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Famously Constructed Languages in Pop Culture

8259593.thbImagine a world… That’s it. Just imagine a world. In this world, you can construct things however you want them to be. There will be people and culture. How do the people communicate with each other? Through language. And what better way to reflect this fantasy world than by constructing a new language. Creating a new language is just the extra mile that the creator and the audiences need to fully explore this new world. Check out my top 5 list of where to find my most favored constructed languages.

  1. The top spot goes to the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, famously known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. This writer is well known for the impressive depth he breathed into the sophisticated fantasy world he created, known as Middle-earth. He creates cultures and languages enveloping the different beings, such as elves and dwarves, in this world. Throughout his literary works, he has constructed 5 languages in depth:  Common Eldarin, Khuzdul, Goldogrin (known as Gnomish), Quenya, and Sindarin.
  2. Another piece of literature turned cinematic is the popular television series Game of Thrones (or if you follow the books The Song of Ice and Fire series). The author, George R. R. Martin, is continuously creating an elaborate world with a few mythological beings and a variety of his own constructed languages. Although unlike Tolkien, who constructed whole languages that include grammar and lexicon, Martin has only created a few words and phrases. Neither the book saga nor the television series are complete, but up until now there are about 10 languages referenced, from High Valyrian to the Old Tongue.
  3. For the trekkies out there, I have to mention the Klingon world. Appearing in the popular TV show and movie franchise, Star Trek, Klingon is known as the most complete constructed language in science fiction. There is even a Klingon Language Institute to promote the language and culture of these imaginary people!
  4. There was a time when Furbies was the must-have toy for children around the world. A Furby was a cute little electronic creature that would at first only speak Furbish, the one of a kind language of the Furbies, and through time it would learn to speak the language spoken in the home. The process was made to mimic the process of learning a language. The toy’s speaking capacity was translated into 24 languages.
  5. Lastly Newspeak from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four deserves a mention. Newspeak followed pretty much the same grammatical rules as English but was much more limiting and the vocabulary frequently changed. This only seems fitting as the story takes place in a dystopian totalitarian state. The state used the way people spoke to each other as a means of controlling them and repressing any sense of individuality. Everything outside of regulation was considered a “thought crime.”

Good thing we live in a world where we can take our imagination to the limit! I would love to hear your picks for any other constructed languages out there.