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Fictional Language

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Anyone here ever attempted to create their own language without making it sound like gibberish or illogical?

Game of Thrones' Dothraki and Valyrian were a good example. But pulling one off seems to be a major challenge. I hope there are tools out there that can help you make your own from scratch. Maybe some of you peeps here know some? :D

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There was a Neverwinter Nights 1, game server I used to play on that created a language for their Elves. It's based on the Hebrew Language, and most words are the phonetic equivalent of the actual words. When I was playing over there, I had a grasp of the language to recognize the more common words without looking them up on the server's wiki.

For Example:

Yoom Toova = Good Day

Bevoodai = You're Welcome

Silath ni = I'm Sorry

Fen = Yes

Li = No

 

So... Pelail, hoovaire. Toova'reyalas ta. Ta lulecetas Le'Or'T'Nanshi, Fen?

 

EDIT: Their linky - http://wiki.avlis.org/Nanshilae

Edited by Brayon
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Interesting. Since I'm doing this for a book I am hoping to publish someday, I really want a deep research on it. As of now, I'm mixing Greek and Latin since this "Qraellic" language I'm using is being used to weave spells.

I = Ydj
Mine  = Ydjei
You = Koz
Yours = Jozei
He/She = Edrohs
They = Edrehi
His/Hers = Edrohsei
Theirs = Edrohi

With a simple enchantment like Sachre ekzorium Ydj eimpra. Sachre ypreta Ydj eimpra. Afurgezon ruali sachre mizto edrehi.

It's a work in progress. But my brain turns into noodles a few minutes after.

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I recall reading producers hired at least one linguist to come up with the Klingon's language for Star Trek, and I suspect it's happened with other movies featuring non-humans. The most famous artificial language is Esperanto; you may want to look it up for ideas.

Good luck.

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Inventing languages as a writer is a dicey adventure.  Perhaps a word here and there to flavor the world... but a language?

J.R.R. Tolkein was probably the most famous inventor of languages... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien#Linguistic_career

J.K. Rowling certainly made a hash of things if you listen to linguists grind their teeth over her magical command words. lol.

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On 8/16/2019 at 10:48 PM, Carlos Hazday said:

I recall reading producers hired at least one linguist to come up with the Klingon's language for Star Trek, and I suspect it's happened with other movies featuring non-humans. The most famous artificial language is Esperanto; you may want to look it up for ideas.

Good luck.

Wow I never got to get back here in this thread I made.

Yes, I should check that out. But yeah,

On 8/19/2019 at 12:31 AM, Myr said:

Inventing languages as a writer is a dicey adventure.  Perhaps a word here and there to flavor the world... but a language?

J.R.R. Tolkein was probably the most famous inventor of languages... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien#Linguistic_career

J.K. Rowling certainly made a hash of things if you listen to linguists grind their teeth over her magical command words. lol.

Better learn from Rowling's struggle. Looks like I really have to consult with an actual linguist to properly do language. Or else, I should be a putting a disclaimer on my book that says: "Many linguists were offended in the making of this language." LOL

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3 hours ago, Solus Magus said:

Looks like I really have to consult with an actual linguist to properly do language.

There are some nice courses out there that dice up where words come from and their meanings. There are several on The Greater Courses that deep dive into vocabulary, grammar, etc.  Understanding how English works and following those rules with your own language helps make your new language make more sense. Lots of resources out there.

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2 hours ago, Myr said:

There are some nice courses out there that dice up where words come from and their meanings. There are several on The Greater Courses that deep dive into vocabulary, grammar, etc.  Understanding how English works and following those rules with your own language helps make your new language make more sense. Lots of resources out there.

Ohh! Thanks thanks!

Where is this 'The Greater Courses' that you speak of though? I've never encountered this one, sorry. 😧

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3 minutes ago, Solus Magus said:

Where is this 'The Greater Courses' that you speak of though?

Something like this - https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/language-and-the-mind.html

There is also: https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/

The second one is a streaming option with some great deals to start.

You can sample some of the lectures on their Youtube Channel.  This is on writing:

 

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6 hours ago, Myr said:

Something like this - https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/language-and-the-mind.html

There is also: https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/

The second one is a streaming option with some great deals to start.

You can sample some of the lectures on their Youtube Channel.  This is on writing:

 

Woah! Looks great! Thanks so mych @Myr! This should also help with my grammar skills.

Since English isn't my native language and never was my strength, I could only be proficient to a conversational level. Technical writing and grammar consistency for my writing style can be quite a challenge for me. :<

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On 8/18/2019 at 9:31 AM, Myr said:

Inventing languages as a writer is a dicey adventure.  Perhaps a word here and there to flavor the world... but a language?

J.R.R. Tolkein was probably the most famous inventor of languages... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien#Linguistic_career

J.K. Rowling certainly made a hash of things if you listen to linguists grind their teeth over her magical command words. lol.

And yet, Rowling's 'Avada Cadaveras' and 'Expecto Patronums' are well loved by fans even if their mutilation of Latin makes linguists grind their teeth. The audience, children and young adults in particular, thought these things 'cool' and so derived a great deal of joy from using them and debating on how to 'correctly' pronounce them. 

On the other hand, some of Tolkien's readers can find his continuous use of Quenya, Sindarian, and the Black Speech tedious. The Silmarillion is a challenge to get through even for fans! Many readers have trouble with the languages in The Silmaillion even when they are fully realized, fully functioning languages with verb structures, tenses, and diacritical rules for the pronunciation of their written forms. Quenyan even has its own alphabet, Tengwar, that has cases and diacritical forms informing grammar!  One of the appendecies of The Silmiarillion (at least in my copy) actually has an alpha-runic profile for the Tengwar for proper writing! Tolkien was a philologist first and an author second and his stories were actually created to showcase his new languages! That is a high bar that he set for those that would follow him as their template for how a 'proper fantasy' should be written.

Sometimes, it is a matter of gaging who your audience is and making something 'cool' sounding rather than 'correct' sounding.

I just popped in because I, myself, just had to toy with a new language to come up with a phrase. I actually mixed a bit of Quenya with Gaelic together to come up with this sentence: "Talár duí! Tatán duí! Mírilli kageál!" This translates as 'Hear me! Show me! Jewel become bright!' I imagine a whole new language can be built using the structures of both languages since Tolkien's elvish languages borrow heavily from Gaelic and Welsh with a sprinkle of Finnish for flavor. But, that would be too derivative and, like Rowling, I just wanted a 'magical phrase' that sounded cool when spoken aloud. :P Tahl-AIR ThWHY! Tah-TAYN ThWHY! MEYE-rill-eh kah-YAY-el! A lot of fictional languages start out this way.

You can also see if you can partner with a linguist friend on linguistic forums where they actually try to come up with new languages for fun!

Here in GA-Land, my writing mentor and buddy @Comicality actually had a language expert friend come up with a whole new language for him called 'Verzpertillio' which is the ancient language of his vampires in his Gone From Daylight series. When spoken aloud, it even sounds like a vampiric language because it sounds like something only people with fangs might be able to pronounce properly! Genius! :D

Here is an excellent article about the use of fantasy languages and their pros and cons. The article also goes on to explain how to connect with a 'conlanger' or a linquist who specializes in creating new languages.

https://selfpublishingadvice.org/writing-how-to-create-a-language-for-a-fantasy-novel-world/

Edited by MrM
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@MrM 🤷‍♂️

I didn't say not to, just that it is harder.  And yes, fans love Harry Potter and academic stuffed shirts get prissy.

 

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2 hours ago, Myr said:

@MrM 🤷‍♂️

I didn't say not to, just that it is harder.  And yes, fans love Harry Potter and academic stuffed shirts get prissy.

 

Oh, oops. I didn’t mean to imply that from what you said @Myr. I was just making that point about not always having to do thing the ‘right’ way to make an entertaining story.

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On 9/13/2020 at 1:15 PM, MrM said:

And yet, Rowling's 'Avada Cadaveras' and 'Expecto Patronums' are well loved by fans even if their mutilation of Latin makes linguists grind their teeth. The audience, children and young adults in particular, thought these things 'cool' and so derived a great deal of joy from using them and debating on how to 'correctly' pronounce them. 

On the other hand, some of Tolkien's readers can find his continuous use of Quenya, Sindarian, and the Black Speech tedious. The Silmarillion is a challenge to get through even for fans! Many readers have trouble with the languages in The Silmaillion even when they are fully realized, fully functioning languages with verb structures, tenses, and diacritical rules for the pronunciation of their written forms. Quenyan even has its own alphabet, Tengwar, that has cases and diacritical forms informing grammar!  One of the appendecies of The Silmiarillion (at least in my copy) actually has an alpha-runic profile for the Tengwar for proper writing! Tolkien was a philologist first and an author second and his stories were actually created to showcase his new languages! That is a high bar that he set for those that would follow him as their template for how a 'proper fantasy' should be written.

Sometimes, it is a matter of gaging who your audience is and making something 'cool' sounding rather than 'correct' sounding.

I just popped in because I, myself, just had to toy with a new language to come up with a phrase. I actually mixed a bit of Quenya with Gaelic together to come up with this sentence: "Talár duí! Tatán duí! Mírilli kageál!" This translates as 'Hear me! Show me! Jewel become bright!' I imagine a whole new language can be built using the structures of both languages since Tolkien's elvish languages borrow heavily from Gaelic and Welsh with a sprinkle of Finnish for flavor. But, that would be too derivative and, like Rowling, I just wanted a 'magical phrase' that sounded cool when spoken aloud. :P Tahl-AIR ThWHY! Tah-TAYN ThWHY! MEYE-rill-eh kah-YAY-el! A lot of fictional languages start out this way.

You can also see if you can partner with a linguist friend on linguistic forums where they actually try to come up with new languages for fun!

Here in GA-Land, my writing mentor and buddy @Comicality actually had a language expert friend come up with a whole new language for him called 'Verzpertillio' which is the ancient language of his vampires in his Gone From Daylight series. When spoken aloud, it even sounds like a vampiric language because it sounds like something only people with fangs might be able to pronounce properly! Genius! :D

Here is an excellent article about the use of fantasy languages and their pros and cons. The article also goes on to explain how to connect with a 'conlanger' or a linquist who specializes in creating new languages.

https://selfpublishingadvice.org/writing-how-to-create-a-language-for-a-fantasy-novel-world/

 

Actually, Erick came up with the language all on his own. i really had nothing to do with it at all, but when he started teaching it to me, I added it to a couple of stories and love the way it sounded. I was amazed! Here's a short sample of how it sounded when spoken aloud.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Comicality said:

 

Actually, Erick came up with the language all on his own. i really had nothing to do with it at all, but when he started teaching it to me, I added it to a couple of stories and love the way it sounded. I was amazed! Here's a short sample of how it sounded when spoken aloud.

 

 

Erick is Tolkien reincarnated? 😮 
It is such a cool language Comsie! It sounds so real! Sort of like a version of ancient Greek!

Edited by MrM
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