Invented Languages Abound

Did you know there are a number of languages that have been formally invented for use in literature, politics, television, and more? Read on for some interesting facts about just a few in existence.

    • Solresol – invented by François Sudre; only seven syllables based on the Western musical scale; the first and only musically-based interlanguage
    • Nadsat – Russian-influenced language used in A Clockwork Orange, the dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess
    • Newspeak – fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell
    • Quenya & Sindarin – Elvish languages used in J.R.R. Tolkien’s works; influenced by Finnish and Welsh
    • Dothraki & Valyrian – spoken in the television series “Game of Thrones”
    • Navi – spoken in Avatar; includes popping-like sounds that are found in Georgian and Amharic languages
    • Esperanto – created by Ludwig Zamenhof to be an easily-learned, neutral language
    • Láadan – invented by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982 to better express women’s feelings (widazhad, for example, means “to be pregnant late in the term and eager for the end”)
    • Ithkuil – a philosophical language with fifty-eight distinct sounds (some say it is almost impossible to pronounce)

How does one go about creating a new language? It all depends on the intended use. Those created for short-term use, such as in a movie, would need little more than some choice vocabulary and the questions/phrases used in conversation. Those intended to be used long-term and be widely spread would need to put into place phonology (system of the language’s sounds), morphology (rules for creating words), syntax (ways of creating sentences), and – of course – the vocabulary!


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