Friday, March 25, 2011

Fantastic Friday Writers - Languages In Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Is it any wonder that Star Trek's Klingon and Star wars, Return of the Jedi's Huttese was named in the top 10 best sci-fi languages by Wired magazine?  When creating new worlds for our imagingations to explore, amazing authors fashion realistic and many times fully realized languages for their characters to use.  I do think HP Lovecraft went a bit overboard with his, but I believe that was his intention.  Lol.  What do you think?  ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!  Uh...yeah.

As in sci-fi, fantasy gives us the opportunity to dive into new worlds, even if they exist within our own.  Elveish, faery, mermish, magical spells, (and so many more) all give rich fertile ground for a writer's imaginaiton to go to work.  The possibilities are endless.

In the series that I'm writing now, The Chronicles of Shilo Manor, there are five dimensions.  Though in the Cornerstone Deep books we are introduced to Terra and the characters appear to speak English, later in the series, as they travel the spectrum, we'll see the struggle to understand the other realms' foreign languages.  The Shilo brothers, however, are not from Terra, but Meridian, and we get a taste of that gifted plane's language through magical spells they use and an occasional slip-of-the-tongue when their nature overrides their brain.

When I sat down to create their language, I wanted something that matched the enchantment of Meridian.  A large part of their culture encompasses eternal progression through a soul's rebirth.  Once they find a soul mate, they reunite each life thereafter and continue their progression together.  That being the case, love is at the center of most of their thoughts and their language reflects that.  

Many of the same words are used in different ways but relate to much the same thing.  For example, Unsigh, means one heart.  It can be used when speaking of love, cherishment, a giving of love.  This quote is from Cornerstone Deep Echoes.  In this scene, James is asking Linda for permission to kiss her.  "Troi unsigh vi, Leenja?"  It translates to, "A kiss from the heart, Linda?"

So, while some authors may create languages or spells that are derived from Latin as JK Rowling did in Harry Potter or merge known languages such as in Blade Runner, I chose to develope something entirely new.


Please take time to check out the other Fantastic Friday Writers' blogs.
And until next time, love life.


Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Great post! And thanks so much for the mention! :)

J. D. Brown said...

Awesome post, Charlene! You did excellent. Welcome to the group! :)

M Pax said...

I love exploring language for a new work. It is fun. This is a fabulous article.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Charlene, welcome to FFW! I like to whip up new languages,too! I loved how deep you wrote your post, puts mine to shame. *blush*

Happy Friday!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥