Wenja Language: salwa

Smarkaka, salwa!  “Salwa” is a word that we’ve used quite a bit in the last couple weeks in our Wenja lessons, though it’s never been explicitly discussed.  Meaning “all, whole, entire”, salwa is another word you’ll hear frequently throughout Oros, both in the open world and in the cinematics.  Salwa Urusim, if you will.

Take the following scene with Tensay, where he discusses your vision of the Izila apocalypse.

Tensay: Nay. Shancha Urusis. Shancha salwas!
             “No.  End of Oros.      End of all!”

But salwa is also used in another context, one that is perhaps even more common. For this meaning, let’s examine a quest that you receive in the open world.

Random Quest Giver:  U shrawman yaka, Takkar. Wadar salwa daha, ha pafi.
                                     “Heal the river, Takkar.       Make the water safe for drinking.”

Here we can see the other meaning of salwa: “safe”. Though it may seem strange at first, think of the English word whole, which means both “all” (the whole shebang) and “safe” (I feel whole).

This use of salwa as both “all” and “safe” is something we can observe in the related words in the IE languages. PIE *sólwo- (< *solh2wo- via the Saussure Effect) is continued by loads of words in Indo-European, including Sanskrit sarva- ‘every’, Greek. hólos ‘whole; safe’, and Latin salvus ‘safe’ and sollus ‘all’.  For Greek hólos in English, see words like holo-gram and holo-cene, Latin salvus is the source of English save as well as salva-tion.

Tu sakwan prasti!

2 thoughts on “Wenja Language: salwa

  1. Reofive says:

    One of the most interesting etymologies in my opinion.
    And speaking of Oros, how did you come up with the name "Oros"?

  2. Andrew Byrd says:

    This was actually chosen by the creative team (presumably it's inspired by the word for 'mountain' in Greek).

Comments are closed.