Languages are fascinating things, and so many of us would love to be bilingual. It’s clear that learning a language can be challenging, but imagine actually inventing a new language yourself! Well, we can’t imagine ever being able to do that, but we aren’t the geniuses mentioned below. There are some exquisite writers out there, and many of them have been able to integrate new languages into their works.
Not only are these invented languages integral to the works they populate, but they are also enjoying a rise in popularity in popular culture as well. There are a lot of ways in which these languages have influenced other works. Some of these languages go much deeper than what we are made aware of, and it’s important for us to know that the creator knows their stuff. These are some of the most famous invented languages that are known throughout popular culture. It’s important to know about these fascinating pop culture phenomena, and how they influence their works.
Did you know that you can actually study Klingon as a language for a degree?! Invented for the Star Trek universe, Klingon has seen a fanatical rise, with fans of the show across the world learning bits and pieces of the language. In fact, back in 1996, linguist D’Armond Speers attempted to raise his son as the world’s first native Klingon speaker. Constructed languages continue to fascinate, and there has long been the search for a universal language. In the meantime, Klingon will do us nicely thank you very much!
If ever there was a Godfather of invented languages it would have to be Tolkien. The man gained huge popularity with The Hobbit, then changed literature with The Lord of the Rings. He invented the Elvish language, also known as Sindarin, for the epic fantasy novel. There are many languages spoken by the elves in LOTR, but Sindarin is the most common in Middle Earth. Tolkien was interested in languages as a child and is believed to have created Sindarin around 1944.
George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire is also known for its use of created languages. Some of these were seen in the show Game of Thrones, and one of the most prominent among these is Dothraki. The language was adapted for the show by linguist David J. Peterson and consists over 3,163 words. It is thought to be one of the most convincing invented languages, and
Valyrian is the other language invented for ASOIAF, as well as Game of Thrones, and it is considered to be a dead or extinct language. The most common of these is High Valyrian, but it is rarely adapted beyond a few words. Among the phrases, there is the famed ‘Valar morghulis’ which translates as ‘all men must die.’ In total there are 667 known Valyrian words, though not all of them are used in the novels or the TV series.
There are plenty of other invented languages as well, and there will no doubt be many more in the future. But these are the breakout ones that have had a profound impact on literature, television, and entertainment, not to mention pop culture. There’s a good bet you’re going to have heard of at least one of these invented languages, and now you know a little more about them.