To be taught Klingon or Esperanto: What invented languages can educate us

Actor J.G. Hertzler, dressed as his character Martok from the <em>Star Trek</em> television franchise speaks during the "STLV19 Klingon Kick-Off" panel at the 18th annual Official Star Trek Convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on July 31, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Enlarge / Actor J.G. Hertzler, dressed as his character Martok from the Star Trek tv franchise speaks throughout the “STLV19 Klingon Kick-Off” panel on the 18th annual Official Star Trek Conference on the Rio Lodge & On line casino on July 31, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit score: Gabe Ginsburg | Getty Pictures)

Most languages develop by way of centuries of use amongst teams of individuals. However some have a special origin: They’re invented, from scratch, from one particular person’s thoughts. Acquainted examples embody the worldwide language Esperanto, the Klingon language from Star Trek and the Elvish tongues from The Lord of the Rings.

The exercise isn’t new—the earliest recorded invented language was by medieval nun Hildegard von Bingen—however the Web now permits a lot wider sharing of such languages among the many small communities of people that communicate and create them.

Christine Schreyer, a linguistic anthropologist on the College of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, Canada, has studied invented languages and the individuals who communicate them, a subject she writes about within the 2021 Annual Overview of Anthropology. However Schreyer brings one other talent to the desk: She’s a language creator herself and has invented a number of languages for the film trade: the Kryptonian language for Man of Metal, Eltarian for Energy Rangers, Beama (Cro-Magnon) for Alpha, and Atlantean for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

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