The Language of Magic

Hey there y’all, one of the countries in the fantasy story I’m working on, Yalhana, is based on Spain, and due to worldbuilding reasons a large portion of the continent’s witches reside there. The two most important languages in Yalhana is the language of the everyman, and the language used by witches to perform magic. One will be based on Latin (possibly hybridized with Spanish), and the other is either the Mexican Spanish dialect or Náhuatl-español, a hybrid of indigenous-Spanish languages.
Which should be the Witch Tongue?

  • Latin
  • Spanish
0 voters

I would expect Latin since Latin is commonly used in spells.
That being said, it might be interesting to do the opposite and have Spanish be used by the witches instead.

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That’s exactly what I was thinking! Yes, Latin and witches just go together, but it’d be an interesting flip, I just don’t know whether the kind of irony it has would be appreciated.

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If I was a Spanish speaker, I would probably think it was a cool twist. More so if the witches (or at least some of them) are depicted in a positive or neutral light. I’m not a Spanish speaker though so that is for someone else to say.
Latin is also very formal feeling, so based on that alone, I would imagine a whole society speaking it to be a bit more formal and the Spanish speaking witches to be a bit more “free-spirited” (for lack of a better word) by comparison.
So i guess it depends on what the witches are like and what the rest of society is like, maybe?

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Exact right wavelength. Yalhana, in the story, has a long history of Witch Hunts and persecution, with their saga of the story ending in a civil war that splits them in two when a witch becomes queen.
And I was torn on which side should use Latin, because you can view it either as this ancient dead almost eldritch tongue, or as this highly sophisticated and proper language.

Sounds like a cool story! I can definitely see how both ways would work. I think I still slightly prefer the Spanish speaking witches for the twist. :blush:

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