Questions about languages, whether alien, fantasy, or human.

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In “Agent to the Stars” by John Scalzi, where did the Yherjak words come from?

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi involves an ameboid species which communicate among themselves by smell. Points are made that there is no easy translation between smells and spoken language. Where ...
1
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1answer
109 views

What does this elvish text from UC Irvine say?

UC Irvine has an area where all the buildings are named after Middle earth stuff (squeee!) Those buildings have pretty tile signs, some of which have an elvish script around the edges. As far as I ...
59
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2answers
4k views
+100

Elvish tattoo - can it be translated into English?

I've got a snippet of Elvish that I need translated to the original English. It's from a friend's tattoo. I've found services to translate English to Elvish, but nothing that can reverse the ...
1
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2answers
97 views

The Universal Translator and similar machines: any armwaving argument as to how a universal translator might work? [duplicate]

Everybody on this site must be familiar with the Universal Translator of Star Trek. I do not recall any explanation, even a vague one, of how it worked, and worked (almost?) instantaneously at that. ...
0
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1answer
140 views

What's the Valyrian word for “password”?

I suppose there is a Valyrian word for “password”. Is it known/documented somewhere?
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0answers
91 views

Short story about a girl who was the first child born in space, or on the moon?

I remember reading this short story in a science fiction anthology when I was a child. In the climactic scene of the story, the girl (now grown up) gives an address to the UN. Afterwards, all the ...
6
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1answer
150 views

Short story by Sturgeon about language and love

It was a short story about a human who makes contact with an alien species so much advanced emotionally they have developed a variety of terms to describe emotional rapports very accurately.
1
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1answer
45 views

Werewolf Novel about a secret agent werewolf Multilingual

I read a werewolf novel once about a "secret agent" werewolf. I remember he was multilingual and at some point in the novel he was masquerading as an Italian (Calabrese) and I remember he got snippy ...
6
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1answer
134 views

What is the Klingon Onomotopoeia for laughing?

Most Onomotopoeia (words that indicate a sound by being similar in structure to the sound like "haha" or "meow") for laughing in human languages are some variation on "haha" or "hehe" or something ...
2
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1answer
102 views

The verb “to be” in Modern Golic Vulcan

does the verb "to be" exist in Modern Golic Vulcan? I am trying to pick up this language, and can't seem to find this verb in any of the dictionaries. If it does exist, what is it?
10
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1answer
292 views

What language was the inscription on the Doors of Durin written in?

In the chapter A Journey in the Dark in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, the Company comes to the western gate of Moria, the Doors of Durin, which is sealed and requires a password to be ...
3
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2answers
262 views

What does the Elvish word “Ai!” mean?

In the chapter titled "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm", in The Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas is the first member of the Fellowship to see the Balrog known as "Durin's Bane". He proceeds to alert the ...
29
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3answers
5k views

Are the similarities between Tolkien's Dwarves and Jews intentional?

Reading about Khuzdul I found the following information very interesting : The Dwarvish language sounds much like Hebrew, and indeed Tolkien noted some similarities between Dwarves and Jews: both ...
5
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1answer
182 views

Do dragons have their own language?

Though Smaug is the only dragon who features prominently in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, there are many others who live in Middle-Earth. They don't seem to be the most sociable of creatures, ...
0
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0answers
63 views

standard system for Gallifreyan written language [duplicate]

is there a standard system for the Gallifreyan written language. I have seen a few around, but is there any standard way of doing it? (a link would be useful)
18
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1answer
2k views

In Iron Man 2, what does Black Widow say to Tony Stark in Latin?

In Iron Man 2, there is a scene where Tony Stark is at Stark HQ. He’s under supposed to be under perimeter lockdown at his house, after Nick Fury’s intervention. However, he's left his home to visit ...
3
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1answer
224 views

Was Voldemort's name ever used as a swear word?

Since Voldemort's name was considered the embodiment of all things evil, was he ever used as a swear word or a similar cuss? In many books and franchises evil beings are used in curses, such as in one ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Are Vardo and Varda two different people?

As the fellowship was parting from Lorien, Lady Galadriel sings a song in Elven. The song talks about Elbereth. The poem goes like this: Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen, yéni únótimë ve rámar ...
4
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1answer
134 views

Was Sindarin more commonly spoken than the common tongue in Gondor?

When Frodo is captured by the rangers of Ithilien he notices than two of them are speaking Sindarin, which may just be down to the fact they were southern Dúnedain. But it seems that a lot of ...
-6
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1answer
1k views

Neo-Khuzdul in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? [closed]

I'm interested to know what all the khuzdul (and languages other than the Common Speech) spoken in the third movie of The Hobbit means, as well as written out so the spelling is seen. I'd like the ...
18
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2answers
2k views

What exactly does Sauron speak in “The Battle of the Five Armies”?

According to sources about Black Speech, there was a single line invented for the LotR movies (the one where Sauron tells Frodo that there's no life in void). However, in The Battle of the Five ...
35
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6answers
5k views

Was Tolkien the first to invent languages purely for fictional works?

Imaginary languages are now par for the course in fantasy literature: sometimes called something like 'the old tongue' or 'the ancient language', sometimes the languages of different types of being or ...
5
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2answers
342 views

Did Lewis Carroll make up these creatures?

Are the unfamiliar creatures in Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" as transcribed in Alice through the Looking Glass (p. 15-16, chapter I, looking-glass house) of his own creation, or are they preexisting ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Is everyone in Firefly fluent in Chinese or do they only know Chinese slang?

Often the English-speaking characters in Firefly speak curses and slang in Chinese because of the mixing of American and Chinese cultures in the universe. Often audio recordings are also said in both ...
10
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2answers
381 views

Are there other tongues beside parseltongue?

Parseltongue is the ability to speak to snakes. Are there other types of tongues besides parseltongue that you can use to talk to other types of animals? Maybe doggietongue or kittytongue?
9
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2answers
757 views

Why does Roose Bolton tell Theon how to pronounce My Lord?

In "A Dance With Dragons", Roose Bolton tells Theon Greyjoy that he should say "my lord" like there is mud in his mouth. I read the books in Turkish and this passage did not seem to translate well. ...
5
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1answer
458 views

Do Yoda or Darth Vader speak Huttese?

I'm curious if these two extremely notable Star Wars characters can speak Huttese. Would a conversation with Jabba be possible? Has this been shown?
25
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3answers
4k views

Is this written in Kryptonian?

I spotted this in my local book store and it piqued my curiosity. It is part of the cover of The Superman Files, ISBN: 9781449447151. I can't find any where that explains the text on the cover. ...
2
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1answer
302 views

What do these runes in Adventure Time say?

Adventure Time has its own runic alphabet which seems to be a combination of Elder Futhark, Younger Futhark, Anglo-Saxon runes, Futhork and Cirth. In episode 6x15, this appears in the background at ...
28
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5answers
3k views

How did the Tamarians of ST:TNG manage technical language?

The Tamarians are that ST:TNG race that speak only in historical reference (Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra). So imagine a conversation like this happening in a Tamarian vessel: Dude: No matter how I ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Are there any human Star Trek characters who have native languages other than English/Federation Standard?

Leaving aside the question of what languages people are actually speaking, are there any humans who are confirmed (in a show or in novels) to have a first language was not English or Federation ...
7
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2answers
461 views

How can there be different languages with universal translators?

I've not watched every episode of Star Trek or read every book, but I was wondering why there are still different languages amongst different species, groups, etc ? For example, if a group of people ...
13
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2answers
4k views

What does the inscription on the Mirror of Erised mean?

When Harry first finds the Mirror of Erised, he sees an inscription carved into it. It was a magnificent mirror, as high as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet. ...
12
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4answers
430 views

Universal Translator: Sometimes working instantly, sometimes not at all?

During the different franchise series (excluding ENT) there are only very few encounters with new or unknown species the crews of the ships don't understand. Most often even the most alien species ...
19
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2answers
2k views

How did the Black Speech come about?

It doesn't seem to be related to any other documented languages. Being endemic to Sauron's realm, with him persisting through the Ages, it would not likely have diverged naturally from another ...
3
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1answer
715 views

Within-universe, is Klingon a constructed language?

From the perspective of viewers of the Star Trek franchise, Klingon is a constructed language, constructed by the creators of the franchise. It is probably one of the most famous constructed ...
5
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3answers
471 views

Do orcs make references to a/the “devil”?

I just saw a Shadow Mordor E3 trailer and in one of the orc's lines, he says: He moves like a ghost; fights like a [the] devil! Is this accurate to what words orcs use or what they believe in ...
3
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1answer
68 views

Name of book with comparison to Riddley walker on its cover

About a year ago I was at the local library browsing their SF and came across a book with a blurb on its cover (or possibly inside flap) comparing it, or at least some aspect of it, to Riddley Walker. ...
51
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12answers
11k views

Why does C-3PO talk to R2-D2 in English?

Whenever we see C-3PO talking to R2-D2, he talks in English (well, that's what we hear) so at least not in the beeps that R2-D" uses. Why doesn't C3PO talk in R2's 'beeping' language when they're ...
2
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4answers
807 views

Why did Data call the French language “obscure”?

In the video below, Data refers to the French language as "obscure". Picard objects to this and Data is about to make a remark as to why the French language was indeed obscure. Is there any ...
8
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2answers
400 views

Why can't a lie be spoken in the Ancient Language?

While speaking in the Ancient Language in the Inheritance Cycle one can't tell a lie. The closest one can come to doing so is speaking a half-truth. Thereby circumventing this rule. But why can't ...
2
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1answer
164 views

How to name a pair of a King and Queen? [closed]

Is there any way to properly name the pair of a King and Queen, other than saying "King and Queen" (i.e. "cattle" for more than one cow)? Because if there is a better way to say "Rohan's King and ...
4
votes
1answer
555 views

How do you write a regal name with both regnal number and nickname?

I know this goes beyond the scope of fantasy, but I'm specifically interested in Game of Thrones. I've been compiling a spreadsheet of every named character within Game of Thrones, and am not sure how ...
12
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0answers
201 views

Article about science fiction languages

I'm looking for a journal item, probably written between 1992 and 1994 which discusses languages from Venus on the Half-Shell, Sagan's Contact, and several other novels, usually science fiction, ...
6
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1answer
497 views

How is Eowyn written in language of Rohan

How is Eowyn, shield maiden of Rohan written in Rohirric (is that the language of Rohan?)?
4
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1answer
900 views

Is there a guide to Orkan language?

In the TV Series Mork and Mindy, we see a few words that are Orkan (see below). Is there actually a guide/dictionary of Orkan language? (Mork and Mindy Wikia)
5
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1answer
434 views

Short story about English Language Transformation?

I read a short short SF story in the early 80's (I think it was an Asimov collection). The story wasn't more than 5 pages in a paperback and conjectured what English would look like in the future ...
33
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2answers
2k views

How accurate is the Chinese spoken in Firefly?

In the Firefly-verse, Western and Eastern cultures are mixed and many people inject Chinese into their speaking habits, usually to swear (a la frakking and frelling). Can anyone with knowledge of ...
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3answers
453 views

Can Leia understand Huttese?

Whenever Jabba says something to Leia in Huttese she never seems confused at all - she seems to understand what he's saying. Also, when Jabba gives Leia an order or talks to Leia, does he do it in ...
6
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2answers
5k views

In Thor: The Dark World, what is the name of the language that Malekith and the other svartalfr speak?

I find answers acceptable in the following order: Name from the script of Thor: The Dark World. Name specific to this language in Marvel comic books that make mention of the dark elves. The correct ...