The M’rowani language is best understood as combining verbal, visual and olfactory elements in an intricate system with three different levels of significance. Spoken words communicate basic concepts. Visual cues, such as body language and hand or tail gestures, function partly like linguistic tone in e.g. the Bantu language, modifying and inflecting the words, but also adding additional dimensions and nuances. Finally, the speaker’s fundamental emotional attitude – such as acceptance vs. rejection, friendliness vs. hostility, or joy vs. sadness – is communicated through strong pheromones.
These layers of meaning are strongly intertwined, to the extent that spoken words can change meaning entirely depending on the accompanying gestures and pheromones. Due to these physiological requirements, it is virtually impossible for other species to learn to understand M’rowani, much less speak it, without technological assistance. Some M’rowans have made attempts to develop a translation device which can analyse and artifically recreate the linguistic pheromones, but without much success.
Instead, for the purpose of communicating with both their slaves and trade partners from other species, the M’rowans have developed a less complex verbal-only language based on their own. This language is called either ”the slave language” among themselves or, more diplomatically, ”the trade language” among outsiders. This language is also often used for situations such as radio communication.
The M’rowan script reflects the three-layer nature of the language, using phonetic symbols for words, combined with two other sets of symbols that communicate nuances and attitude.