There are some amazing fictional worlds created by writers, film directors and game producers. Many of these have fictional languages, some of which took years and years to construct. They may sound like gobbledy-gook but just think of the effort involved in such a creation and the difficulty of poor actors if they have to learn it for a film. Here are 7 fascinating fictional languages from books and films.
Tolkien was actually a professional philologist (specializing in Old English), so it’s no surprise that the characters of Middle Earth spoke truly fascinating fictional languages. The most famous of his constructed languages is Elvish and Tolkien actually created 15 different Elvish languages! However, he also created two Dwarven languages (Khuzdul and Iglishmêk), a language of the Ents (Entish), and various languages of men, orcs and gods.
This is the language spoken by the Klingons in the Star Trek universe. The Klingon language was deliberately constructed to sound ‘alien,’ so sounds are put together in ways that are not usually found in other languages to create a harsh and guttural effect. Many people have studied Klingon and some are fluent. Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been translated into Klingon and there have even been stage performances of another Klingon play. That definitely makes this a fascinating fictional language!
The makers of The Sims experimented with a number of different languages but eventually decided to use a language that was just gibberish and nonsense. The idea was that the players could imagine for themselves what the characters were saying. It also means they don’t need to translate it for non-English languages. Occasionally, as aficionados of the Sims games will, the odd English phrase does creep in such as the use of mmm….yummy in ‘The Sims.’
This language is spoken by the inhabitants of Pandora, a fictional moon in the film Avatar. One reason that it’s such a fascinating fictional language is that although the film was only released in 2009, there is already a large community of people learning the language and there are many dictionaries and websites to help them do so. Its exotic quality makes it a truly fascinating fictional language.
In post-apocalyptic Oceania, the totalitarian government, The Party, wants ultimate control over everyone’s minds, so it creates Newspeak to try and make the expression of certain ideas and emotions completely impossible. Newspeak contains no synonyms or antonyms: something that is bad is simply “ungood” and something that is very very bad is “doubleplusungood.” Concepts such as “freedom” were to be abolished altogether. 1984 of course also introduced Big Brother and Room 101.
Nadsat is a fictional register used by members of a teen subculture in A Clockwork Orange. Unusually, the narrator doesn’t just speak to the other characters in this way. He actually communicates with the reader in Nadsat too. Nadsat incorporates English, Cockney Rhyming Slang, Russian, German, and many made-up words.
In the Harry Potter books and films, Parseltongue is the language of serpents, although there are a few witches and wizards who can converse with them. These ‘Parselmouths’ do not have to learn the language; it is a skill that comes to them automatically and is often inherited. Sometimes, Parselmouths do not even know they are speaking in Parseltongue, which is one reason why it’s such a fascinating fictional language.
These fictional and mystical worlds just wouldn’t be the same without the fascinating fictional languages that appear in them. It’s likely that people will be inventing new languages for as long as we are on the planet, sometimes to enhance their books or films, and sometimes just for fun. Are there any other fictional languages that you find fascinating?
Top image source: fc06.deviantart.net
Please rate this article