The giant language, called Jotun by those who speak it, was the ancient language of most giants.[4] It was one of the oldest active languages. It was believed that the language shared some of its roots with Common and Thorass.[5]


Both ancient[6] and modern Giant was written with Dethek runes.[2][3] Ancient giants also had a set of logographic runes primarily used for runecasting,[7] although they were also used symbolically in art to represent or refer to related giant subraces and gods.[8][6] They were not truly an alphabet or syllabary, but rather diagrams or models of the relationships between cosmic forces and the deeper truths of the universe.[7]


Jotun tended to follow a subject–verb–object order, but there were exceptions. The copula, er, was often left out of sentences.[9][10]


The plural forms of nouns varied depending on the declension. For example, the plural of jotun ("giant") was jotunen, while the plural of huslyd ("family") was huslyder.[9]


Scholars have determined that verb forms in Jotun were inflected, that is, they changed form depending on the subject of the sentence. For example, the verb fer, "to go", was known to have at least the following forms:[9]

sing. pl.
2nd ferst
3rd fers

The participial form ferd derived from the verb and meant "going" or "journey".[9]

The infinitive form, fer, was used in commands, e.g., Fer zu dun heim, "Go to your home."[9]


The subjective forms, as known, are shown below:[9]

sing. pl.
1st Am
2nd du deg
masc. fem. neut.
han hun den

The following were the known objective forms:[9]

sing. pl.
1st meg
2nd du

The known possessive forms were as follows:[9]

sing. pl.
1st meg su
2nd dun

The two demonstrative pronouns were i and det, "this" and "that", respectively. The interrogative pronouns included wo ("what"), wer ("who"), and wie ("where").[9]


The cardinal numbers in Jotun are listed below:[9]

1 et
2 to
3 tre
4 fir
5 fem
6 sek
7 sju
8 att
9 ni
10 tier
100 hund
1,000 tusen

Numbers after ten were formed simply by following ten with the next digit, as in tier et, that is, there was no separate word for eleven. 20 and 30 were represented with to tier and tre tier. Similarly, 2,345 would be represented as to tusen tre hund fir tier fem.[9]

The only ordinal number known to scholars was stot, "second".[9]


Giant was derived from the Primordial language.[11] Jotunstein had strong Auld Dwarven influences, and the Thorass language and by extent the Common language of Faerûn were thought to share lingual roots with Jotun, possibly having evolved from an even more ancient giant language.[12]

Only about 1% of giants had any significant knowledge of the ancient giant runes in 1366 DR.[note 1][13] By the late 14th century DR, a few giants were familiar with the rune commonly associated with their subrace[8] and the runes were still used by giant runecasters.[14] Most ancient dragons were also familiar with the large majority of these runes.[8]


There are several languages and dialects based on Jotun that have evolved from it.

This is the patois spoken by ogres.[15]
Similar enough to Jotun to be reasonably understood, this language has not changed in thousands of years and is used formally in ceremonies.[5]
Spoken by hill and mountain giants, and closely related to Jotunise.[5]
Spoken by fire giants.[5]
Spoken by frost giants and closely related to Jotunhaug.[5]
The language used by cloud and fog giants.[5]
Spoken by stone giants.[5] The written form was called "Metamorpherie".[16]
Spoken by storm giants.[5]



  1. The year is deduced from the "Presenting . . . Seven Millennia of Realms Fiction" article from Wizards of the Coast and the fact that Giantcraft describes its setting as taking place immediately before the events of the The Twilight Giants trilogy.

A lot of the words of the Giant language come from the languages of Scandinavia. For example: "Alv" is the direct word for "elf" in Scandinavia as well as "det" with the exact same meaning. Translation is complicated by the loss of the Scandanavian letters "Å", "Ä", and "Ö"; some of them lose their meaning for automated translation and gain another.

Gallery Edit

See AlsoEdit


  1. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  4. Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, p. 129. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, p. 125. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  10. Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  11. James Wyatt (June 2008). Dungeon Master's Guide 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7869-4880-2.
  12. Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  13. Ray Winninger (August 1995). Giantcraft. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  14. Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 7, p. 156. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  15. Thomas M. Costa (1999). “Speaking in Tongues”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #4 (TSR, Inc), p. 29.
  16. Troy Denning (February 1995). The Giant Among Us. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 3. ISBN 0786900989.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.