Questions tagged [languages]

Questions about languages, whether alien, fantasy, or human. Always use in conjunction with the specific work tag the language appears in. If a more specific tag exists use that instead, for example, [tolkien-languages].

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How to translate "The Eye of Sauron is always watching" to Black Speech? [duplicate]

How would the following sentence be translated to Black Speech: "The Eye of Sauron is always watching"? Or, more simply, "Sauron is always watching", or, even more simply, "...
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1 vote
0 answers
47 views

What language is being used in season 2, episode 2 of Evil?

When David speaks to and/or hallucinates the angel in 'A is for Angel' they both speak in a language other than English. Was this a real (natural) language or a constructed one? It sounded like it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
117 views

Why was the name for Death's End changed in translation?

The final book in Cixin Liu's Three Body series was titled in Chinese, 死神永生. The first 2 characters translated literally mean "death spirit", a personification of death. In English an ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Pronouncing Hindi words in Tanith Lee's "Bright Burning Tiger"

(If this belongs elsewhere, point me there; I didn't see an appropriate language stack, and it is in a fantasy story.) I have been working up Chapter 2 of Tanith Lee's collection Tamastara, Or The ...
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9 votes
1 answer
122 views

What is a tabukuk?

Near the beginning of Keith Laumer's A Plague of Demons,* two spies are meeting in a restaurant in North Africa, and one sweeps their table for surveillance devices. We went through a ritual of hand ...
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18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was Tolkien's concept of an Oliphaunt borrowed from Afrikaans?

The Afrikaans word for an Elephant is an 'Olifant' which is phonetically similar if not identical to the mythical elephant-like creatures called the Oliphaunt. There is even a scene in the movie where ...
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4 votes
1 answer
169 views

In universe are multiple levels or instances of the Matrix called Matrices or Matrixes?

The word 'Matrices' to me feels too close to the mathematical notation than the constructed reality. While the English plural can be applied to imported words, even if they have Latin or other origins....
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33 votes
3 answers
3k views

First use of the term "belter" in sci-fi as the demonym for asteroid belt inhabitants?

Obviously the series The Expanse has brought the term "Belter" into relatively common use. However, I have seen the expression used in Larry Niven's great novel Protector (strongly ...
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15 votes
1 answer
291 views

Vintage movie about early modern humans

Many years ago, I saw a movie that seemed to be set in the stone age. If my memory serves me correctly, the movie looked old even then, leaving it likely in the 1960s-80s range. Since it's been so ...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What sign language does Makkari use?

There are a few facets to this question: What sign language is shown in the Eternals film (is it actually ASL, BSL, etc)? If it is an actual real-world sign language, are we supposed to infer that ...
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the language Santa Claus speaks with the elves?

In the 2020 film The Christmas Chronicles 2, we hear Santa Claus speaking Elvish with the Elves. Katie turns out to speak it as well. I can't recall if that language was used in the first film as well....
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8 votes
3 answers
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In Star Trek, are the humans actually all speaking English?

So, in Star Trek, across much of the franchise, but especially in the 24th century, we are to understand that the problem of human-alien communication is solved by universal translator - a device ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Has anyone ever revealed the Oompa-Loompish language (fortunately, which Willie was fluent in)?

Oompa-Loompas were the workers at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, who were imported by Willy Wonka direct from Loompaland. We are first introduced to the Oompa-Loompas in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s ...
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12 votes
1 answer
232 views

Linguist on alien planet must learn the local language, ends up becoming an actor

I'm trying to remember a story I encountered in the past. Here's what I remember: A linguist goes to an alien planet to teach English. On the way he loses his translator and has to learn the alien ...
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9 votes
1 answer
179 views

Episode titles of "Luna"

An answer to this question reminded me of the children's science fiction show Luna, shown on ITV in 1983 - 1984 (and also apparently broadcast in New Zealand). Although I've only ever seen the show on ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is the language of the TVA, He Who Remains, and all of the printed material in these places in English or Allspeak?

Many years ago, I learned about Allspeak and how the Asgardians used Allspeak which was basically like a magical way that no matter how they spoke, it was translated into the vernacular of the person ...
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Pronunciation of 'Teixcalaan'

I was wondering what the correct pronunciation of the word 'Teixcalaan' (in Teixcalaanli) is. I rewrote the word using the IPA and arrived at (except using the sound 'l' for the letter 'l' instead of '...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Does the name of Shub Niggurath contain or reference a racial slur?

I've always thought that the name of the Lovecraft deity Shub Niggurath was intended to sound vaguely Semitic, but I recently noticed that it seems to encode a certain well-known English-language ...
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5 votes
1 answer
331 views

Is Teixcalaanli based on a real human language?

In Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire the main planet speaks a language called Teixcalaanli. Is this language based on Aztec, Mayan, or some other real human language?
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20 votes
3 answers
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First science fiction movie or tv show that had a complete language created for it?

I read a question about what the language used in 1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still was based upon and I guessed, apparently rightly, that it was just made up. I also of course know that there is a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
416 views

Is Judoonian a language, and if so is there an official translation

I've been researching linguistics to help me write a conlang, and I've taken an interest in Judoonian because of its unique use of vowel sounds. I found a translator online, but it's clearly not ...
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does everyone in Star Wars understand droidspeak? [duplicate]

All throughout the Star Wars movies, we see the droids emit several beeps and whirs, and the humans reply to the droid as if it were a normal conversation. How can every character in Star Wars ...
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10 votes
1 answer
242 views

Society with standardized English language

This is a question based on the thinnest of clues: In the future, an Earth man visits a society that has standardized its English so that there are no irregular forms. The characters say "bes" (or "...
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7 votes
1 answer
276 views

Is Poe not spelling Hux in Aubresh?

At the beginning of TLJ, Poe stalls the First Order’s attack by pretending to have a bad connection: Poe: Hux? Hux: He can? Poe: With an ‘H’? Skinny guy? Kind of pasty? Hux: I can hear you. Can you ...
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6 votes
0 answers
213 views

Eric Flint's "Mother of Demons" Enagulishuc language rules?

I've been trying to figure out the rules for Enagulishuc, the English dialect spoken by Gukuy (and demons) in Eric Flint's 1997 first novel "Mother of Demons". The Gukuy are alien mollusks with ...
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11 votes
2 answers
503 views

What accent do trolls in Discworld have?

“Dis der Riot Act and you’ve all got to read it, right? “Boys, if dere was a PhD in bein’ fick, youse wouldn’t be able to find a pencil.” These are a couple of quotes from Detritus, the Troll in the ...
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  • 353
40 votes
3 answers
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How did Finn learn to understand Chewie so quickly?

When Finn meets Chewie, he's astounded that Han can understand him - and I can see where he's coming from: it all sounds the same to someone who didn't grow up with those phonemes, i.e. we can't tell ...
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8 votes
2 answers
229 views

Do non-human groups gender their ships?

From various quotes in Star Trek we can tell that Federation officers (or at least the human ones) have preserved the English language tradition of referring to ships with feminine pronouns (e.g. "I'm ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it common for protocol droids to be disallowed to translate the Sith language?

A plot point in The Rise of Skywalker is C-3PO's insistence that while he can read text written in the Sith language, his programming forbids him from translating it for others. Is this restriction a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
372 views

Was the Sith language inspired by Tolkien's Black Speech?

In The Rise of Skywalker, C-3PO claims that even though he can read the Sith language, his programming forbids him from translating it for others. This is very reminiscent of a similar scene in J. R. ...
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19 votes
2 answers
1k views

What in-universe sign language is the Mandalorian using, and how did he know it?

In the episode 5, the Mandalorian communicates with two Tusken Raiders using sign language. In the Star Wars universe, what sign language is he using? Is it a special sign language to Tusken Raiders, ...
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17 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the Mandalorian using out-of-universe real sign language?

In Episode 5 of The Mandalorian, Mando uses a form of sign language to communicate with two characters. From an out of universe perspective, do any of the signs he is using correlate to ASL (American ...
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10 votes
1 answer
665 views

Does the Black Speech have a name?

Most sources seem to call the language of Sauron's servants the Black Speech and/or the language of Mordor, while other languages have their own names, such as Khuzdul, Quenya, and Sindarin. Does the ...
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15 votes
1 answer
860 views

How developed is Huttese?

Between all the dialog in A Phantom Menace and A New Hope, the various animated series (where I understand the Hutts figured prominently in some story lines) and now The Mandalorian, there has been ...
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7 votes
0 answers
284 views

Does "bada boom" actually refer to the crash of the Mondoshawan vessel?

I always took Leeloo's Divine Language monologue in Korben's cab to be a description of her escape from the regeneration chamber, and "bada boom" her term for the subsequent fall through the roof of ...
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4 votes
0 answers
49 views

What does Carolinus's letter say?

In the 1982 film The Flight of Dragons, the Green Wizard Carolinus writes a letter to his allies, the Yellow Wizard Lo Tae Zhao and the Blue Wizard Solarius. We hear the wizards reading from the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
493 views

What language do Sense8 speak within their cluster?

It was not clear to me while watching. Do the characters speak English with each other, or does each one simply speaks his/her own language and the others understand? It is confusing also to ...
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11 votes
1 answer
586 views

Does Maz briefly speak Huttese to Han on Takodana?

Right after saying "Han, you've been running away from this fight for too long," Maz switches to something that sounds a lot like Huttese. I hear it as: ya kee naga wanta Which translating ...
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  • 1,165
12 votes
1 answer
359 views

Does "Vader" carry connotations of "father" to a speaker of Galactic Basic Standard?

An English speaker on Earth could be reasonably expected to be familiar with either the Dutch "vader" meaning father or the very similar German "vater", also meaning father. Obviously German and ...
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why doesn't the Lars family (and thus Luke) speak Huttese as their first language?

Since Tatooine is in Hutt space, and in The Phantom Menace we see basically everyone on the street on Tatooine defaulting to Huttese as their primary language, wouldn't the Lars family (and thus Luke ...
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27 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was the Tamarian language in "Darmok" inspired by Jack Vance's "The Asutra"?

In TNG: Darmok, Picard learns how to communicate with the Tamarians, who speak a unique language composed of snippets from their great epics. For example, "Shaka, when the walls fell" denotes failure. ...
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36 votes
2 answers
4k views

How is it possible that Gollum speaks Westron?

In the "Concerning Hobbits" section of the Prologue to The Lord of the Rings, after the explanation of how the three breeds of Hobbits gradually moved to Eriador it says “in those days also they ...
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8 votes
1 answer
760 views

What does this reportedly Klingon text say in Revenge of the Sith?

This answer has some allegedly Klingon writing. Is it Klingon? If so, what does it say?
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14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Does this website provide consistent translation into Wookiee?

I was wondering if the website Wookie Translator has any logic behind it or if it’s just a guy smashing his face against a keyboard.
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12 votes
2 answers
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How many languages does Aquaman speak?

According to the closed captioning for the DVD of Aquaman (2018), Aquaman himself (in addition to English), speaks some lines in Russian, Italian, and Maori, implying that he knows at least some of ...
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0 votes
0 answers
84 views

Are there any other real life languages in Star Wars? [duplicate]

As this question established, the Hindi language does actually exist in the Star Wars universe, likely as the Sriluurian language. Of course there is also the fact that almost everyone speaks Basic, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
691 views

Is the origin of the words 'valar' and 'Valyrian' the same?

In the series A Song of Ice and Fire, we know the phrases 'valar morghulis' and 'valar dohaeris' mean 'all men must die' and 'all men must serve', respectively. It immediately follows that 'valar' ...
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1 vote
0 answers
160 views

How do I learn the Quenya Dialect? [duplicate]

Quenya, the popular Elvish language is used in all The Lord of the Rings books and movies and appears very beautiful due to its flowing letters and has a charismatic visual appeal. How would I go ...
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11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can Muggles learn Parseltongue?

While discussing this question, the conclusion was that apart from using Parseltongue to open the gate to the Chamber of Secrets, Harry didn't really use any magic and he might as well have been a ...
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6 votes
1 answer
295 views

In The Bells of St John, do the symbols used by the Great Intelligence have any meaning?

They appear as mostly gibberish symbols on screen, as the names of the wifi access points or the code for the computer program run by and for the Great Intelligence, and I was wondering if they have ...
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