Bas-Lag Wiki

There are innumerable languages of Bas-Lag, although only a few are mentioned and even fewer are discussed.

Known languages[]

Many of the known languages are able to be spoken by both humans and xenians, although some, such as Khepri scent languages, are communicated with means not available to most species.

Human-dominant languages[]

  • Ragamoll - The most common language on the eastern side of the Rohagi continent, owing in large part to the commercial power and wide range of influence that New Crobuzon possesses. The language likely gets its name from the Ragamoll Mountains to the south of New Crobuzon.
  • Salt - Spoken largely by sailors around the Swollen Ocean.
  • Teshi - Spoken exclusively by inhabitants of the city-state of Tesh.
  • Perrickish - The language of the Pirate Islands and the Jheshull Islands.

Vodyanoi-dominant languages[]

The Vodyanoi use at least three languages or dialects. The vodyanoi who live in the Cold Claw Sea use a variant known as Fellid vodyanoi, while vodyanoi living in the south use the aptly-named South vodyanoi. The vodyanoi who live in New Crobuzon usually speak the Lubbock dialect, although mixed with Ragamoll loanwords.

  • Lubbock - Primarily spoken by New Crobuzon vodyanoi.
  • Fellid vodyanoi - Spoken by northern vodyanoi, especially in and around Jangsach.
  • Southern vodyanoi - As the name suggests, spoken largely in the south of Rohagi.

Cray-dominant languages[]

Cactacae-dominant languages[]

  • Sunglari - One of the native languages of the cactacae who live in New Crobuzon's Glasshouse. It is also spoken by the cactacae of the Cymek Desert.

Khepri-dominant languages[]

Although the khepri communicate nonverbally with chymical scents, they have several written languages that are known.


  • High khepri - The written language of the Khepri. It is used in khepri literature, although it is not the written language that most khepri use in their day-to-day activities.


  • Khepri chymical language - This language is communicated via pheromones emitted from the heads of the khepri. While humans can smell the chymicals, only khepri are able to discern the nuances with fine enough clarity to understand the language.

High Chromlech languages[]

  • Quiesy - Also known as Deadish, Quiesy has multiple modes of communication both verbal and nonverbal. The verbal mode consists largely of grunts and timed silences, while the nonverbal mode consists of eye movements and gestures. It is exclusively used in High Cromlech.

Gengris languages[]

  • Unnamed Language - The Gengris uses two unnamed languages in the Grindylow tongue. One is the actual language used by the Grindylow, the other is an attenuated version spoken by non-Grindylow.

Handlinger languages[]

The Handlingers communicate largely with touch, but they allegedly possess a secret, written language. The Cymek library is rumored to have a copy of a volume written in this language.


  • Khadohi - Described as a cursive-pictographic language with "lunar characters".

Unknown languages[]

The Galaggi Veldt around Tesh is home to nomadic cities and a variety of small settlements. The languages spoken there are distinct from Teshi or Ragamoll, but there are a few cognates.