Why We Love to Learn Klingon: The Art of Constructed Languages

In 1996, linguist D’Armond Speers became notorious for attempting to raise his baby son Alec as the world’s first native speaker of Klingon, an invented language from the Star Trek universe. Speers eventually abandoned the experiment when his son showed a marked reluctance, at the tender age of five, to use the language, but that [...]

By |2019-09-14T11:20:49+00:00September 14th, 2019|Conlang, Constructed languages, Klingon language, Language|0 Comments

Want to build a language from scratch? Start with the question who will speak it, and why

It’s well known that JRR Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings cycle to create people to speak the languages he had invented. But, in the television age, artificially created or invented languages – we call them conlangs – have been gaining increasing attention with the popularity of television series such as Star Trek and [...]

By |2019-09-13T20:08:20+00:00September 13th, 2019|Conlang, Constructed languages, Language|0 Comments

How to build a ‘perfect’ language

It’s well known that JRR Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings cycle to create people to speak the languages he had invented. But, in the television age, artificially created or invented languages – we call them “conlangs” – have been gaining increasing attention with the popularity of television series such as Star Trek and [...]

By |2019-09-06T17:41:47+00:00September 6th, 2019|Conlang, Constructed languages|0 Comments

Speaking in Tongues: From Elvish to Dothraki, the rise of invented languages

In the language spoken by the Dothraki on the violent and popular HBO show Game of Thrones, the word for cat is keli. Reasonable, you might think. The show is based on the books written by George R.R. Martin, surely he can come up with whatever words he likes for the animals living in a [...]

By |2019-08-25T18:06:35+00:00August 25th, 2019|Conlang, Constructed languages, Language|0 Comments

Authenticity in Alien Worlds: The Art of Creating Languages

Whether you’ve ever consciously thought about it or not, chances are you’re familiar with a constructed language. From Star Trek’s Klingon, to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish, to Avatar’s Na’vi, to Dothraki and Valyrian in Game of Thrones, these fictional languages have lent a degree of authenticity to the worlds they occupy. According to Christine Schreyer, Associate [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:21:54+00:00June 27th, 2017|Conlang, Constructed languages, Language|0 Comments

Why Tolkien’s fantastic imaginary languages have had more impact than Esperanto

JRR Tolkien began writing The Fall of Gondolin while on medical leave from the First World War, 100 years ago this month. It is the first story in what would become his legendarium – the mythology that underpins The Lord of the Rings. But behind the fiction was his interest in another epic act of [...]

From Klingon to Dothraki: Understanding invented languages

In Star Trek, hulking warriors speak Klingon. In Lord of the Rings, ancient forest dwellers talk in Elvish. And in Game of Thrones, nomadic tribes chatter in Dothraki. These made-up languages evoke fictional worlds. Now, fans can learn more about the magic behind all those invented words and phrases by immersing themselves in the history [...]

The 5 Greatest Fictional Alien Languages

Fictional alien languages — like the one prominently featured in Arrival — are a big part of science fiction world building. One of the staples of creating a believable fictional world that’s different from our own is the careful consideration of what beings from other planets sound like and how they communicate. The alien language [...]

Who owns Klingon? Lawsuit draws battle over invented languages into court

The invented tongue of Klingon belongs to no man, corporation or star fleet, a society of language creators has told a federal judge as he weighs a copyright lawsuit against a fan-funded Star Trek film. Last month Paramount and CBS filed a long list of complaints in federal court as part of its lawsuit against [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s guide to inventing a fantasy language

The success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies brought the languages that J.R.R. Tolkien invented for the Elves to the attention of a much wider public. There are now numerous books and websites that allow devotees to learn Quenya and Sindarin. The origins of Quenya in Finnish and the Welsh inspirations [...]