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Fantasy languages

As someone who loves to cosplay and geeks out whenever D or other rpg fantasy worlds are mentioned my favorite thing about immersing myself in these worlds is learning the language even if it's only enough to promise the irritating halfling that I will kill him in Drow.

Do you enjoy fantasy languages and if so which ones would you like to see Duolingo offer?

May 20, 2017



I personally think Duo should stay with actual languages.


I agree. I'm not against fictional languages but if I had to ever design a language for a fictional work, I'd probably build it on the whole set of all available data of any of the saddly MANY recently extinct languages, such as for example, Klallam ( http://cas.unt.edu/~montler/Klallam/WordList/index.htm -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klallam_language ) . Surely the result would be sort of what in Spanish is called a "conseja" (a mix of real facts and fiction) but, at least klallam would still be actively and dynamically used. For some it would be a linguistic equivalent to a cyborg, a golem or a zombie... or just an art project... but, nonetheless a sort of down-to-earth fictional artifact.


The same could be done with any critically endangered language such as, for example, Saanich ( http://www.omniglot.com/writing/saanich.htm ). Imagine being one of the last alive speakers of your language, being very worried about it and then finding overnight that a huge bunch of people start to use it and manage to create an actual revival of it, even though it is fantasy-driven, before you and the other few natural speakers would be gone forever... You would even become a celebrity as a consultant... And the language wouldn't be gone along with you.


I can appreciate that sentiment. I was quite shocked when I noticed that they've been working on Klingon which sparked this discussion.


High Valyrian is also in the works. Two constructed languages from fandoms in the incubator is enough I think, when they are done and really attract learners I have nothing against adding another one like Elvish or Trigedaslang, but since there are only limited spots in the incubator they should be finished before another one gets added.


Duo isn't working on Klingon. Like most of the courses on Duo, it's being developed by volunteers who don't work for the company. Duo simply greenlit its development.


if they only were working on Klingon...


Constructed languages qualify as 'actual' languages. Did you mean languages which developed naturally?


Both. Naturally of course, but Esperanto is an exception. I hear people want "Dwarvish". From which book? Plenty of books have that, but which one? How would they have an entire language to be built from that? I just think we should only have real languages.


Why is Esperanto an exception? It's a constructed language which didn't develop naturally. Seems a little arbitrary to give it a free pass.

It's curious that you don't include any sign languages or modern Hebrew in your exceptions, as those also have artificial roots

"I just think we should only have real languages."

If something exists, it's real. Klingon is as 'real' as German.


Because it's become very popular. Modern Hebrew and sign language are actually useful and have an amount of speakers. Elvish isn't an actual language. You can't really make a language out of the language section in the back of the book that translates for you.....


If we're going by popularity then Sindarin (Tolkein's Elvish) and Dothraki are both 'real' languages.


But what about Christopher Paolini's elvish? Would they not use that, just use Tolkien's?


It would be interesting to see which Elven language would be chosen but either way non fantasy or fantasy language I like keeping an eye on the incubator just to see what will be added next.


Duolingo wants publicity and traffic. They are only going to add fictional conlangs if they generate a lot of publicity and draw a lot of traffic. For fictional conlangs, this means being associated with a large ongoing franchise. Klingon has an ongoing movie franchise and new TV series later this year. High Valyrian has a few spin-off shows coming. Something like them would be possible. Na'vi from Avatar is one obvious example (four movies currently in pre-production).

If you are interested in more obscure conlangs, then you would be better off searching Memrise.


There are already two meme languages in the incubator, meanwhile actual languages like Croatian, Finnish and a bunch of others have yet to be added. Please no.


Surely all languages are memes? A meme is an idea or behaviour which spreads from person to person within a culture, so any language could qualify.


Well, I meant a meme in the sense of a joke. Shouldve used joke instead, my bad. Dont wanna insult the fantasy languages creators, but then again, adding any conlang over a bunch of natural languages that have yet (if ever sadly) to be added, is an insult to myself, and anyone else who considers themselves a serious (as in person) language learner.

Just my point of view. Feel free to disagree.


Should stick to real languages until the demand for them is met.


All languages are 'real'. Did you mean 'natural'?


I agree. I would like to have fantasy languages. I don't really know which ones but It would be really cool to see anything. (Btw do U know there is a Klingon one)


They should have azarathian the language that raven from teen titans speaks or Tamaranian the language Starfire speaks



Are Azarathian and Tamaranian real languages? I mean, have they grammar rules, an extensive vocab, etc? Probably, along with Ewokese, Jawaese, etc they don't or they don't go further beyond some basic speech sampling mixture. I guess they are ad hoc creations?


Personally I would like to see so many more real (non fictional) languages on here first. I think dueling should add some languages such as Hawaiian, Estonian, and Chinese before starting to work on things like Elvish, Klingon, and so on. Just my opinion though, don't get offended, I just think that such languages would get more traction..


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