Despite the fact that there are about 6,900 languages spoken in today’s world, incredibly creative authors felt the need to create new ones for their imaginary universes. And, while most of the fictional languages we can find in books and movies are complete gibberish, there are a few that make sense and people can learn and use them for some forms of communication.
In fact, these new languages became so popular with time that they have their own culture and communities!
So, today we’ll focus our attention towards the top 3 most popular fictional languages and the works that inspired them.
If you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogy then you probably know a few Elvish words. However, it is important to specify that Elvish is not a language, but a language family (just like we have Germanic and Slavic languages).
Elvish was developed by J.R.R. Tolkien (who was a lexicographer and philologist) and has several different languages and dialects. The ones fans know quite well are the high Elvish (Latin-Elvish or Quenya) and the Sindarin (or Grey Elvish and the language spoken by the elves in LOTR). Both are derivative from Welsh and Finnish, two languages that Tolkien studied.
Furthermore, the author also developed several different versions of the Elvish script, out of which, only one made it to the big screen.
Now, it’s important to understand that Elvish has quite a limited vocabulary since it was created by Tolkien as a hobby. While it is a masterpiece, the language was not developed beyond its use in Tolkien’s creations, which is why it may be difficult to learn it and use it to communicate extensive thoughts and feelings.
Regardless, linguists and scientists agree that this is one of the most advanced fictional languages ever created.
This time, the language was inspired by and created for a TV show (Star Trek) and not for a written story. Developed by linguist Marc Okrand, the Klingon language has been around for decades and there are even several books published about it.
Star Trek fans even use it to perform ceremonies, write songs, communicate, and they even translate well-known masterpieces into it. Overall, Klingon is considered the most widely spoken constructed language on Earth.
Now, if you want to learn it, there is a Klingon Language Institute where you can take classes, but be warned, this task is not for the faint of heart!
If you didn’t watch Game of Thrones or read the famous books published by George R. R. Martin, it’s possible to have never heard of the Dothraki. Still, the chances are pretty slim, considering the popularity of the show.
Dothraki as a language was started by George R. R. Martin in the books, so the warrior tribe (the Dothraki) that lived in close relations with their horses would be able to communicate. However, when the books were turned into the HBO show, they hired David Peterson of the Language Creation Society to develop it to a full lexicon.
The result is a beautiful language that was often used by the actors in the show, and nowadays, by the fans.
There are a few more interesting fictional languages you can learn, but these three are some of the most popular and complete. Overall, while they don’t bring too much value in a professional setting, they are a wonderful exercise for the brain and can be used to communicate secret messages with close friends and family.
It’s also quite fun to study them, as a linguist or as someone passionate about languages, and the way they were created and developed. So, if you’ve enjoyed watching or reading some of the creations mentioned above, you now have the opportunity of taking your passion to a new level!