Krogan language is highly varied, reflecting adaptations to the surrounding environments of the speakers - a necessity on Tuchanka and similarly hostile environments, where quick, accurate communication of local conditions and threats is vital. Loan-words are commonplace in situations where a group has moved into an unfamiliar area, deriving either from local clans on krogan-held worlds, or non-krogan elsewhere; krogan do not draw distinctions between these additions and their native vocabularies, regarding the practice as something akin to a linguistic right of conquest. The majority of advanced technological language and jargon is, unsurprisingly, salarian-derived, although much has been heavily modified since its adoption.
Despite a predilection to guttural sounds (which the krogan larynx is predisposed to), which can appear to conform to outsiders' prejudices regarding krogan lacking sophistication, most krogan languages and dialects are highly nuanced - it is regarded as a sign of inferior worth for a krogan to be lacking in articulation or to employ imprecise language.
The vast majority of krogan are multilingual. In addition to their native social dialects, clan-raised krogan will be versed in at least the languages of their primary competitors for land and resources - it is an old krogan maxim that anyone who can choose to deny his enemies the meaning of his words has the advantage. By the same token, most tribes develop specific "battle languages" for exactly this purpose; these are used sparingly outside of combat situations, to limit the potential for outsiders to overhear and analyse them. Consequently, although rarely recognised as such, krogan clan linguists are among the most highly-skilled cryptographic specialists in the galaxy.
Known krogan languages
- Ghurst-Jorgal (which has not had political significance in 300 years)
- New Krestnock
- Bhauhk: ‘The Black'. Artefacts that are considered in Drau legend to be pieces of the Void.
- Aralakh: "Eye of Wrath", accepted as the common term for the Tuchankan sun.
- Lakh: Eye.
- Mor: To weep, to cry.
- Morlakh: "Eye that Weeps", a moon of Tuchanka.
- Sorahk: "I calm my wrath.” A gesture of peace a warrior gives to his opponent.
An offshoot of the Clan Weyrloc social language, Weyrloc Break had a significant usage as the lingua franca of krogan on Omega, and in the Terminus Systems generally, although in recent decades its usage has dwindled. Examples include:
- Gu-: a prefix indicating an item is owned by someone other than one's own clan or krantt, literally "trophy".
- Jhekt: No exact translation, roughly "meteor hammer" - a uniquely krogan warship design employed during the Krogan Rebellions, notorious for destructive power but ultimately inefficient in terms of build requirements vs strategic effect.
- Kkek: Throwing knives (often worn in sheaths and thrown several at a time); also refers to frigate-type warships.
- Logh: "Worthy"; also refers to dreadnought-type warships.
- Mogr: Fists; also refers to cruiser-type warships.
- Pa'vex: Lust/hedonistic sexuality.