The spell description says:

This spell grants the creature touched the ability to speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature, whether it is a racial tongue or a regional dialect.

But I'm not sure if the spell allows a pc to undestand and speak secret languages such as druidic.

So, Can tongues allow a pc to speak and understand druidic and any other secret language?


2 Answers 2


Yes, its possible to learn and speak druidic without being a druid.

The Faiths & Philosophies player companion introduced the Druidic Decoder feat, that allows a character to decode and even learn druidic without taking levels of druid.

This means that the language isn't magically protected from means to learn and speak it by non-druids, they merely don't share it's secrets around, nor publish any dictionaries that can be found on the local library.

Keep in mind that you do not choose languages when you cast Tongues, you simply grant the ability to speak any language of any intelligent creatures. The spell doesn't grant the knowledge of that language, it simply makes communication possible. Similarly, the spell Comprehend Languages will allow you to understand what is written on a druidic text, but not give you the knowledge to be able to translate it to common.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding Comprehend Languages, where do you make the distinction that understanding the text does not let you translate it? If you know what it says, you can write it down in the language you know, or communicate the contents to another person verbally who could write down what you said. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2018 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ One thing is understanding what the text says, another is translating word by word, letter by letter. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras: Translation is never letter by letter, or even word by word. Or even sentence by sentence. Translation is always meaning to meaning. And Comprehend Languages absolutely gives you the meaning of the text, which you can then write in Common. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MooingDuck exactly my point, it gives you meaning, not the actual translation of those words. The spell doesnt give you knowledge of the language, it translate the meaning. Its like having your own personal translator instead of using google or a dictionary. If you pick a phrase and translate it word by word, it will probably vary from the actual meaning of that phrase. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you only got the meaning of the text, that doesn't allow you to learn that language, or to understand the meaning of the same words in a different context. Unless the text is actually a dictionary of that language and you take notes of the meaning of each word in there, translating word by word to the language you want (ie: Common). \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:29

Yes it does.

The Tongues spell does allow you to speak and understand it as in the spell it does say that you can speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature. But it doesn't say that you know what language is being spoken or how to learn it, it only allows communication between people that don't speak the same languages possible.


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