This is a more specific version of this question which asks, in the general sense, if you could use ranks in Linguistics to teach a language to a familiar. There is some text that seems to suggest that a familiar could be taught to understand a language, but likely lacks the anatomy to speak it.

There are, however, a few familiars like parrots and ravens which can speak a single human(oid) language once they are bound. Since such familiars already properly speak a language and clearly have the anatomy to produce most or all of the appropriate phonemes, is it possible in the specific case of familiars which can mimic a single language to teach them a new one?

  • \$\begingroup\$ "There are, however, a few familiars like parrots and ravens which can speak a single human(oid) language once they are bound. " May i ask the source of this information? \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also addressed in answer to this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Answering myself: According to this blog entry, parrots are like ravens that can speak: paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5ldc5?Pirate-Familiars \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 19:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras: It's in the Familiars section of the SRD under the "Intelligent Animals" heading \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras If we're talking about the basis in reality, Ravens can actually mimic speech fairly well, about the same as parrots. In my mind it all comes down to whether "as a supernatural ability" means that the speech itself is supernatural or that the spontaneous acquisition of a language is supernatural. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


They can learn multiple languages, but can only speak one language.

The core rulebook says that raven familiars can speak one language (online reference), and this is an exception that is extended to parrots according to this official blog entry: Pirate Familiars.

A raven familiar can speak one language of its master's choice as a supernatural ability.

But that special ability does not say you can speak more than one language though, nor does it say you can replace that language with another. The ability is not gained from ranks in Linguistics either, so increasing the ranks on the skill has no effect on the familiar's ability to speak.

This leaves you two options:

  • Release/kill your familiar and pick another one, which would be another raven/parrot.

  • Retrain the class feature (optional rule from ultimate campaign).

The ability to speak is unique to the familiar (raven or parrot), not something granted by the creature type. Ravens, unlike parrots, lack any mention of being able to talk in their bestiary entry. Parrots, on the other hand, have an ability called Sound Mimicry, which mimics the sound of speech and the animal can be trained to reproduce certain words, but states that the creature cannot actually speak using that ability.


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