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

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9
votes
1answer
197 views

Where did Leia Organa learn Ubese?

A separate question asks: What language does Leia speak when disguised as bounty hunter Boushh? Where did Leia Organa learn Ubese? And for what reason would one want to learn this impractical ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

What language does Leia speak when disguised as bounty hunter Boushh?

In Return of the Jedi, Leia Organa infiltrates the palace of Jabba the Hutt, disguised as a bounty hunter named Boushh who has "captured" Chewbacca. She speaks a rather unusual language, ...
17
votes
2answers
170 views

How do Lilliputians and ladies in England slant their writing?

Gulliver's Travels, part I, chapter VI, opens with a brief description of Lilliputian culture, teasing a forthcoming ethnography (which Swift never actually produced). After describing the average ...
36
votes
1answer
3k views

How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?

I know the this question would usually raise questions as to what is considered a separate language (e.g. Qenya/Quenya, Gnomish/Sindarin, etc.). The thing is that somewhere there is an official list. ...
9
votes
1answer
87 views

Is there a canon reference calling droid language “Binary”?

So a question popped up on my sidebar asking about Binary, which is apparently the name given to robot speech in Star Wars (specifically, the very non-binary language used by R2-D2 and similar ...
56
votes
8answers
11k views

Why does Binary exist?

According to Wookiepedia, few organics have directly learnt and understood Binary, and these are mainly people who interact with droids frequently at a technical level, such as pilots, mechanics, ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Is Shyriiwook still the name of the Wookiee language in Disney canon?

I'm reading the novelization of The Force Awakens, and the word "Shyriiwook" doesn't appear in the text. Instead, the book refers to it solely as "the Wookiee language". Is "Shyriiwook" still the ...
9
votes
2answers
383 views

Can Chewbacca read and write Basic?

Inspired by this question and by the novelization of The Force Awakens: The novelization of The Force Awakens plays up the problems Finn has in understanding Chewbacca's native language of ...
10
votes
3answers
211 views

Does Polyjuice Potion affect accent/language?

In the Harry Potter books, people who take Polyjuice Potion get the voice as well as the physical appearance of the person they're imitating. Without needing to make an effort, they sound exactly ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

What are the rules of Yoda’s grammar? [duplicate]

When Yoda speaks, he often uses a distinctive speech pattern that differs from other characters in the Star Wars universe: Take you to him, I will. The dark side of the Force are they. ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What does Oliver Queen say in Russian?

In Arrow Season 2, Episode 6 "Keep Your Enemies Closer", Oliver Queen visits a Russian prison to bust someone out of it. There, he says something presumably intimidating in Russian, and which makes ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

What language do the Kanjiklub speak?

The members of Kanjiklub are humans, and looked (to my eyes anyway) recognizably Asian (great to see this representation in SW!). They spoke a language other than Basic. What was the language? Is it a ...
1
vote
2answers
502 views

If C-3PO can speak “Binary” (aka: droidspeak) then why don’t we ever hear him speaking in bloops and bleeps like R2-D2 and other droids in the movies?

PREFACE: I have seen this other thread and that question is about in-universe explanations but provides no out-of-universe production rationale for omitting some C-3PO “bleeping blooping” scenes which ...
19
votes
1answer
6k views

How can Rey and others understand BB-8 in the Force Awakens?

Spoilers regarding Rey and BB-8 from The Force Awakens below: It seems like everyone can suddenly understand droid speak (from at least BB-8) in The Force Awakens. If I remember correctly, from the ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Ender's Game Series - IF Common/Starcommon Rules

Does anyone know the rules for how the language "Common" differs from American English? If I remember correctly, there are a few rules given in Ender in Exile like at least one of our letters is ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Why would Bilbo agree to arbitration in the Khuzdul language?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Dwarves present Bilbo a contract. It's presumably in Westron, but through the magic of Translation Convention, it appears on-screen in its entirety in ...
8
votes
0answers
480 views

Why do the Prequels recycle old sounds for R2-D2 and Chewie?

The sounds in the Star Wars universe are usually very unique and diverse. In the original trilogy the sounds made by Chewbacca and R2-D2 seem to be brand new sounds in each film, meaning that R2 and ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

In Star Wars ep1-3, what non-human characters spoke Basic (English)?

As a followup to this question, what non-human, non-droid characters in the prequel trilogy spoke Basic? It seems like significantly more, but I have not watched these prequels more than twice...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

What do the Arabic dialogues in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen say?

At the very beginning of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, there is this scene where Miss Murray goes to Cairo and there we have some dialogues in Arabic, with no translation. I can work ...
6
votes
1answer
597 views

What is the origin of the term Melange in Dune?

The geriatric spice Melange has been a staple of the Dune saga from the beginning. Mr. Herbert is known to have used Hebrew terms and Islamic undertones as well. Also Prana Bindu sounds like a ...
13
votes
3answers
611 views

What is the meaning of 'Nor' in Cardassian?

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine we find out that the Cardassian name for the Deep Space Nine space station is "Terok Nor." Later, the Maquis (in The Maquis, Part I) use a protomatter implosion device ...
5
votes
3answers
188 views

Was Huttese based on Klingon?

I came across the below image 'Huttese' script from Star Wars: It struck me immediately as bearing a strong resemblance to Klingon script: So, my question is, is there any evidence to suggest ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What language did the first Edain awake speak if they did?

I ask this because I was wondering, since Morgoth came across them first, they had to have had some sort of language in order to communicate with him - or is that not specified?
4
votes
1answer
180 views

What language does Neri from “Ocean Girl” speak?

In the 1994 Australian sci-fi series "Ocean Girl", the main character Neri comes from a different planet, along with her sister Mera and possibly other characters (I don't remember exactly). Were ...
6
votes
0answers
256 views

First story that converts its exposition to a fictional language

I'm pretty certain that there are works of fiction purely in a fictional language. For instance I'd be surprised if some uber-geek hasn't written some fan fiction entirely in Klingon. I also know ...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

Who understands Chewbacca?

Obviously, Han understands Chewbacca (almost) perfectly. In the prequel trilogy, Yoda seems to understand him too. In at least one scene in the original trilogy, C-3PO also understands Chewie, which ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

In Star Wars, which is more common, thresh or trill herf?

In Star Wars, the Galactic Basic Standard alphabet has the letters thrill (t) and herf (h) but also the letter thresh (th). Which is more common to use: thresh, or trill and herf?
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Ancestral form language fable translation in Prometheus

David studies linguistics during the flight to LV-223. We get to listen and read a fable. Is it written in a real language? What is the name of the language? Can the fable be translated? Approximate ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

What is this Norwegian shouting?

In this clip from the film The Thing (2011), Sander Halvorsen's speech is interrupted by a bearded guy (Lars?) who stands up and shouts something in Norwegian. I ...
9
votes
2answers
387 views

What language were Durmstrang classes taught in?

The Durmstrang Institute is the only one of the three wizarding schools appearing in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which doesn't seem very unified language-wise. We know that English is the ...
8
votes
1answer
431 views

Why can't Gallifreyan be translated?

This question has been bugging me. One of the answers states River Song explicitly mentions that High Gallifreyan writing "doesn't translate" -- even the TARDIS can't do it for someone who ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Why are there so few Parselmouths?

JK Rowling has stated that Parseltongue is different from other languages. You can learn to understand it (like Dumbledore) and even mimick it to some degree (like Ron did), but actually knowing ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Is “Giftwish” this novel?

When I was younger (in the 80's) I greatly enjoyed a book that I believe was called Giftwish. There is a fantasy book by the same name referenced here, ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are the Verbis Diablo based on real languages?

In the second season of Penny Dreadful, we see both nightcomers and daywalkers using the Verbis Diablo, the Devil's Language. Is that language based on any real language? Have words from any real ...
27
votes
7answers
8k views

Why would the binary language of moisture vaporators be that different from the binary language of other machines or droids?

In Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope Owen Lars says, "What I really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators." Was he just being overly specific in what he ...
8
votes
3answers
539 views

Klingon for 'arrow'?

I'm running a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. There are orcs in this campaign. There's going to be a scene with Orcs where they will speak their native language: Giant. I've decided to use Klingon to ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
158 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
votes
1answer
264 views

What's the Valyrian word for “password”?

I suppose there is a Valyrian word for “password”. Is it known/documented somewhere?
1
vote
0answers
154 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
272 views

Short story 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. I think ...
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
177 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
votes
1answer
125 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
votes
1answer
598 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
votes
2answers
379 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
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
325 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
votes
0answers
67 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)