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Several races in WoW appear to take inspirations from real-world historical peoples. The list below captures a few suspected racial-inspirations. For the purpose of this list, accents are not taken into consideration.

Cultural similarities

Centaur & Mongols

The centaur, a half-horse like race, are portrayed as a somewhat nomadic people who raid and pillage rival villages. In Earth history, Mongol warriors (such as Ghengis Khan) are thought to have lived a similar lifestyle based heavily around horses. They even share the "Khan" in their name.

Gilneans & Reclusive civilizations of the past

The Gilneans walled themselves up for a century, refusing contact with outsiders. There are quite a few examples throughout history of civilizations who have made similar decisions.

Humans and Medieval Europe

The Humans are portrayed to mimic the the Medieval civilization of Europe (see the architecture, religion, etc.).

Kalu'ak & Inuit

The Kalu'ak are a walrus-type people who live in the icy North of Azeroth, relying heavily upon fishing and hunting for sustenance. On the surface, their culture is very similar to the Inuit peoples of Earth's Northern regions.

Pandaren & Chinese

It is no secret that the Pandaren and the majority of the Mists of Pandaria expansion draw heavily upon Chinese traditions and themes.

Tauren of Mulgore & North American aboriginal tribes

Both are peaceful, down-to-earth communities who strive to be at one with the natural world and to preserve it. There are also similarities between their hunting practices (Kodos, opposed to North America Bison). Their architecture even bears similarities.

Trolls & Haitian / Dominican / West African

Trolls are a race whose culture is heavily ingrained with hexes and voodoo, much like the real-world locations above where many of these types of customs originate.

Vrykul of Northrend & Ancient northern Europeans (Norse)

Several traditions, deities and some architecture of this race appear to be heavily inspired by Norse mythology and the Vikings.

Voice similarities

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Draenei

Draenei have Russian-sounding accents.

Dwarves

Dwarves have accents similar to a Scottish accent.

Gilneans

Gilneans have accents similar to a working-class British accent (Cockney?).

Trolls

Trolls usually have accents similar to a Jamaican accent.

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