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Teach yourself Orcish! A reference guide to the Orcish language from the hit web series JourneyQuest.
Teach yourself Orcish! A reference guide to the Orcish language from the hit web series JourneyQuest.
369 backers pledged $15,021 to help bring this project to life.

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The Orcish-English Dictionary (2nd Edition)

$15,021

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Kazkulz skaldidz hushdjiokagek muluzkel uth ketae bennathu, gadzmathidz zumors orkors uhura. Gadz pumart udz zak dru ruthanna! Rekkart Barludz Orku yeglorad!

 "Yes! Context!" – Silver Tom

A few years back, as I was writing the script for JourneyQuest, I realized I’d painted myself into a corner. I’d written a bunch of lines for a language that didn’t exist. And not only did the language not exist, the lines to be translated weren’t exactly simple. There were grammar jokes and syntactical misunderstandings, insults and idioms and colloquialisms that wouldn’t work as a string of gibberish. For the jokes to play, the language had to sound organic, realistic, not like a chain of blah blahs. Nonsense words wouldn’t work. I needed an actual language.

So I built one. I hammered out some basic grammar (declensions and conjugations; masculine, feminine, and neutral nouns; past, present, and future tenses; active and passive voices; and a handful of pronouns) threw about 200 words into the pot, shook it, and poured out a language.

And it worked! The language sounded authentic. The grammar jokes landed—many fans have told me their favorite scenes in the entire series involve the orcs. The language was a hit. And it grew.

For Season Two, I offered fans the option of coining new Orcish words to help fund the show. The response was overwhelming—by the end of the campaign, fans had added over 1,500 words to the language. We printed a dictionary with all the grammar rules so people could learn the language and use it in their games—it listed all the words, who coined them, and who or what they were named after. We had a fully functional conlang.

The Orcish words proved so popular that we brought them back for Season Three. Fans added another 900 words to the language—so many that we’re printing an updated edition of the dictionary. And now’s your chance to get in on the fun.

How to Coin Your Orcish Word(s)

Backers of every reward level will get to coin at least one new word to be featured in the dictionary. Here’s how it works.

First, go to the Online Orcish Lexicon. Any word on the list is unavailable—it’s already been coined. Any word not on the list, however, is fair game. Pick whatever you fancy. It doesn’t even have to be a word that exists in English—if you’ve got an idea for a great Orcish word, I’d love to hear it.

Next, decide on who or what you want to name your word after (it can be yourself). I’ll be in touch throughout the campaign and will coin new words as we go. I’ll be updating the Online Lexicon with each new day’s words. Priority is first come, first served, so early bird and worm and all that.

Stretch Goal Goodness

SLAIN! – $5,001 – The Final (Fore)word

The foreword to the new edition will be written by ul runak.

RAZED! – $7,500 – 2nd Conjugation

A second conjugation for verbs will be added to the dictionary. Currently, all Orcish verbs use the same conjugation and have the same infinitive form (ending in "–a"). A new conjugation will add some much needed variety to the language. The grammar section will also be updated to include rules for the new conjugations. All new verbs coined during this campaign will become 2nd conjugation verbs.

PILLAGED! – $10,000 – Cover Prints

All pledges at $50 and above will receive a print of the cover art by fantasy artist Jacob Blackmon.

SLAUGHTERED! $12,500 – 3rd, 4th, and 5th Declensions

New declensions for feminine, masculine, and neutral nouns will be added to the dictionary for variety. Currently, all Orcish nouns follow one of two declension patterns, and use a limited number of endings (ex: –ad, –ul, –id) depending on their gender. New declensions will add some much needed variety to the language, and will make it easier to keep the Orcified versions of words closer to what they were named after. The grammar section will also be updated to include rules for the new declensions. All new nouns coined during this campaign will have the option of using one of the new declensions.

$15,000 – +1 Bonus Word

All backers at all levels will get to coin one additional word.

$17,500 – The Combative Case

Orcish currently has five grammatical cases: the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative. This goal will add a sixth case: the combative, a case used exclusively for threats and insults. Which should trigger some interesting changes to the phrase book.

$20,000 – A Brief History of Orckind

The dictionary will include a history of the orcs and how they came to be. Additionally, I will commit to continuing the Orcish Word a Day project, and will ultimately turn it into a page-a-day desk calendar to be funded by a future campaign.

$22,500 – Holidays and Festivals

The dictionary will include a list of Orcish holidays and festivals. Anyone who sponsors an Orcish clan will have a chance to contribute to the list.

$25,000 – Orc Tales! Woo-oo!

The dictionary will include a short story written entirely in Orcish. Additionally, I will commit to creating an illustrated Orcish children’s book to be funded by a future campaign. Anyone who backs this campaign at $10 or higher will receive a PDF of the children’s book.

$27,500 – Double Content

Double all coined content! Everyone gets to contribute twice as much to the dictionary: two (well, four by this point) words, two phrases at $50 and above, two clans sponsored at $100 and up. For the $2,500 reward, I will deliver twice as many books. For the $5,000 reward, it will become a two day campaign.

$30,000 – Dwarvish

I will begin developing the language of the orcs’ most hated enemies—the dwarves. Dwarvish language will become canon in Fartherall, and its dictionary will be funded in a future campaign. All backers of this campaign will receive a PDF of the Dwarvish-English Dictionary.

Bonus Words for Patrons

As a special thank you to my patrons, all backers of my Patreon will get to coin a bonus word, regardless of whether they contribute to this campaign. Anyone who becomes a patron over the course of this campaign will also get the bonus word.

Banner Graphics

You can download Facebook and Twitter graphics for the campaign from Dropbox.

Add Ons & Shipping

Add ons—such as additional words and phrases and copies of the dictionary, plus a few other things—will be available through BackerKit. Shipping will also be handled through BackerKit after the campaign.

 

Risks and challenges

As with any creative project, unforeseen obstacles can lurk beneath the surface. The main challenges to this one would be timeline. If the project catches fire, there’s always the chance that I’ll have to extend the delivery date to get everything written. Also, there’s a chance the orcs will track me down and kill me. In which case, you'll know whose hide is wrapped around the leather-bound versions.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Whispers on the Wind

    You will receive a PDF of The Orcish-English Dictionary and will get to coin a new Orcish word that will be featured in the book.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Barlax Orku

    You will receive an autographed copy of the book as well as the PDF, and will get to coin a new Orcish word that will be featured in the dictionary.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Watch Your Phrasing

    You will add a phrase to the dictionary’s handy phrase book under one of the following headings: General Conversation, Business and Trade, About the Town, At the Inn, In the Dungeon, Insults, So You’ve Managed to Piss Off an Orc, or Dating and Romance. You will also get to coin any words in your phrase that do not already appear in the dictionary. You will also receive all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Sponsor an Orcish Clan

    You will get to name and add an Orcish clan to the “Orcs of Fartherall” section of the dictionary. You’ll work with Matt to design your clan’s history, customs, symbols, clan-specific weapons or words—anything that makes them unique. Each clan will receive a one-page writeup and become canon in Fartherall, the world of JourneyQuest and the Gamers movies. You will also receive all previous rewards.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Bound in Flesh

    You will receive a deluxe, handmade leather-bound version of the dictionary bound in humie flesh. (Not really, Kickstarter.) You will also receive all previous reward levels.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    JourneyQuester

    Matt will travel anywhere in the world to hand-deliver your rewards. Please allow time for him to arrange his release from prison for smuggling goods bound in human flesh. (Still kidding, Kickstarter.) You will also receive all previous rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    The Bards Shall Sing of Us

    Matt will travel anywhere in the world to run an Orcish-themed RPG session for you and your friends, the results of which will become canon in the world of Fartherall. You will also receive all rewards from the $250 level.

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Funding period

- (23 days)