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I've noticed how a monk's Tongue of the Sun and Moon and an oracle's Tongues curse allow them to "speak with any creature" and "speak and understand any language" respectively.

My question is, does this allow them to speak with/understand animals? The spell Speak with Animals is all I could think of as a reference and it doesn't specify if the animals are speaking a specific language or if the magic is just interpreting their emotions and surface thoughts.

Is there a difference between what the spell does and what these class features do? Would they overlap?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "My question is, does this allow them" ; Monks, Oracles or both? It's a bit unclear which group you're referring to, so I answered for both, but I'd be happy to put a clarifying title to my answer, if you could disambiguate that point :) \$\endgroup\$ – Nyakouai Dec 3 '19 at 10:26
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I had to wade through some old threads on Paizo's forum to find this one but:

Speak and understand any language does not apply to animals. For the basic reason that animals are not considered having a language in Pathfinder. (To support this: you cannot learn an "animal" language, for instance.)

Speak with any creature, by wording, should work with animals, since they're creature. You're still not mastering every language out there, but you have the supernatural ability to be understood by any creature you speak to (within the limits of their Intelligence, of course).

The question itself is pretty niche, so it wasn't explicitly adressed in the FAQ, but is partially covered by different threads that points toward this interpretation.

To synthesize:

  • Tongues of the Sun and Moon does what Speak with Animals does, plus with any living creature.

  • Tongues curse helps you interact with all creatures that possess a language, not with animals, so the spell does not overlap with it, it complements it.

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