Fictional language

Fictional languages are the subset of constructed languages (conlangs) that they have been created as part of a fictional setting (e.g. for use in a book, movie, television show, or video game). Typically they are the creation of one individual, while natural languages evolve out of a particular culture or people group, and other conlangs may have group involvement. Fictional languages are also distinct from natural languages in that they have no native speakers.[1] By contrast, the constructed language of Esperanto now has native speakers.

An example of Tolkien's Quenya, the one of the languages of the elves, written in Tengwar with transliteration into a Latin-based alphabet. It translates to "Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind, long years numberless as the wings of trees!"

Fictional languages are intended to be the languages of a fictional world and are often designed with the intent of giving more depth, and an appearance of plausibility, to the fictional worlds with which they are associated. The goal of the author may be to have their characters communicate in a fashion which is both alien and dislocated.[2] Within their fictional world, these languages do function as natural languages, helping to identify certain races or people groups and set them apart from others.[1]

While some less-formed fictional languages are created as distorted versions or dialects of a pre-existing natural language, many are independently designed conlangs with their own lexicon (some more robust than others) and rules of grammar.[3] Some of the latter are fully formed enough to be learned as a speakable language, and many subcultures exist of those who are 'fluent' in one or more of these fictional languages.[4] Often after the creator of a fictional language has accomplished their task, the fandom of that fictional universe will pick up where the creator left off and continue to flesh out the language, making it more like a natural language and therefore more usable.[5]


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