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How to Train Your Dragon language

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The How to Train Your Dragon language is a language that vikings in Berk use to read and write. Most of the text shown appears in the Dragon Manual when Hiccup was looking up information about Night Furies while others show up in Book of Dragons and other How to Train Your Dragon related media. The language is written in English, yet the characters are translated into runic script with a few characters modified therefor, making this language distinct.

When Hiccup reads the dragon manual, The sentences that he reads are in the How to Train your Dragon language while other background text may be in the same format or in traditional Elder Futhark and/or Anglo-Frisian runes.

Language

In Movie

The How to Train Your Dragon language characters, in contrast to traditional Elder Futhark and Anglo-Frisian runes, have to have been consisting of characters sharing identical symbols because of the lack of the letters "thorn" and other Old Norse digraphs. Some letters (such as a, f, h, l, m, n, and r) have their own symbol, others share symbols (such as b and p; c,k, and g; d and t; e and i; o, u, v, w, and y; s and z), others are unknown (such as q), and others don't exist (such as x being in the form of "cs" or "ks"). The language also has a lack of punctuation. Symbols include:


A - A vertical line with a slash through the middle that points diagonally upward (from left to right) about 45 degrees.

B - Same as a capital "B" in English, but with the loops pointed.

C - A vertical line with a line starting from 3/4 the way up the vertical line, extending diagonally upwards (from left to right).

D - An arrow pointing upwards.

E - Just a vertical line.

F - Same as "F" in English, but with the two horizontal lines slanted more upwards. This is identical to the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Frisian "F".

G - See "C".

H - The letter "H" shows up in two variations. The first is a vertical line with another line starting from 3/4 the way up the vertical extending diagonally upwards (from left to right, respectively) and another line starting from 3/4 the way up extending diagonally upwards (from right to left). The second is a vertical line with and "X" through the middle of it which is identical to an Anglo-Frisian "H" and imitates an asterisk with an elongated vertical line. The second variation, however, tends to appear more in digraphs such as "th" or "gh".

I - See "E".

J - The symbol for this letter is obtainable yet unverified*, yet it is predicted that the symbol for "J" is just a vertical line.

K - The are two variations: The first is the same as the letter "C" or "G" in the How to Train Your Dragon language and the second is the same as an Elder Futhark "C" which is an English "C", but instead of curved, pointed. The second variation seems to appear more in digraphs such as the "kn" in "unknown".

L - A vertical line with another line starting from the top of the vertical line and extending diagonally downwards (from left to right).

M - The symbol for the letter "M" is obtainable yet unverified*, yet it is predicted that the symbol for the letter "M" is a vertical line with a circle. The top of the circle is touching the top of the vertical line while the bottom of the circle meets with the center of the vertical line.

N - A vertical line with a slash through the middle that points diagonally downwards (from left to right) about 45 degrees.

O - A vertical line with a somewhat curved (or pointed) line extending from the top of the vertical line, diagonally downwards all the way. This is similar to an Anglo-Frisian "U".

P - See "B".

Q - Unobtainable.

R - Same as an "R" in English but with the loop pointed.

S - An "S" is similar to an "S" in English yet pointed.

T - See "D".

U - See "O".

V - See "U".

W - See "V".

X - The symbol for "X" doesn't exist and usually appears in the form of "cs" or, less commonly, "ks".

Y - See "W".

Z - See "S".

Some other text in the movie is in traditional Elder Futhark or Anglo-Frisian runes.

  • The letters J and M are shown only once each in the film. More has to be displayed to be verified of its symbol.

Book of Dragons

In the exclusive short, Book of Dragons, the language that vikings in Berk write with is shown when they are introducing the different dragon classes. Although, the language that is used in the movie is different than in the short. In the Book of Dragons, the traditional Elder Futhark runes are used.

Elder Futhark Alphabet

Compare the Elder Futhark Alphabet to the symbols in How to Train Your Dragon. The alphabet lacks the letters "C", "Q", "V", "X", and "Y".

A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, Z

The bolded links are identical to the symbols used in the film and the italicized text is somewhat similar to the language used in the film. The "Z" is actually identical to the letter "H" in the film.

The graph displays what symbols are identical to those of different runic scripts:

Letter Elder Futhark Anglo-Frisian/Saxon Marcomannic Younger Futhark Medieval Dalecarlian
A No No No

Long: Yes
Short: No

Similar 2 ways:
1st: Yes
2nd: No
B Yes Yes Similar No Similar Yes
C N/a No, but upside-down Yes N/a N/a No No
D No No N/a N/a No No
E No No No N/a No No
F Similar Similar No No no 2 ways:
1st: No
2nd: Similar
G No N/a? No N/a No No
H No No No

Long: Yes, for 2nd variant
Short: No

Yes, for 2nd variant 3 ways:
1st: No;
2nd: Yes
3rd: Yes
I Yes Yes Similar Yes Yes 2 ways:
1st: Yes
2nd: Similar
J No No N/a N/a No N/a
K Yes, for 2nd variant No No No Yes 2 ways:
1st: Yes
2nd: No
L Yes Yes Yes Yes No 2 ways:
1st: No
2nd: Yes
M No No No No No No
N Yes Yes No Long: Yes
Short: No
Similar Similar
O No No No N/a No No
P No No No N/a No No
Q N/a N/a No N/a No N/a
R Yes Yes Similar No Yes 2 ways: 1st: No; 2nd: Yes
S Yes Similar Similar Long: Similar
Short: No

2 ways:
1st: Yes
2nd: No

3 ways:
1st: Yes;
2nd: No
3rd: No
T Yes Yes Yes Long: Yes
Short: No
Similar 2 ways:
1st: No
2nd: Similar
U Similar Yes Similar Yes Yes 2 ways:
1st: No
2nd: Yes
V N/a N/a N/a N/a No N/a
W No N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a
X N/a No, but for H, Yes No N/a N/a N/a
Y N/a N/a No N/a 2 ways:
1st: Similar
2nd: No
No
Z No, but for H, Yes N/a No N/a No N/a

Translations

  • "Extremely dangerous" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
  • "Kill on sight" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
  • "Thunder Drum" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language (Name misspelled accidentally)
    • ​"This reclusive dragon inhabits sea caves and dark tide pools"
  • "Timberjack" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
    • "This gigantic creature has razor-sharp wings that can slice through full grown trees"
  • "Scauldron" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language (Name misspelled)
    • "Sprays scalding water at its victim"
  • "Gronkle" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
  • "Hideous Zippleback" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
  • "Whispering Death" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
  • "Night Fury" - Film, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
    • "Speed: Unknown"
    • "Size: Unknown"
    • "The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself. Never engage this dragon"
    • "Your only chance: Hide and pray it does not find you"
  • "These claws are very powerful, one claw can easily support the creature's weight. They have been known to rip through old norse, maple bark. Not a small task to put it [lightly]" - Animated Webisode, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language
  • "Referred to as (Glaacs, Claags, Claacs, or Glaags) (Thorn, Thurn, or Thyrn) named after the great warrior, may he rest in Valhalla"
  • "Hfufuwor ?[kk]g[eo]ej[eo]pxfufuwo xstbpxfu?orc?[kk] [oe]dpx[unknown]ij[eo]px rc?kkg[eo]etb pxst[unknown]uhn da[ae]unij" - Everywhere, Dragon Manual, HTTYD language (This notation can appear in variations and is just a fill-in to make the Manual look more detailed. This is simply a randomized form of the rune alphabet and is always displayed in mirror image form.)

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