Brain studies have shown that learning a language has many benefits beyond just improving your communication skills. It can increase problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and even empathy. So if you don’t know a second language, now is the perfect time to learn it. But do you really want to learn Spanish or Chinese? Many people already speak these languages. Maybe you’re a geek who wants to go somewhere a little different with your linguistics. There is an answer: learn to speak a fictional language!
However, not all of these invented languages require years of study. You can learn these 11 languages yourself with a little effort, and we’ll also point you to resources to help you learn.
Meet the Man Who Invented the Dothraki Language for ‘Game of Thrones’
A good place to start with fictional languages is one that uses English as a reference. Nadsat, according to Anthony Burgess A clockwork orange, is the language spoken by Alex and his dystopian friends in London. When Stanley Kubrick brought the book to the big screen, he incorporated tons of it into the film script.
Nadsat may seem incomprehensible at first listen, with a familiar sentence structure peppered with downright bizarre vocabulary words. These new terms are taken from Russian terms, often mutilated and rhymed to find new meaning, and interspersed with portmanteaus and Romani slang.
A quick read of the book’s glossary should bring you up to speed.
Soon you will be able to effortlessly translate to Furbish.
Credit: Getty Images
In general: the smaller the vocabulary, the easier a language is to learn. This is why many fictional linguists find the gibberish spoken by the talking toy Furby a good place to start. Launched by Tiger Electronics in 1998, it was one of the hottest sellers of that year’s Christmas period. The hamster-like creature communicated verbally with 42 different words, and it gradually replaces them with English as you play with it.
Furbish is an intentionally limited language, which makes it easy to learn. It has evolved slightly over the generations of toys, but the essential grammar is still the same. Start with this comprehensive vocabulary.
If you played Skyrim, you probably know at least one line from Dovahzul: “Fus Ro Dah,” shouts the Relentless Force. The game’s main theme is also sung in the language of dragons, and players encounter it in several locations. Bethesda also designed a cuneiform written alphabet for the language, making phonetic conversation easier. Without capitalization or punctuation, it is a relatively simple language to learn, hampered only by a limited vocabulary.
The sentence structure of Dovazhul is identical to that of English, so it is a solid choice for a second language. Here is a great resource put together by Old scrolls fans to share the beauty of language with others.
James Cameron is a filmmaker known for his attention to detail. It is therefore not surprising that for the production of Avatar he would hire someone to create a coherent language that his blue space inhabitants could speak. Paul Frommer, a business professor with a doctorate in linguistics, was tasked with coming up with a language that would be learnable by humans, but not too similar to any existing Earth language. It took him about six months to structure the syntax and morphology, then he found the vocabulary words needed for the script.
Cameron’s team only developed about a thousand words in Na’vi, but as the video games and other spin-offs came out, the language grew. There is also a large fan community growing it. Na’vi is relatively easy to learn due to the modularity of words: many terms can be expressed by putting together several existing words. Here’s a glossary to help you get started.
JRR Tolkien was a student of languages before he became a fantasy novelist, and he developed the twin languages of the Elves long before he wrote a single word of The Hobbit. High Elven and Low Elven are also very different from each other, so you should probably choose one to specialize in. Quenya, or High Elvish, is based on the Finnish language, which is already an outlier language in Europe, and Sindarin is based on the Finnish language. Welsh. However, knowledge of either language is not necessary to start learning.
Tolkien actually created dozens of other languages in his work, but most of them are fragmentary at best. Both Elvish languages are well-documented and robust, and hundreds of people speak them. Here’s a great place to start.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is essentially “Cats: The Musical”
Let’s return to the world of video games for another invented and remarkably robust language. THE Ultimate the games are known for their incredible attention to detail, and the sixth game in the series saw the introduction of a magical language for spellcasting. It should surprise no one that when the time came for Lord British to give a race of gargoyles their own speech, he created an internally consistent language for them.
One of the best things about learning Gargish is that it is quite flexible in terms of grammar and sentences can be expressed in different ways. If you’re interested, here’s a detailed introduction to how the Gargish speak.
THE Star Wars The universe has a number of constructed languages for its various alien races, but probably the easiest to understand is Ewokese, first heard in Return of the Jedi. The language spoken by the Shrimp and Furry inhabitants of Endor is relatively simple to learn, with basic grammar and vocabulary already in place. And can you imagine how impressed your mother will be if you come home for Christmas speaking Ewok? Don’t answer that.
Here’s a complete guide to the Ewok language, along with translations of every word spoken in the third Star Wars movie. Yeah !
The animated version of the classic novel by Richard Adams Ship down traumatized many 80s kids with its unflinching depiction of animal violence. The rabbits who venture through the countryside speak a language called Lapine, which is mainly used for specific nouns, but is also found in other parts of speech. Because Lapine essentially functions as an overlay on regular English, it is easy to learn and implement in conversation.
Here is a glossary of existing Lapine terms. Fans of the novel have expanded Adams’ creation to make it more robust and versatile.
Star TrekThe Klingon language of Klingon isn’t necessarily easy to learn, but one of its advantages over other languages on this list is the massive amount of educational resources available. Although Klingons appeared in the original TV show, their language was not introduced until Star Trek: The Movie, when actor James Doohan proposed the general sound. By Star Trek IIIdirector Leonard Nimoy realized they needed a real language and commissioned it from linguist Marc Okrand.
Since then, the language has only grown in popularity. Several important works of English literature have been translated into Klingon, and there are a number of fluent speakers in the fandom. One couple even raised their son from birth speaking Klingon as his first language. Start at the Klingon Language Institute or learn it on the way to work with its inclusion in Duolingo.
If you’ve ever seen your little IT people arguing and just wanted to know what they were saying, good news: Simlish is actually a real language that you can learn. It debuted in 1996 SimCopter as radio chatter and became more and more prominent as the series progressed. Simlish is relatively easy to learn because it grammatically resembles English, just with vocabulary from several other languages.
Originally intended to be completely absurd, the language has become relatively understandable with a little effort, and people even make videos in which they translate popular songs into Simlish. Here is a complete guide to learning the language.
When George RR Martin began working on A song of ice and fire, he has not given much thought to the composition of the language spoken by the Dothraki nomads. When HBO opted to make the books for television, they contacted the Language Creation Society to turn Martin’s excerpts into a full-fledged language. The grammar is simple, with sentences in subject-verb-object order and just over 3,000 known words.
Learn Dothraki here; the site also has resources for Valyrian, the other major Game Of Thrones language, but why would you want to learn that?
While it would probably be more helpful to learn a language commonly used around the world, we definitely think parties would be more fun if everyone spoke like different types of fictional characters or space aliens.
This story originally appeared on Geek.
UPDATED: November 21, 2023, 2:07 p.m. AEDT This article was originally published in April 2020 and has since been updated in November 2023.
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