I noticed that the rules for language selection state

Your race indicates the languages your character can speak by default, and your background might give you access to one or more additional languages of your choice.

But a Druid's Druidic class feature says

You know Druidic, the secret language of druids. You can speak the language and use it to leave hidden messages.

And Speech of the woods:

At 2nd level, you learn to speak, read, and write Sylvan.

It seems there's no evidence that a character is literate in the languages they know (except for class granted ones that explicitly state this is so). Am I missing something? Being too pedantic?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Were did you see that druids would learn Sylvan at 2nd level? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 4:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @alex It's from circle of the shepherd (Xanathar's Guide to Everything) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 5:09

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can write the languages you can speak

On page 17 of the PHB, the "Languages" section states (emphasis mine):


By virtue of your race, your character can speak, read, and write certain languages. Chapter 4 lists the most common languages of the D&D multiverse.

So by RAW you can read and write any language you know.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is what happens when someone texts me a rule from somewhere in the internet and I don't double check the physical book >.> \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 5:47
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara The text you quote is from page 123 of PHB, the person who texted you isn't wrong. It just appears in multiple places. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 5:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Deep Speech doesn't have a script and cannot be written. \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition to Deep Speech (which, according to the FR wiki, had no native script but was occasionally transcribed by the drow in Espruar (Elvish)), the GGTR Languages table (p. 9) lists the Sphinx language with no written script. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 20:22

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