From PathfinderWiki
This article covers the modern language commonly used on Golarion. For the Great Padishah Empire, see Kelesh. For the language's predecessor, see Old Keleshite.
Most Qadirans speak Taldane as well as any Inner Sea region culture, but Kelish is their primary language.

Kelish is the language of the Great Padishah Empire of Kelesh east of the Inner Sea, including its westernmost Inner Sea region satrapy of Qadira.[1] It is a throaty, phlegmatic language rich with poetry, scholarly writing, and history, having served the empire for countless generations. It is also widely spoken by the genies of that land.[2][3][4]


Kelish is derived from the tribal languages spoken within the Padishah Empire of Kelesh.[5] Also known as Old Keleshite, these languages were more grammatically complex with sounds not commonly used in other regions. Their unique and often difficult nature slowed the spread of Keleshite influence, leading merchants to create a simplified trade version that shared more in common phonologically with languages found outside of Casmaron.[3][4]

Features and grammar

Kelish has six vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u, which can be short or long; and ə, which is either silent or pronounced as a schwa). In most cases, r sounds are trilled with the tip of the tongue, while a second r sound is instead rolled. The spoken language also uses glottal stops.[3][4]

Most words stress the final syllable.[3]


Kelish uses an abjad script, and written Kelish contains only consonants. Each consonant can have two inflections, commonly referred to as "soft" and "hard", depending on context.[3]

Selected vocabulary and idioms

Kelish word Pronunciation English translation
adirah ah-dee-RAH Hello[3]
baraqqti bshlim ba-RAHK-tee bsh-LEEM Goodbye (lit. "go in peace")[3]
bihuran bee-hoo-RAHN Professor, intellectual[6]
deshfanni desh-FAH-nee My sweet[6]
dimeqan dee-meh-KAHN Noble[6]
emkrah Wrongful birth[7]
hevevhanni heh-vev-HAH-nee My love[6]
isakhmatah ee-sakh-mah-TAH Citizen[6]
nithveqalah neeth-veh-kahl-LAH Kinsman/kinswoman (used to emphasize a connection with fellow Keleshites, tribespeople, etc., generally in the presence of people who do not share that connection)[6]
reqethnayyah rukhni reh-keth-NAI-yah rukh-NEE Spice of my life (term of affection)[6]
ridathan ree-dah-THAHN Government official[6]
shahiyan shah-hee-YAHN Member of imperial family[6]
timanah tee-mah-NAH Sir/madam[6]
tzaherhyifah tzah-herh-yee-FAH Little falcon (term of affection for children, especially mischievous/bold ones)[6]
tzorenellni tzor-eh-NEL-nee My sun (term of affection, considered blasphemous/profane)[6]
yeshranah yesh-rah-NAH Priest[6]
yunifah yoon-ee-FAH Little dove (term of affection for children)[6]
lehibwa'ah fishereqel
leh-hee-bwah-AH fee-sheh-reh-KEL
Dawn will come.[3]
li'ekhrabah mutzeirnil et drejem
lee-ehkh-rah-BAH moo-tzeh-ee-MEEL eht dray-JEM
Sunlight banishes lies.[3]
aninnu la reyevem, qaru qelebeiniannu ekhum qidumum
ah-NEEN-oo lah reh-yay-VEHM, kah-ROO keh-lay-bay-ee-nee-AH-noo eh-KHOOM kee-doo-MOOM
We are not strangers, for our hearts are old friends.[3]
bashaddti et yenananni w ri'oyeti et eleh
bah-SHAD-tee eht yey-na-NAHN-ee wuh reeh-oh-yeh-TEE eht eh-LAY
Hold my wine and watch this![3]
batallti. la halli lishqai et kahvenni udina
bah-TAHL-tee. lah HAH-lee leesh-kie (like "die") oo-dee-NAH
Be quiet. I have not had my coffee yet.[3]
ianu shisah illi lihi'enubshadah et atah
ee-ah-NOO shee-SAH EE-lee lee-HEEH-eh-noob-shah-DAH eht ah-TAH
No horse will carry you.[3]
deyah akhalkhallti et jani'ah
day-YAH ah-khal-KHAL-tee eht jah-neeh-AH
May you fall in love with a genie.[3]

In the Inner Sea region

Kelesh is widely spoken in the Inner Sea region in Absalom,[8] Alkenstar,[9] Geb,[10] Katapesh,[11] Nex,[12] Taldor,[13] and of course Qadira, the westernmost satrapy of the Great Empire.[14] The traders of Kelesh are so ubiquitous, that the language is even spoken by a sizable minority in the great city of Goka, in distant Tian Xia.[15]

Despite its usage as a trade language, it remains complex compared to Taldane and is inconsistently transcribed, making it difficult for Taldane speakers to learn.[4]


  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 220. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 24–25. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Jessica Price. (January 6, 2017). Qadira: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Paizo blog.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jessica Price. (2017). Qadira, Jewel of the East, p. 3. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-912-7
  5. Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 6. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 Jessica Price. (January 12, 2017). Peoples of Qadira, Paizo Blog.
  7. Jacob Burgess, Adam Daigle, and Darrin Drader. (2009). Bestiary. The Jackal's Price, p. 81. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-161-9
  8. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 54. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  9. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 58. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  10. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 76. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  11. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 86. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  12. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 108. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  13. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 136. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  14. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 120. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  15. James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 49. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8