them in your group. As a result, studying elvish is rational and easy because it is a basic language to learn.

Abyssal/Infernal language

Demons speak Abyssal, whereas devils speak Infernal. Learning both languages is beneficial while playing a Lovecraftian horror-themed campaign. However, you should avoid using Abyssal or Infernal in front of NPCs.

Draconic language

Understanding the draconic language of your enemies will come in handy when you encounter dragons in the game. Many dragons may want to communicate with you, and your knowledge of draconic will ease your communication with them. 

Dwarvish language

Dwarvish is another handy language to learn because you may encounter many dwarves during your journey. Speaking their language can be beneficial to tackle their short tempers. 

Common language

Common is a universal language used for trading. Humans, sentient beings, and civilized beings speak it to communicate in the game.

Giant language

We recommend learning the giant language because you may encounter giants in most regions. You should know their language for effective communication with the giants.

Goblin language

Goblins are the earliest beginner-friendly enemies in D&D 5e. So, to communicate with them, you must first learn and speak their language, as well as listen in on their discussions to threaten or question them.

How Do You Use Languages in D&D 5E?

You can use languages in various situations to get benefits in the game. Here are a few beneficial uses of languages in the game:

You may talk to the dwarven merchant to get a discount if you know the dwarvish language. It might be possible that dwarves do not know the common language, so knowing dwarvish may be beneficial.

During your fight with a group of orc mercenaries, you could ask your DM to allow you to listen to orcs talking to hear their coordinating talks to 

gain tactical insights against them for forming your attack strategies. 

You could talk to an NPC in their language to build a positive relationship with them in the game. 


What Is the Rarest Language in D&D?

Dwarvish is the rarest language in D&D. It is the language you may rarely hear outside the groups of Dwarves. One intriguing aspect of the Dwarvish language is that many languages like Dwarvish, Giant, Gnomish, Goblin, Orc, and Primordial use its script. No other language’s script is so widely used as the written script in D&D 5e. 

What Language Do Gods Speak in D&D?

Supernal is the language of gods in D&D. It is a universal language, understandable by any sentient mind. The gods shared the Supernal language with their servants, angels, and devils. Supernal has its hieroglyphic script.