Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Language Creation

Language. What is it? A grouping of words, symbols, signs, gestures, and sounds used to communicate. Language is used everyday, from speaking to people, texting, computer programming, the posting of pictures, and so on. Suffice to say, language is important to know and understand the world around us.

But what about created worlds? What about the races and places that writers create? How do these people communicate? It is easy for an author to use their native tongue when their characters speak and think. I don't find anything wrong with that. It is easy - for some - to translate a few sentences into a different language. I do that constantly, changing English to Latin, French, Italian, and Russian. But I am a language nerd. I love various languages.

However, in my creation of worlds and races, I have backed myself into a wall of sorts. I have elves, vampires, sorcerers, witches, and so on. Each of these races have their own histories, and therefore, they need their own languages. But, how do I go about creating various languages for my races, without it sounding alien?

Tolkien is a great inspiration for language creation. Using the Elder Futhark Runes, he fashioned the Uruk Runes spoken by the Uruk-hai. The Cirth Runes - language of the Dwarves - is based upon the Anglo Saxon runic alphabet.

By following Tolkien's example, I am in the midst of creating a few languages for my various races. I am in the middle of creating a history for my vampire race. Finally figuring out where my vampires originated from, I can now use the languages from that area to create my own. For my vampires, I am mixing Elder Futhark Runes, the Lepontic (Lugano) language, and Ogham. I think that what I come up with will be fantastic, but it will take a lot of hard work.   This is fantastic website all about languages. Omniglot is the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages. It has sections on phonetics, different writing systems, and sections about conlangs - constructed languages.

Here is to making the created world a little more complete, with a language of their own.


  1. Oooo, thank you for the link Aimee! I actually did a project on Tolkien and his created languages for my "creativity" class my first semester of college. The class was BS but the project was fun!

  2. “A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks." Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    Love that guy. He also says:

    “Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing."

    But I love them and use them oftener than I should probably. xD