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Language Group: Constructed

  • Apr 12, 2012
  • 07:22 PM

A history of Hollywood's invented languages

David Peterson / CNN
The full history of language creation is a fascinating and varied one, but for now, I want to focus on the use of created languages in television and film. As a starting point, it's useful to examine the usage of "foreign languages" in television and film. Though it's hard to imagine at this point a Russian character speaking something other than authentic and grammatically appropriate Russian in a feature-length film, that hasn't always been the case.
  • Apr 12, 2012
  • 03:29 PM

Recap: Language creator David Peterson on 'The Next List'

Peterson is the inventor of the Dothraki language, spoken in the HBO hit series, "Game of Thrones." (Disclosure: HBO shares a parent company with CNN). And just as J.R.R. Tolkien's languages infused "The Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogies with an authenticity rarely seen in fantasy fiction...
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 08:09 PM

Esperanto lovers blaze trail on new EU petition

Europe Online Magazine
Brussels (dpa) - Should the European Union recommend that citizens use the invented language Esperanto when singing its anthem? That is one of the questions the EU‘s executive was left to ponder this week, after citizens on Sunday acquired the right to submit petitions for new legislation.
  • Mar 31, 2012
  • 12:08 PM

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Lingua Franca Nova

Lingua Franca Nova (LFN) is a creole-like auxiliary language with a simple and logical grammar. It was created by Dr C. George Boeree of Shippensburg University, Penn­sylvania, starting in 1965. Inspired by the historical Lingua Franca that was once used around the Mediterranean, it draws its vocabulary from Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
  • Mar 20, 2012
  • 12:35 PM

“Game of Thrones” is all talk to UCSD graduate

Diane Bell / U-T San Diego
When a tribe of nomadic horsemen in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” speak their in their strange tongue, former UCSD graduate student David Peterson knows exactly what they are saying. That’s because he created their Dothraki language.
  • Mar 20, 2012
  • 12:32 PM

Minnesota's 'forgotten Tolkien' died Friday

Jon Collins / Minnesota Public Radio
For the games and handful of novels that fleshed out his world, Barker created at least three languages from scratch, including one called Tsolyáni, said Victor Raymond, chair of the Tékumel Foundation, which formed in 2008 and seeks to preserve Barker's legacy.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 02:59 PM

Esperantists to visit Ballarat

Ballarat Courier
VICTORIAN Esperantists will be visiting Ballarat this Sunday celebrating the 125th anniversary of the language. The simple language was created by Dr Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof in the late 19th century as a way of breaking language and cultural barriers. It can be learnt in less than one year.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 01:07 AM

While English is becoming the norm, the number of new (artificial) languages is expanding

Suzette Haden Elgin created Láadan, a language aimed to be used by women. It was based on the concept that Western natural languages may be better suited for expressing the views of men, with women expressing how one feels about what one is saying, without being forced to respond "I know I said that, but I meant this" (Láaden has a word, "bala", that means "I’m angry for a reason but nothing can be done about it"...
  • Mar 10, 2012
  • 03:32 PM

Public Education Through Media award

UBC's Okanagan News
Schreyer’s research gained international attention last year when she initiated a project examining the impact on society of invented languages. Her research focused on the Na’vi language created for the Hollywood blockbuster movie Avatar. Using online research techniques, Schreyer discovered a global community of Na’vi fans who, lacking a common root language, used Na’vi to communicate, blog, convey ideas and keep in touch.
  • Mar 04, 2012
  • 01:45 PM


Liz Essley / Washington Examiner
Klingon had maybe half a dozen lines in the first movie. So I wrote down what they were saying and made a list of all the sounds I heard. And then I imposed a grammar on it. I made arbitrary decisions about how it worked, and then I just added and added. I only made up what was needed for the movie at the time, and then I expanded it later.
  • Mar 01, 2012
  • 03:01 PM

Robo-language the future?

Abbie Napier / The Press
ESPERANTO NEVER quite entered the mainstream, and Elvish and Klingon were popular with Lord of the Rings and Star Trek fans. But Christchurch scientists are convinced a language they are designing especially for robots will one day be in mainstream use.
  • Mar 01, 2012
  • 02:59 PM

Google Can Now Translate Esperanto

MyFox Atlanta
Google Translate has announced its 64th supported language – the artificial Esperanto. Google said in a blog post that the language "has hundreds of thousands of active speakers, millions of people with some knowledge of the language, and even a few hundred people who learned it from birth, taught by their parents."
  • Feb 15, 2012
  • 02:57 PM

Students talk over new language plan

Stoke & Staffordshire
LANGUAGE students have launched a campaign to see Esperanto adopted as an international tongue. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the invention of Esperanto – devised by Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof in 1887.
  • Jan 11, 2012
  • 04:44 PM

Tolkien And Made Up Languages From Fiction

Sam Parker / Huffington Post
For Tolkien, a philologist by trade, giving his characters their own tongue wasn’t simply a narrative device but the starting point for his fiction. It was a life-long commitment that helped him give The Lord Of The Rings and his other works their unique, immersive atmosphere - and the sense that they had truly arrived from an alternative reality.
  • Dec 30, 2011
  • 05:37 PM

This Book Will Teach You The Wookiee Language (video)

Josh Harrison / Ology
Wookiees can't speak Galactic Basic (though they can understand it) because their vocal cords are just too badass--but it appears that author Wu Kee Smith believes that humans can, indeed, learn to speak Shyriiwook. After all, in the films, Han Solo knew the language well enough to understand Chewbacca, even if he didn't throw his head back and bellow in the language himself.
  • Dec 15, 2011
  • 05:33 PM

A Brief Guide to Fictional Languages in Literature

Emily Temple / Flavorwire
This week, we were treated to a great article on the creation of the Dothraki language, as it is spoken in the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Inspired by this new insight into the culture of Khal Drogo, we decided to take the opportunity to look into some other interesting fictional languages, from complete universes with many dialects to what amounts to English augmented by very creative slang.
  • Dec 13, 2011
  • 10:37 PM

Rosetta Throne: Learn to Speak Dothraki (audio)

Jeremy Egner / The New York Times
But could Dothraki have any application in the real world? Judge for yourself. We asked Mr. Peterson to come up with and pronounce some phrases inspired by the series, as well as others that might be more useful in a land outside of Westeros. The translations aren’t always exact. (Ordering a pizza for delivery? Tell them to “bring me my food by raven.”) But what language doesn’t include a few colorful idioms?
  • Dec 12, 2011
  • 09:55 AM

Concocted Languages to Make Other Worlds Feel Real (video, audio)

Amy Chozick / New York Times
Today, a desire in Hollywood to infuse fantasy and science-fiction movies, television series and video games with a sense of believability is driving demand for constructed languages, complete with grammatical rules, a written alphabet (hieroglyphics are acceptable) and enough vocabulary for basic conversations.
  • Dec 09, 2011
  • 03:59 PM

Learning Klingon all in a day's work for actress

Lisa Friedman Miner / Chicago Daily Herald
The Klingon version of “A Christmas Carol” is a bit different from the usual tale of a miser who discovers compassion and kindness after being visited by various spirits. The Klingon Scrooge SQuja', being from a warrior race, takes another kind of emotional journey.
  • Nov 30, 2011
  • 11:57 AM

From Klingon to Na'vi: Delving into made-up languages

Heidi Stevens / Chicago Tribune
Stephen Rogers calls himself "a sucker for a good story." Even if it's told in Solresol. Rogers is the author of the newly released "A Dictionary of Made-Up Languages: From Adunaic to Elvish, Zaum to Klingon — The Anwa (Real) Origins of Invented Lexicons" (Adams Media). Solresol is a language created in 1817 and based solely on the seven syllables of music...
  • Nov 30, 2011
  • 11:16 AM

A Brief History of Singing in Invented Languages

William Weir / Slate Magazine
Many musicians sound like they’re singing in an otherworldly tongue; relatively few actually endeavor to invent their own language. There are, however, a handful of ambitious souls who do just that. Among the better known examples is the band Sigur Rós, which released a live album Inni, earlier this month. Inni features a few songs in “Vonlenska,” which is Anglicized as “Hopelandic,” ...
  • Nov 23, 2011
  • 11:34 AM

Cool book alert: 'A Dictionary of Made-Up Languages'

Whitney Matheson / USA Today
How do you say "Where is the bathroom?" in Klingon? What about "I apologize for this moron" in Na'vi? Thanks to a new book, you, too, can chat with your friends in Elvish, Vulcan and more than 100 fictional tongues.
  • Nov 18, 2011
  • 12:10 PM

Unconscious language learning

Medical Xpress
...The new approach to solving the puzzle taken by Dr. John Williams at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics and his collaborator, Dr. Janny Leung from the University of Hong Kong, has been to invent an artificial language. Participants were tested to see whether they correctly acquired, over periods as short as one hour, an understanding of patterns embedded within the artificial language.
  • Nov 18, 2011
  • 11:53 AM

A Klingon Christmas Carol Returns

Samantha Abernethy / Chicagoist
Trekkies rejoice! The Klingon adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is returning to Chicago this year. Seriously, the whole play is spoken in the Klingon language created within Star Trek and adapted to reflect the Klingons' warrior culture.
  • Nov 16, 2011
  • 06:42 PM

Elvish, Klingon and Esperanto—Why Do We Love To Invent Languages?

Katy Steinmetz / Time
Invented languages do more than cause lively debates among Star Trek fans. Esperanto, and other international tongues, are meant to repair the plague of Babel. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish and its ilk help readers escape deep into literary worlds. And then there are the hundreds of invented languages most people have never heard of, each with its own aesthetic or communal or political reason for being.
  • Aug 26, 2011
  • 02:55 PM

Dugon, Haus You Dinikin, Du-Ah: The secrets of twin speak

Jon Lackman / Slate Magazine
...In rare cases, however, children do develop an entire language of their own, and amazingly, all full-blown twin languages spontaneously develop the same structure, regardless of the language spoken at home. Aarhus University linguist Peter Bakker told me that twin-language structure is unlike that of any established language, and its syntax doesn't simply reflect the usual mistakes made by children.
  • Aug 26, 2011
  • 12:51 PM

Rip-roaring tale

Mini Anthikad-Chhibber / The Hindu
David J. Peterson, an expert language creator from the Language Creation Society devised the language for the Dothraki, a race of nomadic warriors. Based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy series, “A Song of Ice and Fire”, “Game of Thrones” tells the story of political intrigue, dynastic struggle, lust, murder, love and betrayal.
  • Aug 23, 2011
  • 05:12 PM

The Automatic's Rob Hawkins on learning Esperanto (audio)

BBC News
A Welsh rock singer has spoken of his love of Esperanto, the language created with the aim of bringing equality to international communications.
  • Aug 10, 2011
  • 05:04 PM

Liveoffice Ports To New Language: Klingon
Torrance-based LiveOffice, the cloud-based email archiving and compliance service, has ported its user interface into an interesting language--the fictional Klingon language from Star Trek. According to LiveOffice today, users of the software can now view its interface in Klingon when they want to access their email archives.
  • Aug 10, 2011
  • 04:08 PM

'Avatar' fans learn to speak Na'vi language
Thousands of people are visiting the Learn Na'vi website where they can teach themselves the Na'vi alphabet, read the dictionary, take part in a Na'vi forum, and even download an application so their GPS can speak Na'vi. Paul Frommer created the language for the movie with less than 1,000 words, but he said the avid linguists are clamouring for more.