Author Topic: Creating fictional language(s)  (Read 6221 times)

Offline katieoliver

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Creating fictional language(s)
« on: January 12, 2006, 06:25:56 AM »
 Hi everyone,

  I'm new to this site and also new at writing for i have only being writing for the past year and a half on an amateur level.

 I have this idea for a fantasy novel that if i want it done right, it will have to include creating a fictional language.
Any tips anyone, on how to go about it?

 i'm fluent in several languages as it is, so that should help i suppose, although english is not my maternal language. However i would need a language that grammar, structure and pronunciation- wise should feel medieval yet approachable. I know i'm getting into very deep with this...
 But i welcome any suggestions or tips.

Offline aelfwin

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Re: Creating fictional language(s)
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 09:33:28 AM »
Hi, Tolkein used 2 existing languages to invent the two different forms of Elvish. He based one on Welsh and the other, I think, on Swiss? I'm not positive about that. It took him years to perfect it but it certainly was worth the effort. I write fantasy but have stayed away from trying to invent a new one just because I'm too lazy I guess. Check out some of the J.R.R. Tolkein websites and I'm sure you'll find not only a history of his efforts but quite a few examples of how he did it.  :) Aelf

Offline katieoliver

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Re: Creating fictional language(s)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2006, 01:15:34 PM »
 Hi Aelf,
 
  Thanks for the suggestion.
 I know i'm only complicating my life with this...and i may end up giving up on the idea halfway through, but it's interesting to research into this.

Last night, I've actually stumbled across a site about Tolkien and Sindarin -the Elvish language he created, and all the hard work he put into putting the images of his fantasy into words that would convince even the most reluctant of readers.

I have an idea for my book (fantasy) where the use of a fictional language would benefit the plot a lot. I'm not into creating a whole new language merely taking influences by old Celtic dialects and adjusting them to the modern English grammar.

 How about your writing? Which fantasy writers do you admire or have influenced your writing?

 

Offline aelfwin

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Re: Creating fictional language(s)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2006, 07:33:13 PM »
Hi, First off, if a fictional language will enhance the plot, it will be well worth it. It's the details that make a story great. I've always liked the saying "God is in the details" I don't know who said it, but when I get lazy and try to rush things, it pop into my head the the words of some old song I can't ever seem to forget. A sample of my writing is in review my work. The Talisman of Prytani. As for my favorite writer, those that influenced me the most were Arthur C. Clarke. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer, J.R.R.Tolkein, and Robert Heinlen, to name a few. Note most of them are S/F writers but S/F is only an aelves breath away from fantasy. What about you. Who inspired you to write?  ;D Aelf

Offline Sheree

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Re: Creating fictional language(s)
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 11:44:17 PM »
Have you thought about taking a linguistics course or two? Tolkien was a linguist, and having that knowledge under his belt gave the credibility to his make-believe language. Personally, as a beginner, I would focus on story writing and use your native tongue so that people are not distracted by the language. Once your writing skills are well in hand, then I would tackle the language building, but only if you feel it is absolutely essential to the authenticity and movement of the piece.

Offline katieoliver

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Re: Creating fictional language(s)
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2006, 05:19:43 AM »
   Hi Aelfwin and Sheree

   How are you? 

   Well, for the time being and since i have to make do without my precious laptop, ( dead for no apparent reason, maybe rebelling to endless hours of work?  :) and  i hope "in via" of recovery) i'm working into developing my idea for the book and scribbling down notes and any useful info l come across. I'm also doing a lot of research on language matters, for like Sheree said, Tolkien was foremost a linguist and afterwards, a writer. 
   Funny thing happened,  last week i met this English lady who proved to be sharing my interest in linguistics and also an unlimited sourse of information and ideas.I know i'm getting into deep water with this book, but i love a good challenge and this book is a big one. I'd also love to hear more about your books. I've also read a great book from a new writer which i liked a lot. It's " Wind of magic" by Marianne Curley.
 
   Unfortunately where i live for the time being, they have not any good linguistic courses, but i'm nonetheless working on finding more info.
 I like C.S Lewis work with "Chronicles of Narnia" immensely and a contemporary writer i also like is Terry Brooks.
But the one who actually inspired me to write, was a college friend of mine. He's into Fantasy writing as well and if i'm not mistaken he has just completed his first fantasy novel.  8)