The Taglian language is the mother tongue of Taglios and most of its surrounding dependencies. It is by far the most widely-spoken language between Taglios proper and the Dandha Presh, and a major tongue of the Southern Continent. The vast majority of its native speakers are illiterate, and the written form of the language is perceived by most speakers to be akin to sorcery. Croaker, Lady, Murgen, Sleepy, and others of the Black Company learned not only the spoken word, but the written form as well. In fact Taglian became the language of the later Annals. Written Taglian has more than 100 characters in the common alphabet.
In addition to the written form of the common, everyday Taglian language, there is a variation called High Taglian (or High Mode) used strictly by Gunni priests. High Taglian has an additional 42 written characters and exists to distinguish the upper caste from the lower castes. Sleepy reported using both common written Taglian and High Taglian for her Annals in Water Sleeps.
Examples of Taglian words and phrases are:
- Aiku Rukhadi: the Taglian phrase for "Khadi Junction", the location of a notorious massacre of priests which took place in Dreams of Steel
- Jamadar: the Taglian word for "captain" which, depending upon context, can be used to refer to a mainstream infantry captain or to the secret leader of a band of Stranglers
- Rajadharma: translating to "The Duty of Kings", this word refers to a ruler's obligation to serve the ruled. When the word is thrown into a ruler's face, or is used as an epithet, it is a savage accusation of failure. It became common graffiti, especially in Chor Bagan, employed by the underground Black Company during the years of the Protectorate. They were leveling a chiding finger at Soulcatcher for her abuses as dictator. It was sometimes combined with the phrase: "Know you: Kingship is a trust. The King is the most exalted and conscientious servant of the people."
- Syam: the most common and conventional word for the color "black". Less commonly, "Khadi" and "Kina" can mean black in some Taglian usages.
- Tooga: the word for "Stranglers" in both Taglian and the Nyueng Bao language