If you’ve watched Game of Thrones, an episode of Star Trek, James Cameron’s Avatar, The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Peter Jackson’s latest movies, The Hobbit Parts One and Two, you’ve heard one of the languages listed in the title spoken.
Created languages have been around for a long time, but with the prevalence of both science fiction and fantasy in popular culture, constructed languages are becoming more and more a factor in the creation of science fictional or fantasy worlds.
This video from Ted-Ed talks about created languages and whether they can be considered languages. I suppose it depends on how you define language. If people speak it and use to communicate, then it’s a language.
When it comes to real languages, I know a little Spanish and I can read some French and speak it a little. I am fascinated by languages, however. Especially by the way, as the video showed, languages and words change, evolve, split off and, in some cases, eventually die off. Which is a shame because I see languages as more than just words or grammar. They are also the living, breathing heart of a people and a culture. When a language dies, it’s as if the heart of the people who spoke it also die. If those people are even still around.
If you’re interested in creating your own language, whether for fun, to exchange secret messages, or for a world you’re creating for gaming or writing fiction, here are some places you can start.
The Language Construction website is a great place to start. It will help you with the basics, such as the sound, writing system and world building for your language, the grammar of your language, and writing it all down.
Holly Lisle wrote a book on creating languages called Create A Language Clinic.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, this article should prove interesting. It’s an interview with the producers of Game of Thrones and the creator of the Dothraki language, David Peterson.
So, until my next post. Dothras chek, which in Dothraki means, according to the Dothraki wiki Be cool or Ride well, said when parting.
Or if you prefer Elvish Tenna‘ ento lye omenta, which means until next we meet.
Or Qapla‘!, which means success, and is apparently the way you say good-bye in Klingon.