Did you have a secret diary as a kid? Perhaps written in a language no one but you understood?
Now you’re all grown up, why not spice up a boring day at the office by communicating with your colleagues using a fictional alphabet? If you’re all Lord of the Rings fans, there’s a couple alphabets for you to choose from. Or maybe Futurama is more your thing? Try out their alien alphabet.
Take a look at this Flavorwire article for more inspiration!
Stephen Colbert has perhaps reached the pinnacle of his career – he’s inspired a language.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois needed to invent a new language for a study, and chose Colbert as the language’s inspiration.
“Stephen Colbert has brought new words like ‘truthiness’ and ‘Lincolnish’ into the lexicon,” Marian said. “We had to invent a new language to do our research, and no one invents words as readily as Stephen Colbert. Naming our new language after Colbert was a no-brainer.”
Marian said the Colbertian words were designed not to resemble any words in English or Spanish. (Source: UPI.com)
The researchers say their study will help them find out if knowing multiple languages makes learning a new one easier.
A fascinating article in the New York Times describes the rise of invented languages (conlangs) in Hollywood.
The most famous conlangs are probably Klingon (from Star Trek) and Esperanto but more recently languages have been invented for the film Avatar (Na’vi) and the television show Game of Thrones (Dothraki). Who is behind these new languages?
Trained linguists, it would seem. The person who constructed Dothraki is David J. Peterson, a linguistics graduate of the University of Southern California, San Diego. Paul R. Frommer, the man behind Na’vi is a professor at USC. Constructing new languages is apparently quite challenging:
Dothraki came with its own challenges. Mr. Martin’s books described the Dothraki people as nomadic warriors who live in grass fields and survive mostly on horsemeat.
“First you say, should this word exist at all?” Mr. Peterson said. He decided that the Dothraki, with their long braids, or “jahaki,” wouldn’t have a word for toilet, cellphone or even book since that implies they have a printing press. The Dothraki do however have more than 14 words for horse (including “hrazefishi” for a teeny-tiny horse).
Next, Mr. Peterson tried to establish words that would be native and basic (meaning they are not derived from another Dothraki word), toying with letter combinations and sounds he liked. His favorite sound is “JH” as in “genre,” so he made the word for man in Dothraki mahrazh.
“I said to myself, if I won the right to coin the word “man,” it better be cool,” Mr. Peterson said. (Source: New York Times)
Big Harry Potter fan? Can’t wait for the release of the final instalment of the movie? Then this is for you!
Warner Bros. has developed a Parseltongue translator – put in a message and it will be converted into Parseltongue! For non-Potter fans, Parseltongue is the snake language that both Harry and his nemesis, Voldemort, speak. (they’re known as Parselmouths).
Once you’ve typed in a message and it has been translated, you can choose to email the message, post it to Facebook or Twitter or download an mp3 version. Be warned though – Parseltongue is a pretty creepy sounding language!
Source: LA Times
The first production performed entirely in Klingon has premiered in the Netherlands.
Called u, the production was conceived by the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble (KTRE), based in the Hague. The title translates as ‘universe’ or ‘universal’.
Klingon was invented by linguist Marc Okrand as the language of the fictional Star Trek warrior race. Fans have taken up the language with enthusiasm and sometimes controversy – one American man decided to speak to his child only in Klingon for three years.
The opera apparently features a Klingon story with Klingon lyrics and Klingon singers although this has caused some difficulties:
..Schoenfeld admitted the KTRE had to “assume a lot of things”. “We can’t go to Qo’noS and hang out with the Imperial Opera,” he said. “That’s just not an option right now. And we’re hoping, of course, for some grants to allow that.” (Source: The Guardian)
Quite an achievement for an invented language.