Though Smaug is the only dragon who features prominently in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, there are many others who live in Middle-Earth. They don't seem to be the most sociable of creatures, but I would guess that there have been some meetings between dragons, especially if - as is probable - they have a common origin.

Do dragons have a special language?

If the theory that they are the creation of Morgoth is correct, I would guess that such a language would be a derivative of Valarin, but that is simply conjecture.

  • 2
    Hmm, Black Speech is connected with Sauron, not Morgoth. Original language of Valar and Maiar was Valarin.
    – Mithoron
    Jun 4, 2015 at 0:18
  • @Mithoron Ack! I should fix that. Thanks.
    – HDE 226868
    Jun 4, 2015 at 0:18
  • Don't panic ;) it's rather tricky problem and I think that as although it isn't so clearly stated, dragons were indeed incarnated maiar, so it was their original language.
    – Mithoron
    Jun 4, 2015 at 0:24
  • 1
  • Also it seems Black Speech is only known Valarin derivative :)
    – Mithoron
    Jun 4, 2015 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


Sadly, we don't know.

All Tolkien says of dragon-language is a brief note during a discussion of the spread of Westron (emphasis mine):

In Bilbo's time there was a language very widely used all over the West (the Western parts of the Great Lands in those days). It was a sort of lingua-franca, made up of all sorts of languages, but the Elvish language (of the North West) for the most part. It was called the Western language or Common Speech; and in Bilbo's time had already passed eastward over the Misty Mountains and reached Lake Town, and Beorn, and even Smaug (dragons being ready linguists in all ages).

History of Middle-earth XII The Peoples of Middle-earth Chapter 2: "The Appendix on Languages"

Bearing out Tolkien's point, on the rare occasions we see dragons speaking they never have trouble being understood. So they're evidently capable of at least speaking Sindarin and Westron, and presumably could learn most other languages if it came down to it.

A smart question would be to ask what language dragons speak amongst each other, but unfortunately we don't know that either: the occasions in the book where we see more than one dragon at a time are rare, and exclusively battles1. Hardly an environment conducive to conversation.

There is evidence that Morgoth created the Orcish tongue in the First Age; a draft of what would eventually become Appendix F, dated to no later than July 1950, contains the following paragraph:

The Orcs had a language of their own, devised for them by the Dark Lord of old, but it was so full of harsh and hideous sounds and vile words that other mouths found it difficult to compass, and few indeed were willing to make the attempt.

History of Middle-earth XII The Peoples of Middle-earth Chapter 2: "The Appendix on Languages"

If he did this for the Orcs, it's possible that he would have done the same with Dragons, or taught the Dragons the Orc-speech, but we have no evidence to support either theory.

1 In fact I think there might be only one example, the Fall of Gondolin. But it's possible I'm forgetting some

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