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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39
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4answers
6k views

What Wording Did Witches and Wizards in Other Cultures Use for Spells?

The spells that we know about in the Harry Potter world all seem to be either in Latin, derived from Latin, or resembling Latin. This makes sense for the European World, but there were likely witches ...
68
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6answers
13k views

If there are universal translators, why are some words/phrases not translated?

In Star Trek, there are universal translators on the ship to make communications between the different species possible. But there are countless times when Klingons talk in Klingon and English, when ...
59
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3answers
22k views

Why does Yoda speak the way he does?

Yoda's unique speech consisting of reversed grammar is iconic. Is there any reason he has adopted this speech pattern? All other alien species encountered seem to have no trouble speaking normally. ...
7
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2answers
518 views

I'm trying to remember a book, in which learning a new profession = learning a new language

I remember an interesting book, in which the state of science was quite advanced, and, the process of learning a particular advanced profession was less about learning the related skills, and more ...
44
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11answers
44k views

Why does everyone on almost every planet in the Pegasus Galaxy speak English?

We know that Earth is the origin of humans in the Milky Way galaxy. The Goa'uld relocated people from Earth to other planets. As far as I remember the Goa'uld has rarely or never been in Pegasus ...
29
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7answers
6k views

How is the universal translator device in Star Trek supposed to work?

It is stated that Star Trek characters can talk freely with aliens using the universal translators, later built-in their com badges; but is it also mentioned somewhere how this device is supposed to ...
19
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2answers
12k views

Are any of the alien languages in Star Wars real Earth languages?

Are any of the alien languages (other than English and binary) in Star Wars movies or TV shows real Earth languages?
61
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3answers
9k views

Was Picard speaking French and being translated the entire time?

Someone forwarded me this link titled Sudden Star Trek realization : (Also found on reddit) So, is there any clue that indicate that Picard is really speaking French and being translated to English ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What do we know about the Black Speech of Mordor?

We know the Ring Verse (Ash Nazg . . .), and single words like 'Ghâsh' (Fire). Do we know any more about canonical Black Speech?
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12answers
15k views

Does The Doctor hear everyone speaking in Gallifreyan?

I just spotted this on reddit today : I've only watched the newer episodes (from 2005-Present) and I don't believe this question was ever answered, but I just thought of this -- The Doctor mentions ...
49
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1answer
7k views

How is Yoda's speech translated to non-English languages?

Yoda infamously speaks using the OSV (object, subject, verb) word ordering Much to learn, you still have. rather the SVO ordering used in English You still have much to learn. How is this ...
52
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4answers
10k views

Is the Klingon language fully realized, or just a handful of disconnected phrases?

I watch Big Bang Theory a lot and notice they sometimes speak to each other in Klingon and I remember at one point seeing a poster, when I was little, with a bunch of Klingon phrases for like, "where ...
28
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4answers
33k 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 ...
18
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2answers
25k views

Is it possible to understand what R2-D2 is saying?

I often find myself in Null Void when someone talks to an astromech droid flawlessly. How can I understand voice of an astromech like R2-D2? Is it like an advanced version of Morse code or ...
7
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6answers
5k 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 ...
49
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4answers
6k views

How is his name "Chewbacca"?

Chewbacca (Chewie to his friends) is the Wookiee in the original Star Wars trilogy. We know his name because people other than he say his name. Whenever he speaks, it's in growls and other noises, ...
59
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7answers
8k 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 ...
52
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6answers
14k views

Is Picard actually fluent in French?

Let me throw out a few examples and potential evidence either way: We have heard Picard utter isolated words and phrases in French ("merde", "maman") and, in "11001001": ...
80
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5answers
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What language(s) were Yoda's speech patterns based on?

I have noticed that a lot of the languages in Star Wars are based on languages in the real world, such as Chalmuk forming the basis of the Ewok language. Do you know what language Yoda's way of ...
22
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1answer
34k views

What kind of English does Hagrid speak?

Through all the books Hagrid speaks a bit oddly. He changes word order, skips letters/parts of words or merges words. Is this some kind of specific dialect or accent? "Won't make no diff'rence!" ...
16
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1answer
991 views

Story about earth children playing with alien toys. Who wrote it?

I remember reading what I believe is a short story about a brother and sister who somehow come into possession of some toys which turn out to be from aliens. Through playing with them they develop a ...
16
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8answers
3k views

What science fiction novels have well developed alien languages? [closed]

I've got Native Tongue on my shelf, which is notable for having a language embedded in the story that can be spoken. What else should I add to my reading list? I'm in particularly looking for books ...
17
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2answers
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 ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Are groats defined in Game of Thrones?

Just moved on to Book 4 A Feast for Crows and found this word sticking out at me in a few chapters: Groat. It pops up twice in one chapter with Cersei saying something like "so-and-so is not ...
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2answers
4k views

What can we infer about the programming language used in "Jurassic Park" (the book, not the movie)?

In Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park, disgruntled programmer Dennis Nedry sets up a backdoor in the computer code controlling the park. To untangle Nedry's mess, park engineer Ray Arnold goes "...
16
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1answer
2k 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 ...
28
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1answer
5k 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, ...
25
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8answers
4k views

What is the strongest profanity used in a Star Trek show?

This article suggests that being on CBS All Access could afford the makers of Star Trek: Discovery more freedom in the language they use. Of course, we know that in previous series, they sometimes ...
22
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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 ...
15
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3answers
1k 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 ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Was Klingon used in any of the Star Wars movies?

A comment on this SE question stated: Klingon is a real Earth language, but it's only heard in the second movie and never shown printed. I couldn't find any references to that. Was Klingon used ...
5
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1answer
856 views

What is the ancestral form of language used in the fable that David was studying during the flight?

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 ...
70
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2answers
10k views

Elvish tattoo - can it be translated into English?

A cousin of mine recently died in a disastrous accident. Her family discovered a tattoo on her arm, which was completed shortly before. It appears to be written in Elvish (from Lord of the Rings) and ...
70
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12answers
15k 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 'binary' beeps that R2-D2 uses. Why doesn't C-3PO talk in R2's 'beeping' language when ...
108
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7answers
14k views

Were the Smurfs the first to smurf their smurfs?

On Rick and Morty, Squanchy squanches some of his squanches with "squanch". On South Park, we saw the Marklar marklar their marklar with "marklar". Before those two shows, the Smurfs already smurfed ...
64
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9answers
13k views

Why does Binary exist?

According to Wookieepedia, 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, ...
44
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1answer
10k views

How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?

Tolkien created many languages. Is there any list of all the languages he invented? How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?
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5answers
4k 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 ...
30
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2answers
2k views

How much talk like Yoda, Yoda actually does?

My impression is that in the original trilogy, talk like people caricaturize him, often Yoda does not. Actually, he says many sentences in normal word order. Yet in The Clone Wars pretty much every ...
50
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4answers
2k views

Lord of the Rings written to support constructed languages or the other way round?

I've heard the claim that Tolkien wrote, or at least started writing, The Lord of the Rings to support (with a history providing cultural depth) the artificial languages he was creating at the time. ...
49
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2answers
4k views

Did Tolkien think about language evolution when the speakers are immortal?

Tolkien, being a linguist, designed his fictional languages rather carefully. Quenya and Sindarin were closely related, having both descended from the primordial speech of the elves. Tolkien, of ...
41
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3answers
10k 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 ...
15
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2answers
66k views

Why does everyone in Game Of Thrones have a British accent?

What is the reason for the British accents in Game Of Thrones? Specifically in the North and South, not in what is considered foreign lands like Qarth and Meereen. Although George R. R. Martin is ...
58
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5answers
11k views

Did Balrogs have their own language?

As seen in the movie, Durin's Bane made rather unpleasant and irritated growls and roars when awoken. During the early stages of the world when the Balrogs weren't in hiding, did they have their own ...
18
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1answer
622 views

Trying to remember a novel with an efficient alien language

I remember reading this science fiction novel several years ago. Here's what I remember (or think I remember) about the story: Coded transmissions are intercepted right before assassinations are made ...
13
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1answer
11k views

Are there any tools or code for analyzing Arrival logograms?

I've read in several places that Mathematica was used in some of the analysis of the language used in Arrival. Do the logograms carry any actual meaning as a language, and if they do, are there any ...
8
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1answer
239 views

Name of a book involving language learning and alien invasion

I have only vague memories of this book: Aliens had pacified the Earth but there was a resistance. One of the main characters was a man who had learned to speak their language. The scene I recall ...
8
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1answer
1k views

What did Christopher Tolkien mean by "Tolkien's fifteenth invented language"?

I know this question would usually raise other 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 ...
49
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2answers
9k views

How did C3PO know the Ewok Language?

After writing an answer for this question Does the galactic civilisation in Star Wars have a policy towards primitive races? it was brought to my attention that it is possible the Ewoks were known ...
49
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2answers
11k 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 ...