Jenny’s Corner: 4 Fictional Languages You Could Actually Learn

I was recently watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones, and my favorite scenes have always revolved around Daenerys Targaryen and her husband Kahl Drogo. They speak a language called Dothraki, a language that has been developed, and which is translated for the viewer the way a foreign French film might be. It is a language that is fully functional, with its own idioms and grammatical rules. But it isn’t the only language created specifically for a fictional world. What follows is an examination of languages that exist only in fictional worlds, but they are languages you could potentially learn and master.

As mentioned above, Dothraki was created for Game of Thrones, through hiring a language creator named David Paterson. He was able to work out a realistic language that went on to be featured in the show. Interestingly enough, whenever an actor would ad lib in Dothraki, the language had to be retrofitted to accommodate the improvisation. Paterson’s dictionary included over 3,000 words, as well as extensive descriptions of the proper way to form a variety of sentences. If you want to ride with the Khalasar, or help the Mother of Dragons take the Iron throne, you can always pick up conversational Dothraki.

This is one of the better known fictional languages, originally created by linguist Marc Okrand for the warrior race on the hit television series Star Trek. There have been a number of books published about the Klingon language and its accompanying organization, The Klingon Language Institute. Plenty of fans have used the language to conduct marriage ceremonies, write poetry and songs, and adapt well-known works. In fact, there’s even an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet available in Klingon.

This language originated in the J.R.R. Tolkien world of Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), and it is a very complex fictional language, complete with its own alphabet. Tolkien himself created the language: in fact, he started constructing the language before he started any of his better-known works. Tolkien studied Finnish and Welsh, and those are the languages upon which Elvish is based. And what is particularly interesting about Elvish is that it has multiple dialects.

Anyone who has ever heard of Superman knows about Kryptonite, his only weakness, and Krypton, his planet of origin. What they may not know is that Kyrptonian is a language they could learn to speak, if they so chose. While it isn’t as widely used as some of the other languages mentioned, it is a complex and dynamic language, with a resounding fan base.


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