Languages: Articulate vs. Literate; Scrolls

Some setup:

- Read Languages, the spell, requires that someone on the same plane be able to read the same language.
- Read languages, the skill, requires a 5+ throw.

- Neither of the above grant the ability to speak the language properly, that being handled by the Tongues spell later on, or the language proficiency.

- Read/Cast Arcane Scrolls, the skill, mentions no requirement to know the language (piggybacking on the Read Language skill to circumvent that requirement)

Riddle me this:

A judge, wanting to make language more interesting, is separating mechanically the ability to properly read a language from the ability to properly speak the language.

A magical scroll is written in a language that a spellcaster knows how to read, but not how to speak, aside from what little they know from references available or just sounding things out from a common alphabet, whatever. Either way, they'll sound like a git, pronouncing things wrong, bad inflection, cadence, speed - all that stuff. It's likely they may have never even heard the language spoken.

Can they cast from that scroll? How are they doing it? Translating on the fly? Just winging the pronounciations/etc. and the magic that is the scroll takes care of it?


I've been assuming that most magical scrolls consist of apparently nonsense words written phonetically in whatever alphabet the scroll's language uses, interspersed with notes and necessary clarifications in that same language. (Possibly magic has its own language that has no written form, and so must be approximated by other languages when written down... Or maybe not. I haven't decided.)

Maybe the failure chance when casting from a scroll using the Read/Cast Arcane Scrolls skill includes the chance of mispronouciation you mentioned?

Rules-as-written, being able to read a scroll allows you to cast the scroll. And, Read Languages (as the spell or skill) allows you to understand a scroll. My interpretation is that the spell or skill allows you to understand the gist of the language, well enough to re-interpret it on the fly. The spell, being magical, allows automatic success; the magic in your head translates the magic on the page into a spell you can understand. The skill is hit-or-miss; you get better over time, but it's generally guesswork, so you may mispronounce a word and end up with no spell at all. Either way, you aren't casting the spell in the original language; you're reinventing it in your own.