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10 Fascinating Fictional Languages

Frequently, throughout the history of writing, people have invented their own languages – whether it be to conceal something’s true meaning, or to add depth to a story (as in the case of the Lord of the Rings). This list looks at some of the fascinating (and fun) fictional languages.

10

Alienese

Futurama Big002.Jpg

Alienese is a set of fictional languages that often appear, usually as graffiti, in the background of the show Futurama. The first transliterates directly into English, but the second is much more complex; the alphabet is described as one in which “next letter is given by the summation of all previous letters plus the current letter.” Fans have spent their time translating these messages and revealing additional, hidden humor on the show.

9

Parseltongue

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl43zeKxlag&hl=en&fs=1]

In the Harry Potter books, Parseltongue is the language of snakes, and can be understood by human Parselmouths, which are very rare. It can be spoken by Salazar Slytherin and his descendants, including Voldemort, who passed the ability unto Harry when he tried to kill him. J.K. Rowling has stated that she named the language after “an old word for someone who has a problem with the mouth”. To non-speakers, it sounds like a series of hisses, but Parselmouths hear it in their native language.


8

Aklo

Cthulhu-6.Jpg

Aklo is a fictional language often associated with the writing of forbidden or occult texts. It was first invented by Arthur Machen in his 1899 short story “The White People,” in which two men discussing the nature of Evil consult the diary of a young girl, written with Aklo words. It is notable for its widespread use in other fiction; H.P. Lovecraft used it in two stories from his Cthulhu Mythos (pictured above), “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Haunter of the Dark”. Alan Moore used the language in his story, The Courtyard, in which Aklo is not only an alien language, but also a key that opens the human mind. Since it is only used fleetingly, and by a wide range of authors, there is no set grammar or vocabulary, and it is unclear from which languages it draws most influence.

7

Mangani

Manga4.Jpg

Mangani is the language of the apes from Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan novels, and also the word by which the apes refer to themselves. It is described as being composed of guttural sounds that represent nouns and basic concepts. However, the written lexicon, as provided by Burroughs, is much more complex and made of real words, similar in pronunciation to many African languages from the area in which the books take place. The recently discovered Bili Ape has been retroactively compared to the Mangani, both in size and habitat.

6

Newspeak

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAhicl-Owr4&hl=en&fs=1]

Yes, the language that is the bane of high school seniors everywhere. Invented by George Orwell for his dystopian novel 1984, Newspeak was designed by fictional totalitarian regime the Party, to enforce its rule on people. Closely based on English, its vocabulary constantly shrinks to preclude any words that convey the ideas of freedom, rebellion or free thought. Its main goal is to remove any ambiguity from language, giving one word total meaning; this is commonly done by making one word (such as “think”) both a noun and a verb. Opposite words were replaced by a pre- or suffixed version of a word; for example, “bad” became “ungood.” This is thought to have been influenced by Esperanto, which frequently creates new words through a complicated system of adding prefixes and suffixes. As I can’t find a good clip of someone speaking Newspeak, I have included the national anthem of Oceania taken from the film version. The anthem is sung in English.

5

Nadsat

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v90KPJ6n4Ew&hl=en&fs=1]

Invented by author Anthony Burgess, Nadsat is the idiomatic language spoken by the teenagers in A Clockwork Orange. The word itself comes from a transliteration of the Russian word for “teen.” It is a vernacular speech, composed by the youth counterculture; it is basically English, with some transliterated words from Russian, patterns from Cockney rhyming slang, the King James bible, and words invented by Burgess himself. All nadsat words are concrete, lacking the complexity to discuss a subject such as philosophy. The author intended this to show the shallow nature of the juveniles’ minds. In the video above you can hear the main character (Alex) speaking in Nadsat.


4

Simlish

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJsZhiOhUVg&hl=en&fs=1]

Simlish is the spoken language of the Sims, first heard in SimCopter, but most prominently featured in The Sims, Sims 2, and Sims 3. In order to avoid the cost of recording repetitive dialogue and translating it, the project director had the voice actors improvise a gibberish language. The end result was that players were able to fill in their own dialogue, and imagine the character interactions more realistically than a computer could simulate. Soon, the games had songs sung in Simlish, and many famous recording artists have since re-recorded some of their tracks for various Sims games and expansions. Written Simlish, glimpsed in reading materials and on television, is a combination of the Wingdings font and Zodiac symbols, but have no grounding in real grammar. All other games made by Sims genre creator Will Wright employ Simlish as a language. The video above is Lily Allen singing her song Smile in Simlish. You can spend hours on youtube looking up some of the many famous singers who have made a simlish version of their songs – such as Kajagoogoo – Too Shy. The Ting-tings even recorded a song in simlish for their album “We started nothing”.

3

Esperanto

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfhZodmVTcI&hl=en&fs=1]

The only actual language on this list, Esperanto is noteworthy for being one of the most successfully constructed languages in history. It was first detailed by L.L. Zamenhof in his book, Unua Libro, in 1887, published under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto. The word “esperanto” means “one who hopes” in the language. Today, it is estimated that there are between one hundred thousand and two million fluent Esperanto speakers, and between 200-2000 native speakers. Both Google and Wikipedia provide services in Esperanto. It is the language of instruction at the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj in San Marino. Its structure is heavily influenced by the Indo-European languages, and its vocabulary is mostly derived from the Romance and, to a lesser extent, the Germanic languages.


2

Klingonese

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDBBmXtHR5Y&hl=en&fs=1]

Qapla’! The language of Star Trek’s Klingons is, today, a nearly fully-developed language. It was first heard in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and its sound was devised by actor James Doohan (Scotty). Paramount Pictures subsequently hired linguist Marc Okrand to fully flesh out the language, which he deliberately designed to be “alien”. The first Klingon dictionary was published in 1985, and other books, such as Klingon phrasebooks, have supplemented the language. The Shakespeare plays Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet have been famously translated into Klingonese, after a famous line in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: “Shakespeare is best read in the original Klingon”. It is said that Okrand was heavily influenced by Native American languages, and the tendency of the language to develop long chains of nouns (ex: “gun and sword and spear”) comes from Sanskrit. As of 2006, it held the world record for the fictional language spoken by the most people.

1

Languages of Arda

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN256Adtrlc&hl=en&fs=1]

The above term is used to describe the many fictional languages invented by J.R.R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings and other works taking place in Middle-Earth. This was done out of a desire to give real linguistic depth to names and places that Tolkien felt were lacking in fantasy and science fiction. The two most mature of these languages are Quenya (High-Elvish – heard in the video clip above) and Sindarin. Quenya is comparable to Latin, in that it is an old language used contemporarily (in Middle-Earth) as an official language. When written in English, the words contain many accents, which are usually on every vowel (they also employ the dieresis, the two little dots above a letter). These two languages were heavily influenced by Finnish and Welsh, though as they developed further, the influence became less and less apparent. The depth and complexity of these two languages are incredible, as demonstrated by their influence on Middle-Earth culture and other Middle-Earth languages. What is even more amazing is the sheer number of languages Tolkien created for his world, with each race having dozens of offshoots and dialects. His work with the many tongues of Middle-Earth truly exemplified the potential of fictional language, and demonstrates the importance that language plays in creating a society.

Contributor: antmansbigxmas



  • EsBravo

    I actually have the Klingon dictionary…what a dork that makes me…

  • jajingna

    Cromulent guns on the list, g. I’d like to be a lingophiliac but lack the smooth tongue with the ladies yo.

  • jajingna

    whoops accidental jajdude impersonation, sorry about that

  • stunty

    Thanks for including the Futurama language. (btw, the pictured graffiti says VENUSIANS GO HOME)

    • Alienese can’t be a language, its a code as it’s English

  • pistol pete

    may your comments embiggen the smallest soul, jajingna.

  • Jessy

    What?! No Troll? :p

  • rolf

    Wow looks like jajdude’s sock has been outed – slipped-up guns on the slip yo

  • Travis

    What about the most international language of all? the language of… MONEY!!!

    • Karl

      No, it's broken English.

  • cymraegbachgen87

    like it

  • Shirokuma

    You mean cause it became fictional since our banks deal with money they don’t have?

  • chaosinc

    Nice list. Does ebonics or txtese qualify?

  • mythshift

    I SIMPLY LOVE parseltongue!!!

    And i love HARRY POTTER since i was in gradeschool…

  • Cat Skyfire

    Droog means teen in Russian? Um…since when? Back when I studied the language, droog meant “friend.” And in Russian, znakomi, or acquaintance, is used much more. Friend is a special status, with an even heightened meaning if the individual being, er, friended, is of the opposite sex.

  • Paro

    Awesome list, nadsat confused the hell out of me for the first few chapters. It really numbs all the violence

  • scarlet_tears

    somehow i knew that tolkien will be in number one..

    i have a friend who knows how to speak the Quenya.. hahaha

  • Mark

    13. Cat Skyfire : Umm, since when did the list claim that droog meant teen? (I don’t even see the word droog on the list???) I believe if you read the list it actually only claims that Nadsat translates to teen.

  • Lunta

    I LOVE this list! It was awesome to see a Harry Potter reference! Nadsat is a tough language…but I’m reading the book for a third time now and it’s a lot easier to read than the first two times.

  • Iain

    200 – 2000 ‘native’ speakers of Esperanto? I’ve never been to Esperantia, but I heard it’s nice.

  • Heroajax

    This was a really cool list. Thanks A lot.

  • Tonio

    I wish i could talk to snakes! lol Great list

  • Bigwig Rabbit

    No jajadude impersonators. That’s lame. Those comments are unique to him and should remain so. Save the jajadude!

  • DCI

    What about the star trek language kling on or something like that not really a fan but some people are fluent.

  • @18 Iain

    maybe there are people out there who actually learn esparanto to their children when they’re small?

  • DCI

    Sorry what I meant was that I thought it should be number one.

  • Greggory

    Hmmm, wheres elvish from LOTR? Anyway good list.

  • downhighway61

    Greggory, it’s at number 1.

  • Copaface

    Hahah Simlish owns.

    Sexy list.

  • joch

    when i had the flu a few years ago i translated as much of the alienese that i could find, the second language isn’t very hard once you understand how it translates.

  • ringtailroxy

    what? no Sarus? Adam Phillips, creator of Brackenwood , ex-Disney artist, Flash-Director extraordinaire,and native Australian, illustrates the Yu Yu and their unusual, chanting, language. all in consonants.

    watch Bitey & the YuYu…
    http://www.biteycastle.com/theYuyu.html

    Learn about Sarus…
    http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/forum/13732/

    long live Bitey!

    ringtailroxy
    and the Sarus dictionary…
    http://www.biteycastle.com/525/Sarus2_engSarus.html

  • Kreachure

    Very nice list! All of these constructed languages are pretty cool in many different ways. Definitely the best 10 as far as I can figure.

  • Adam

    Do some people actually forget about reading the lists before commenting?

    Anyways, I knew right away the Tolkien had to be number one. His languages made the books that much more mythological.

    Also props for including futurama on the list haha

  • oouchan

    Great list! I worked with a guy who stood 7’2″ and weighed around 500 who spoke perfect Klingon. Each day before we started work, we would have announcments and then the thought or quote of the day. It was done by him in Klingon. It was so cool, actually.

    side note….I heard that some trekkies were so caught up in this language that there is a facility here in the States that caters to their reprogramming.

  • cannabiscallan

    What about the language in animal crossing?

  • Baxter

    Interesting list but (cynic as I am) I can’t help but think that with the skill and determination to develop a language these people might have accomplished so much more with their lives. But hey.

  • Callie

    ohhh Nadsat. I was so frustrated with the book for the first bit until it all just clicked into place. This was an awesome list topic.

  • Cat Skyfire

    #16 Mark: Ah, you’re correct. That will teach me to read lists at 4 am.

  • joanne

    esperanto is not a fictional language. there is a fairly large global community of esperantists. it shouldn’t be in this list.
    by the way i think if at least two people are able to exchange ideas by any means then that already qualifies it as a language

  • copperdragon

    ACK ACK! Ack ack aCk aCK!

    Let’s hear it for the aliens of Mars Attacks.

  • Mark

    35. joanne : Yes fictional was a bad adjective but even I didn’t complain about that, and that’s me, I usually can’t stop. I think it’s a very interesting and entertaining list.

  • joanne

    esperanto is not a fictional language. it was intended to be an international language but was never as broadly used like english. nevertheless there is a fairly large global community of esperantists. it shouldn’t be in this list.
    by the way i think if at least two people are able to exchange ideas by any means then that already qualifies it as a non-fictional language

  • joanne

    oops… sorry for the multiple post

  • Crimanon

    Sweet! There is hope. I’ve been trying to find some sort of written “IF Common” (OSC; Enders Game…). For some reason it just fascinates me.

    The most that I can think v rite now is this… I and I don’t even think that’s right. Where is a linguist when you need one.

  • TheDeepestSilence

    Sor jhor air eirdaerysti.
    This list is awesome. Translated from High Elvish

  • gatineau

    1984 was the only book I had enjoyed reading in high school. Sad

  • TEX

    Contributor: antmansbigxmas
    Thanks for including #5, it was the first thing that came to mind when I read the title.

    33. Callie
    Same here, the first few chapters, flipping to the back to find out what the hell was being said, back and fourth.

    Oh well – off to brush the Zoobies!

    36. copperdragon
    ACK ACK! Ack ack aCk aCK!

    That one’s easy – “Do not run, we are your friends.”

  • Not my thing, but cute list. Well done and obviously well researched. Good job, antmansbigxmas.
    Actually, I am interested in all languages and how they effect the civilizations who speak them; I’m just less interested in fictional ones.
    Still, a well deserved “Congratulations!”

  • Mortivore

    And to think, I can’t even learn -real- languages… XD

  • Brian Barker

    I agree with Joanne.

    It is unfortunate that most people are unaware that Esperanto is a living language

    During a short period of 121 years Esperanto is now placed within the top 100 languages, out of 6,000 worldwide, according to the CIA factbook. It is the 17th most used language in Wikipedia, and in use by Skype, Firefox and Facebook.

    Native Esperanto speakers, include George Soros, Nobel Laureate Daniel Bovet, Ulrich Brandenberg, the new German Ambassador to NATO, and World Champion Chess Player, Susan Polger.

    Further arguments can be seen at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670 and a glimpse of the language can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

  • Meesh

    Okay copperdragonl…that was simply hilarious

  • Lucy

    I’ve played the Sims since it came out in like 2000 or so and I have always heard my Sims speaking in some weird language. I never knew that it was an actual language, though. I always thought that it was just all gibberish. So, does that mean people can understand what their Sims are saying if they are fluent? Or is it ACTUALLY gibberish?

  • Iain

    23 Morono – I’m sure it’s something along those lines. However, I’m not convinced this passes as ‘native’. Presumably there could be Trekkies out there bringing up their kids to speak Klingon – would this make them native Klingon speakers?

  • ABrutalKind

    I love 1984, the addition of Newspeak in that book makes it so much better, or should I say doubleplusgood.

  • TheDeepestSilence

    QA TLHO’
    NUQ DAQ YUJ DA’POL?

    I thank you.
    Where’s the chocolate?

    in Klingon

    I know. . . I’m a geek. It’s sad. :-(

  • Vaami

    Speaking Finnish (not exactly fluent anymore, I totally suck!), I really thought I could learn and speak High Elvish – Ha! HA! HA! That was a funny, fleeting thought!

  • Joss

    Woohoo for Simlish. (Heh heh…woohoo)

    My pastor speaks Esperanto. I think it’s pretty cool sounding.

    Sweet list!

  • Mtatazela

    My ex speaks snake fluently !

  • sikamikanica

    This was a very entertaining list! Didn’t expect to see Futurama on it.

  • Tricia

    Heck yeah Parseltongue and Elvish!! Kudos on the list. Good stuff two lists in a row. Love it.

  • Iain

    32 Oouchan – Regarding your giant friend – how do you know he was speaking perfect Klingon?

  • DC

    cool list, very impressive, and yet also wonderfully sad.

    anyhoo, i get the whole welsh/finnish thing with the elvish, it does sound like them – it flows nicely like welsh but also the actual words sound quite finnish (my friend’s finnish so i know).

  • DK

    Super cool list today! First thing I thought was “like Klingon?!”

  • Mabel

    YES!!! Tolkien’s are number ONE! Ha! :D

  • Q

    I heard the Bible has been translated to Klingon.

  • For a moment I was getting worried you weren’t going to include the elvish languages, but there they are. Hooray!

  • Sandra

    Klingonese????? Sorry, it’s just called Klingon. LOL, sorry, that was the geek in me coming out. Great list!

  • Lifeschool

    Ye, gr8 list. Nu Quenya w’d B #1. Vry A P no SMS n ere! Tops.

  • Biscuit

    hrrau hveolhaon iudaiht Rihanha

    kjumnaihsou eeaee ueihwiaekaedl

    This is apparently Romulan – the spell checker only queried one word on it, so i’m guessing its accurate.

  • oouchan

    59. Iain: Its because he gave us each a dictionary so we could follow along. It was the greatest gift, too. I learned a few words but alas…it’s been too long since I last spoke it.

  • diogenes

    notes to the world:

    you know when you make a funny sound at a dog and the dog cocks its head and you make the sound(s) again and the dog cocks it head again and you think its fun and cute but the dog is like “what the fuck are you saying? do you even know how silly you look doing whatever it is that your doing, you dip shit?

    or how children, before they understand or grasp the logistical complexities of socialization or conversation play with their stuffed animals or dolls or action figures and have them make small talk or animal noises in character, because its how the adult has indicated to do so and the child creates non-word sounds to fit particuliar playthings?
    and when the self makes recognition to the words it sounds there is discovery of music.

    teens texting

    the lure of mimickry

    escapism

    Orwell played with his toy battalions quite intensively

    Burgess (with Desmond Morris?) also created the apeman grunt language in that movie “Quest for Fire”

    Angles

    code breakers

    mind bogglers

    speaking in tounge

    mumbling

    “between one hundred thousand and two million fluent Esperanto speakers” is quite a gap! Couldn’t they unite and purchase an island or overthrow a small country. What gives? If there are 2million fluent speaking Esperantos out there, I would say it’s a real language.
    what does this say about the human, in which we are more likely to learn some fictitous language instead of saving a dying one?
    It’s not like putting on the sheep’s clothing is it? or is it?
    Something like the difference of “going native” and Academic categorizations and folkloric documentation and separation for isolation in order to keep mankind alive.

  • diogenes

    ….and by Angles I meant Angels

    but this makes no sense yet as moderation is ongoing

  • RandomPrecision

    nice list.

  • diogenes

    yeh, you know thats right. Angels are not very angular, unless they have large jaws.

  • diogenes

    Somebody tell me that the whole Enochian language was not just about swapping wives.

  • I Love Paul

    Is this a joke list?

  • fivestring63

    Don’t forget about the clicks and hisses on “Enemy Mine” with Lou Gossett Jr.

  • Blank

    cool list- i was looking for FURBISH! haha

  • oouchan

    75. fivestring63: Ha! Love that movie. It was the Drac language.

  • copperdragon

    How about Ewokian, Wookiese, Greedo’s language, Anakin’s language on Tattoine and any others from Star Wars?

  • maximuz04

    66. Sandra
    First thing I thought was also… “like klingon” then I saw “klingonese” and thought… I wonder if anyone has mentioned its called simply “klingon” and not klingonese. Damn you beat me to it. But yes its called klingon!!! please correct.
    I never bothered, although a big trek fan, to learn this since there was always a constant feud with my brother over who was the better race. I was a bigger fan of the Romulans, and theres a dictionary for Romulan, but its not as developed.
    Furthermore, some honorable mention is Ewoks in Starwars have a language which loosely sounds like tagalog. I know a few words and phrases in tagalog and could not recognize anything in SW, however my fluent filipino friends claim its slurred, but definitely Tagalog.

    llilla’hu
    (romulan for ‘that will do’… im such a dork)

    • Karl

      Did you know that Simlish is a mixture of Ukrainian and Tagalog.

  • maximuz04

    78. copperdragon
    I would like to add that while Ewok is derived from Tagalog (the language native to the philippines, for those who didnt know) Staw Wars has a hard time having decent ENGLISH dialog and I was quite glad it was omitted. It is hardly Sci Fi and more fantasy as far as im concerned, and the alien languages in them are hardly as developed.

    I could go on and on on how star wars is decent, but hardly worth the acclaim it gets, and is wrongfully labeled as sci fi (being a true sci fi fan of the greats, star trek, stargate, galactica etc) but ill stop here.

  • zombiezacky

    when I read the title, I was expecting to see the language that Leeloo spoke in The Fifth Element.

    I love the elvish language. :D

  • Becca

    I was scanning the list hoping for Elvish at least and was getting panicked when it didn’t pop up. But huzzah for all the languages of Arda being first=D
    And is that video actually Tolkien?

  • Darren

    great list…. it seems no one happened to mention the languages in world of warcraft…elven…orcish….gutterspeak…etc(although i dont think they have a complete language, i find myself saying good bye to online friends in elf language…lol)

  • Marklar

    marklar?

  • Sandra

    @83 Darren:
    I didn’t even think of those languages! Lol, all i can say is Mok’tar, and ishnu ala. Sorry about spelling, but i’m writing it phonetically. I am not sure if they would really count though, they aren’t very well developed.

  • Baxter

    Marklar (comment marklar) is marklar. This marklar is marklar without Marklar, JMarklar.

  • Hugh

    Atwhay aboutay Igpay Atinlay?

  • Adrian

    what about jive? i mean if nadsat is in the list, so can jive, no?

    i used to be a stuckup white boy,faking the funk, bout that i aint bull$&%/ on fron stree no moe.

  • AmILeo

    I love Simlish! I would love to know some Esperanto one day.

  • Chipmunk

    78. How about Ewokian, Wookiese, Greedo’s language, Anakin’s language on Tattoine and any others from Star Wars?

    That would be Ewokese, Shyriiwook (or Xaczik), Rodian, and Huttese ;)

  • orlisnjangel

    is it sad that i can speak silvan? am i alone in the master Lord of the Rings nerdiness?

  • Shifty

    Great list,

    Another fictional language is Kobaian. Christian Vander of the French progressive rock band Magma developed the language which was used for the band’s lyrics. Some of the band’s most hardcore fans even conversed in the language. Much of the band’s lyrics are about starting a new civilization on the planet Kobaia where of coarse everyone speaks Kobaian.

  • Angharad

    This list is quite a mishmash. “Fictional languages” is a very inaccurate term for the collection. Nadsat isn’t a separate language entirely. Esperanto isn’t fictional. That’s been mentioned, but it’s really important, I think, on a list about using words, to use them correctly. Some of these entries are conlangs, but others are not. I’m not sure what a better name would be–but the current title is not correct.

  • warningdontreadthis

    can’t someone please make a harry potter list?

    haha

  • Bill

    Hmm. I’m surprised no ‘Secret Twin languages’ made the list. It’s how they talk to each other in secret…well, sometimes. Either way, it’s creepy when you see it.

  • laaakc

    warningdontreadthis: agreed. harry potter list (: !

  • cabbageblower

    so hard oh oh oh so hard oh oh oh yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss i forgive you.

  • ViewARandomList…

    caucasian in the lead with 68%

  • bigski

    #7 Mangani- If that`s the language of the apes in Tarzan,why is it when Tarzan ( the only good Tarzan Johnny W ) says ungowa they know what he`s saying ? As a matter of fact he says ungowa to all the animals and some humans. Would ungowa qualify as a seperate language ?

    # 85- Very few people know about the language of Marklar it`s a secret language.Don`t spread it around !

  • diogenes

    wait, no!
    Is this your card?

    it just got lost in the shuffle?
    six hours later is relative.

    not disconcerting in the least.

    no sweat.

    like dust in the wind.

  • timmy the dying boy

    What about Lolcat?

    sorry. . .

    Whut abowt Lolcatz, teh onlee langwaj born of teh intrtoobz? Or iz it jst a dyalekt?

  • IbizanGirl

    I personally would have liked to see “Phantomilese” on this list, the fictional language from the video game Klonoa. It’s a mix of several languages, all thrown together, I believe. It’s wonderfully adorable and quirky. =)

  • stevo

    Since you’ve included as ‘fictional’ languages Klingon and Esperanto, I’m surprised you neglected another major conlang: Lojban.
    And Láadan is in there too.

  • Raven Phoenix

    What about OP language? I wonder what category you would put that under? I have never heard it spoken on TV but I remember my friends and I speaking it when I was in elementary school. It was a cool way to communicate without too many people knowing what we were saying?

    You know, like when you had a crush on someone and you wanted to talk about it without that person knowing? You would say “Bop O Yop, Hop E I Sop Sop O
    Fop I Nop E! Wow, please tell me I am not the only one who has heard of this and/or used this, lololo :) It seems silly now as an adult but we loved it back then!

  • Eva

    What? No whale?

  • {Mooses!}

    What about ha’Shmla from the Keisha’Ra series?

  • Eugene

    Hubbi frubbends! Ubbi Dubbi from Zoom in the 70s.

  • Eugene

    67 Lifeschool
    I always wondered what SMS stood for. I have asked loads of ppl to no avail. I txt speak leet with the best of them, but I never knew what that was.

  • Crimanon

    Marklar (#99): How is marklar and secret marklar? Marklar was all over the marklar, marklar ago. Marklar thought marklar knew.

  • bigski

    Didn`t think anyone would get it beings it`s a South Park reference.

    Marklar to you Crimanon.
    Have a nice Marklar.

  • 109. Eugene: Only you would bring up Pig Greek as opposed to Pig Latin. :-)
    Or maybe it’s only me that would know the difference. ;-)

  • Josh Duron

    lol animal crossing language…

  • anOthers2pididea

    how about visayan language…the language of the idiots

  • Tink

    On a similar parallel of #1, The Theme of the Lord of the Rings “May it Be” was done by Enya, and in it,(and many more of her songs) she employs a language she created called Loxian. Very Beautiful language

  • mankso

    The misuse of the word ‘fictional’ as regards Esperanto has already been mentioned – do any others besides Esperanto have anything like Sutton’s new 740p. ‘Concise Encyclopedia of the Original Literature of Esperanto’?:
    http://www.amazon.ca/dp/1595690905?tag=vancouverespe-20&camp=8641&creative=330649&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1595690905&adid=0Q93S1VG900BB2S2EZC9&
    [ISBN-13: 978-1595690906]

  • Redcaboose

    What a fun list. Lots of interesting comments, without getting into fights. I always liked the idea of Esperanto, and now that I am retired, maybe I will take the time to learn it. Thanks for the list,

  • fif1189
  • Vinessa

    What about Al Bhed from Final Fantasy?

  • Remush

    “Esperanto, which frequently creates new words through a complicated system of adding prefixes and suffixes. ”

    It’s not that complicated. See http://remush.be/vortaroj/afiksoj.html

    It’s quite an eficient way to produce the word you need.

  • bez_zatej

    you forgot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toki_Pona and the brilliant concept it is based upon

  • Captain Sassy Sillytits

    I have ‘friends’ who speak Klingon. And by friends, I mean people I know but refuse to acknowledge.

  • Iain

    What about Welsh? – that’s got to be made up.

  • jake ryder

    I am confused as to what makes a language “fictional”. Esperanto and Klingon being intentionally created languages but they actually do exist. It’s sort of like having a list of fictional cities and including Washington because it was intentionally designed.

    By the way my 5 year old daughter claims to be a Parseltongue. Who am I to argue?

  • mankso

    And how can one even begin to put Esperanto and Klingon into the same category? Does Klingon have anything like Esperanto’s seven-point Prague Manifesto:
    http://lingvo.org
    or the daily Esperanto podcasts from Radio Polonia:
    http://www.polskieradio.pl/eo/
    and China Radio International:
    http://esperanto.cri.cn/
    or twice weekly from Radio Vaticana?:
    http://www.radiovaticana.org/esp/on_demand.asp

  • Dgirl

    Funny I should see Nadsat here. I’ve just been reading that book with English class. I actually recognized some words (and I’m native Dutch). That was pretty cool (H)

  • Freca

    Kitaláljátok, hogy ezt itt milyen nyelven írtam?

    Can you find out which language is this above?

    :))))

  • mankso

    Freca: It’s Hungarian. Certainly not a ‘fictional’ language! By the way, Hungary is a country with a pretty lively Esperanto movement:
    http://www.esperantohea.extra.hu/

  • Freca

    (127) mankso
    Yes it is.
    How did you know?
    :)

    In Hungarian language any message, even the most complex one, can be expressed in a way that from out the vowels we use only the “e”.

  • archangel

    Gibubibu shamshaberah gah gahbahathesa? Gibumaharane porthriea Simsimsimlingiu? Bahahareu!

    Poponya nenye narya quel tha’lassi mongo! Nenyu mar’ya senufeliese singu!

    Hahaha… so what where we talking about?

  • Melina

    I viddied the nadsat and got a tingly feeling in the old gulliver. A happy ptitsa I am indeed. I shall be starry and still remember that horrowshow book.

  • Cernunnos

    i protest! not only is sims a terrible game franchise, but simlish is no language.
    “bada-bibushuupha” can mean one thing one minute and another the next, none of the gibberish has any connection to actual words with actual meaning and can therefore not be translated. people speaking in tounges are speaking no less of a language than simlish, and thats not qualified as a language either.

  • Klingon

    Finally! fellow speakers of Qapla’, today is a great day!

  • 123. jake ryder:…By the way my 5 year old daughter claims to be a Parseltongue. Who am I to argue?
    ****
    You know, the first time through, I thought the same thing…”big deal”. Then I watched the film clip.
    Whow!
    The kid, whatshisname, is talking, close up, to a *cobra*!
    How smart is that? How good an idea is it to give kids that they can get up close to any snake and hold a conversation?
    This is a terrible idea, and good parenting requires explaining the difference between pretend and real when the consequence is possible harm, possible death.

  • stupinoy

    does anyone here knows the language of barok? here is a sample:
    “barok punta palengke,bili sitaw saka patola,pukpok ulo ng di maka intindi nito”
    cool language, BTW it still exists somewhere in the mountanous region of ApayAO

  • gabi319

    134. stupinoy
    [name of person?] goes to the grocery store, buys string beans and [squash? I have no idea what is the English word for Patola], [hit therefore broken? dented?] is the head of whomever does not understand this.

    For some reason it sounds familiar but also doesn’t. I’m guessing this is Ilocano or Bisayan? I feel more familiar with Ilocano than Cebuano (a shameful confession since my dad was born in Cebu). Tried to google barok but was unsuccessful.

    And if it has a geographical region, I don’t think it can technically be included as a fictional language.

  • 135. gabi319: I have a weird idea. Let me do some checking first, and I’ll get back to you on this.

  • Gerooge

    Actually, there is at least one more “fictional” language that is actively taught and used, albeit not as widely as Esperanto. In Norway, much of the aristocracy died from plague, and a Danish prince was invited to take the crown. Many hundred years later, Norway had become a somewhat autonomous area of Denmark, and the language had changed along the same lines. Today, there is a small-but-influential movement to return to the original Norwegian that was spoken before Denmark took over. As I understand it, though, nobody really knows what that was. I suppose just speaking Icelandic–since that was originally a Norwegian colony from the pre-Danish hegemony–would be too simple? Either way, in the end they created a new one. It is called NyNorsk, or New Norwegian, which is a bit of an odd misnomer since it is really an attempt at the Old Norwegian. It is fairly common in some parts of northern Norway, and required learning in schools throughout the kingdom. But most of the natives I’ve met don’t care much for it.

  • Iain

    Probably should have mentioned reconstructed ancestor languages like Proto-Indo European.

  • Freca

    Pidgin English can be qualified as fictional or not?

  • Freca

    Modernized Latin is something to laugh at
    :)

  • mankso

    Re laughing – how about Classical Latin with a Finnish accent, as heard here once a week?:
    http://www.yleradio1.fi/nuntii/audi/
    And then compare this daily with spoken Esperanto:
    http://www.polskieradio.pl/eo/
    Where can I hear Klingon spoken fluently on-line?

  • Seannn8706

    another awesome list, i remember reading clockwork orange and 1984 and both blowing my mind. Especially 1984, which you could argue is more pertinent than ever with the age of texting, IMing, etc.

  • Freca

    Classical Latin with an English accent is funny a little bit (very much).

  • Multipass

    I was disappointed not to find The Divine Language from The Fifth Element on this list.

  • teknosuicide

    How about the fictional language in disneys Atlantis. That was cool to listen to.

  • ThatGirlFromBlackMesa.x

    The language of money? O_o lmao

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  • How about leet or 1337? its a kind of language. lol. so is shorthand for texting…

  • Crow T. Robot

    We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese

    Butch Deadlift
    Squint Chesthair
    Bulk Van Der Huge
    Snap Clampjaw

  • Freca

    Why is it that fictional/imitation languages are full with the letter Q

  • Harry

    This list is a jumble, it contains a cipher, Alienese (i.e. not a lanaguage but a code, a puzzle), simulated languages (not languages but jibberish, speaking in tongues), as well as real artifical languages, used for hobby (Klingon) or for real (Esperanto). It’s hard to compare things like people do here, since it’s a list of apples, oranges, pears, and elephants….

    Comments on comments – Esperanto is a great idea, kudos to the movement … but … it is somewhat embarassing to the movement that Klingon surpasses it in number and popularity.

    Also, is anyone bothered by the tendency of the made-up languages in Star Wars to just be one side of the conversation – one person speaks in English and one in something else subtitled, and both can understand each other fluently – that’s wierd.

  • Dr.George

    ”Sudda kiyanne yakage
    ( Imporatant: Pronounced; Ya-Car-Gay) avathaara! Sudda nathi lowak soyar mandhakini tharanaya karanna mata sithenawa”

    All the best deciphering it!!

  • apepper

    To be a little pedantic, Parseltongue can be learnt – Rowling has said that Dumbledore could understand Parseltongue although not being born a Parselmouth, because “he was brilliant!”

  • lostatsea1

    Poor Dim always got the boot..bollocks! did love the milk bar though! Have tried to speak some Danish but strawberries with cream is almost impossible to pronunciate.

  • brwne

    I actually tried to learn elvish…never quite succeeded.

  • Oxy

    lmao
    Oh man Baxter’s comment. To paraphrase “with the skill to write a new language I can’t help but think these people could have done more with their lives”. Because, you know, becoming a world renowned author is a total cake walk. I’d like to see him try! Try and achieve the notoriety, money, and culture changing status that these cats have!

    Ps. I was disappointed volenska wasn’t on this (hopelandic, the language Sigur Ros sings in). Then again, it’s not really a language at all so there’s that.

  • anti-supernaturalist

    How about an entire book written in an English dialect spoken at least 4,000 years from now? Russell Hoban’s “Riddley Walker. Set in a post nuclear war ravaged England peopled by primitive farmers and scavengers of the buried detritus our civilization. Riddley grows up fast in a radiation poisoned land gone wild where human life is “nasty, brutish, and short.”

    Here’s a sample of dialog:

    Riddley:’Wel if theres such a manying of it whys it lorn then whys it loan?’

    [Lorna] said, ‘Becaws the manying and the millying its all 1 thing it dont have nothing to gether with. You look at lykens on a stoan its all them tiny manyings of it and may be each part of it myt think its sepert only we can see its all 1 thing. Thats how it is with what we are its all 1 girt big thing and divvyt up amongst the many. Its all 1 girt thing bigger nor the worl and lorn and loan and oansome. Tremmering it is and feart. It puts us on like we put on our cloes. Some times we dont fit. Some times it cant fynd the arm hoals and it tears us a part.’

  • Rachel

    Why isn’t Pig Latin on the list?!

  • Amanda H.

    Parseltongue! You make me happy :)

  • Lester

    Srsly, what about lolspeak? It should be included in the list or in a future list. kthnxbai.

  • trinidadguy

    I’m glad that Esperanto was included on this list. A few weeks ago I read this page and that’s when I first heard of it. Since then I’ve been studying it fervently at lernu.net. I hope to become fluent soon.

  • aaa

    Esperanto is an incredible language, and everyone should learn it as a second language (in my opinion anyway). I have a basic understanding of it, and with about a week of study I surpassed my knowledge of school french that took 6 years to learn.

    Esperanto estas bona lingvo, kaj ?iu devus lernas ?in kiel dua lingvo (la? mia opinio). Mi havas baza kompreno de ?i, kaj kun pri unu semajno de studo mi superis mia scio de lernejo franca tio prenis ses jaroj lerni.

    That is my previous paragraph with the best Esperanto I could muster.

  • Leeloo

    Nice list…But I think the Divine Language from “The Fifth Element” should get a spot too. Oh well, we all have our opinions, right? cool article.

  • Alli

    Hello! Where is giberish at??? Or, I should say… Witigere itisgis gitigibidigeridigish atagat? Talk about high school lingo…

  • kristi

    has anyone ever heard of pig-latin, its when you have a word (eg. colour) then u take the first letter off and put it at the back of the word (eg. olourc) then put ay at the end (eg. oulourcay)
    here is a sentance in pig-latin:
    hetay reetay asway hetay amesay izesay saay hetay uildingbay
    (the tree was the same size as the building)

  • Brave Little Toaster

    i was wondering why you didnt have the languages from lord of the rings on your list
    then i actually read what #1 was and i felt stupid >_>

  • yay! You put Nadsat on there!

  • Charls

    @Jake Ryder

    Unless she was attacked by an evil wizard who by mistake gave her that ability,she’s probably practicing dark arts.

    An for god sake, please don’t let her interact with snakes…

  • Kujroh

    I have developed my own language and writing system as well. It is a combination of alphabetic, syllabic and pictorial glyphs. I call it Ishirkian.

    The syllabic portion provides over 100 basic words that can be expressed with a single glyph representing a sound like “ka” or “j’t” (which would be pronounced “jut”). You can put syllables together and create a more detailed meaning. It allows you to express a complete thought with only one or two “words”. For example the words “Eukinu eumi” means “Without Love I Am Without Life”.

    Some other examples are:

    Nosi Sonuvi – Remove yourself from my home
    Evra – Much intelligence OR Very smart
    Nukasi – I hate you
    Nukisi – I love you
    F’tsiul – What do you want?

    I have a whole writing and numbering system, way of calculating time and dates, and have been working on a history so I can use it in a story I’ve been wanting to write for years.

    Creating your own language really makes you appreciate the spoken and written language. It really makes you think about how people communicate thoughts and emotions.

  • Kujroh

    I meant to say the syllabic language provides over 200 basic words…. haha Sorry

  • DERP

    you forgot the Naavi’s language

  • Lionhart

    Aha! I have a new one.
    What about Hymnos / Ar Ciela/ Risshizentsukuyomi from the Ar Tonelico's games?

    Hymnos is a language used to craft song magics on the games, it's based on feelins and it's structure is all about that.

    Ex: Wee ki ra araus tes soare an giue mea iem. // In exchange for the sacrifice of my body, now I offer this song.

    —-

    And the Ar Ciela is the language used by the earth. Risshizentsukuyomi is just an archaic form of Hymnos.

  • fliegendehollander

    aww Sims language isn't here.

    God I wanna learn esperanto.

  • Jasmineleilani

    How about the languages of Tolkien!

    He created a few. Wasn’t he a Professor of language?

    I think one of his should have been at least in the top 3!!

  • piroshii

    This language was only used in video games, specifically Final Fantasy X and X-2, but Al Behd was fairly unique, in my opinion. They even had dictionaries for every letter to translate when someone spoke in it. Also, as a unique oddity, with the exception of one character (Brother) essentially everyone who speaks Al Behd as a primary language and English as a second language doesn't have an accent when they speak english.

  • StrikeWitchezZZz

    // |-| /- + /- |3 () (_) + |_33+5P3/-|<?

    (What about Leetspeak?)

  • bumbass

    fuck yes nadsat!

  • gollumizer

    tolkien FTW

  • sanbi

    I knew when I saw this list that Tolkien’s will be number 1.

  • Simlish is a mixture of Ukrainian and Filipino, right? Because it sounds like both of them.

  • seb

    wheres th dragontongue from skyrim and the unitologist from dead space D:

  • Isabelle

    why is nothing from J.R.R Tolkien on here?

  • Larien Nólatári

    The Elvish Language is actually quite learn-able..
    Given that you have the right resources, however.
    To those who disagree,
    Nostach be Orch gaer.
    Mara mesta.

  • ProffeserGrammmarrr(not)))

    Doesn’t make you a dork, dork means a whales penis..

  • LOL

    Wh47 4BOU7 L337?

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