The best works of fiction are always those that are rich and varied, and build new worlds for our imaginations. The reasons sci-fi and high fantasy are such popular genres is because the rules don’t apply, and anything is possible. But they do take a lot of effort and dedication to write because of how much has to be invented from the start. And, on some occasions, the creator, be it an author, screenwriter, or showrunner, will sometimes create an entirely new language as well.
Many of our favorite books, films, and TV shows contain invented languages. They add to the authenticity of the world we are experiencing and help us become immersed further into that world. There are so many invented languages out there, but most of us only know one or two. Check out our list of the most famous invented languages ever.
Valyrian is a fictional dead language created by George R.R. Martin for his A Song of Ice and Fire books. The language is split into two distinct variants – High Valyrian and Low Valyrian. Though the language died many years prior, some of the characters in the books (and the TV series Game of Thrones) use odd words and phrases in everyday speech of High Valyrian. Valyrian is a rich, varied, and diverse language, and one of the most interesting and complete invented languages since Tolkien changed the landscape.
Speaking of Tolkien, we have Sindarin, a language used by many of the elves of Middle Earth. Tolkien actually is thought to have invented around 20 languages for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Sindarin is by far and away the most complete and in-depth. Tolkien always had an interest in languages, even from a young age, and created Sindarin, along with many other languages, based on variants of Old Welsh and Celtic languages.
Klingon is arguably the best-known of the invented languages on our list and is the language of the Klingons, a race in Star Trek, often the antagonists. The language was developed using harsher sounds and more complex dialogue rules than are usually found in human speech. Of course, being a space-based language,. It’s difficult to have conversations in Klingon, as the language lacks a lot of the words we would normally use in real life. For instance, there is no Klingon word for ‘Hello.’ Despite this, you can actually do a degree studying Klingon, and the language is practiced by enthusiasts across the world.
Another entry from A Song of Ice and Fire is the compelling and complex Dothraki language. Alongside Valyrian, this is a language that is seen as being perhaps the most complete invented language since Tolkien. Dothraki is actually used much more than Valyrian because it is practiced by the Dothraki tribes and warriors, that are featured much more heavily in the series. The language contains more than 3,000 words and is inspired by languages such as Turkish, Russian, and Swahili. Certain recognizable Dothraki words, such as Khaleesi, have made their way into the cultural lexicon.
These are some of the most famous and well-known invented languages. Many of them have made their way into popular culture and studied and practiced by fans across the world. Every year we are getting more and more invented languages for books and television, though it seems unlikely any will reach the popularity heights of Klingon.