87 words may not sound like a lot, but they speak volumes
For nearly two years, Redditor Sarsion has been pulling apart the language of the Eliksni — aka the Fallen of Destiny. Others have made translation attempts, but now Sarsion has assembled a dictionary of 87 words, the basics of Eliksni grammar and, better yet, a custom video with none other than Variks to teach the class.
Sarsion’s curiosity on the subject began after the release of the House of Wolves DLC for Destiny back in May 2015. In the expansion, Variks would occasionally show up in communications to translate something one of the Fallen said.
Sarsion figured there had to be a real basis for this language and set off to reverse-engineer it. Working from these lines, Sarsion went to other, untranslated Eliksni dialogue in the game and — creating their own Variks voice — provided a translation of that, too, discovering or inferring other words in the process.
What’s interesting is the plausibly idiomatic explanation Sarsion gives for some of the untranslated dialogue. Word for word, for example, "den das kir," translates as "forever burns strongly." OK. But Sarsion’s shine on that is: "Your time is here."
"It’s probably wisest not to take Variks too literally," Sarsion explains. "He likes to ad-lib here and there. I’ve taken a degree of liberty with the words not directly translated by Variks in the game, by essentially working on a very long, very difficult crossword puzzle.”
For example, here is one of Sarsion’s notes from a year ago. "As a quick example, ‘stand’, which I originally had penned as ‘drada’ was separated out phonetically to ‘dra da’, meaning ‘all rise’, which was key in providing context to ‘Dra Ge’, meaning ‘All Kell’ (according to the Grimoire, Skolas refers to himself as the Kell of ‘Everything’), as well as usage of ‘rise’ in other dialogue."
Sarsion acknowledges that this lexicon is "unlikely to be perfect, nor 100 percent accurate." Still, this is the best they can do until Variks starts feeding in more translations. Destiny 2 launches Sept. 6, so maybe we won’t have to wait too long.
As mentioned, others have undertaken Destiny translation work. Sarsion a year ago noted that when Bungie developed Halo, its designers wrote an entire Sanghelios language for Covenant voice actors. It seemed likely that they did the same thing here, and Sarsion notes that Bungie’s "FishTank" department may be the ones to credit for the Eliksni language.
Source: Polygon – Full