Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pop Culture Created Languages


By on 11/20/2012 10:34:00 PM



Popular culture birthed the creation of many worlds. From the minds of Tolkien we birthed the land of Middle Earth with small hobbits and Hogwarts became a second school in our minds for all of us teenage aspiring wizards and witches.  Creators of worlds, such as JK Rowling, put great amounts of thought, love and backstory into the stories they write, much in the way as popular TV shows and other pop culture mediums flesh out a believable world for fans to indulge in. While not only are landscapes, maps and characters created, civilizations and ways of life are also created. None of this can be more apparent than in the creation of language and many fan favorites have developed their own dialect that encapsulates the experience of living the pop culture experience.

Middle Earth Mumblings

Believe it or not the elven language created by Tolkien, Quenya, birthed the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. On the quest to create a beautiful language form the European languages of Finnish, Greek and Latin Tolkien fleshed out a world to provide his language with a back story and ended up creating one of the most widely read novel series in history. With a complete alphabet, phonetically and written, Tolkien’s Elvish language was his pride and joy that is heard in the modern movies and is also available to fans around the world for fantasy roleplaying.

Orwell's Oppression

Newspeak was created by George Orwell for his novel 1984, which deals with oppression of free thought and totalitarianism. This was optimized in the removal of words from the English language (known as Oldspeak) that would propose any type of “thoughtcrime” associated with individual free thought.  Freedom was outlawed as a concept and the book created the language to be able to showcase the oppression of language, which many colonies truly suffered through the ages. Language is one of the main senses of culture and individuality and Orwell’s pop culture language showcased political expression through its use.

Some Fans Just Want to Klingon

Infamously heard through the halls of many conventions and throughout the galaxy, Klingon is without a doubt one of the most popular created languages around the world. With the dictionary first being published in 1986 and even Google offering Klingon to French translation services, the Guinness Book of World records has recorded this pop culture language as having the most speakers of any created language. Fans have taken full ownership of the language and have even created multiple magazine publications as well as arranging “certified” translations of some Shakespeare and other famous works into Klingon. With many fans consistently discussing the powers of intergalactic space travel in Klingon, it’s definitely a pop culture language that showcases the power of media on our day to day lives and culture.
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Alan Stoker is a blogger with a keen interest in language. One of his lesser known passions is that of a pop culture vulture who is fascinated by the growth of popular culture through the internet and modern television and literature. After writing this, he might even look at getting a full website translation for a subdomain in Quenya for some of his more fantastical readers.


About Joel Bangahon

Joel is a teacher, a gamer and a blogger. He is currently a public secondary school teacher, teaching science and ICT related subjects. He is fond of playing strategy games and MMORPG - he was first addicted to Ragnarok. Now, he blogs on this main blog and he is honing his skills in web design and SEO.