https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flying_Frenchman

Learning Atlantean is Possible...and Very Hard!

Recently I rewatched the Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and after looking it up alittle bit afterwards I found out that someone went out of their way to construct an entire language for the movie, all with its own vocabulary, phonetics and grammar! Here's a look at the alphabet/numbering system:

alt text

Other cool things to know about Atlantean:

  • Remember that someone I mentioned who constructed this language? It was none other than Marc Okrand, the man who invented the Klingon language for Star Trek!

  • Here's a clip of Okrand teaching Atlantean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shWTxkCdn80

  • Atlantean was divided into two uses: the first being as a simple cypher code (as the video above and the image I posted use) and the second being a full-fledged constructed language. The key difference is that Atlantean Code has 29 letters while Atlantean only has 20. The letters c, f, j, q, v, x, z, ch, and th were later added to market the language as more of an easy cipher code (presumably to make it easy for children who watched the movie to learn?), but weren't used to formulate any of the words in the Atlantean dictionary: http://www.freewebs.com/keran_shadlag/eadictionary9710.htm.

  • In the movie's mythos, Atlantean is meant to be our world's "Tower of Babel" or the root of every language on the planet; nine thousand years ago Atlantis was a civilization that spawned an empire over much of the world, whose capital succumbed to a great cataclysm and remained isolated from the world - under the ocean - for over hundreds of thousands of years. Based on this fact, Okrand combined Proto-Indo-European (the ancestor to Romance, Germanic, Slavic, and Celtic languages) with ancient Chinese and Biblical Hebrew to construct the vocab, and formulated the grammar based off Sumerian and Native American languages.

  • Atlantean reads in the very ancient and quirky Boustrophedon format, meaning you read lines of text alternately between left-to-right and right-to-left in a zigzag, or snake motion. This is supposed to represent the flow of water. (Side note: Very Ancient Greek was written in this format, and very recently the Raga language of Vanuatu has adopted it.)

Maybe someday Duolingo may take a stab at this language?? They've already been thinking about adding other fictional languages (Kilngon, Dothraki, and Sindarin are listed on the Incubator page, along with their own symbols already designed)!

For language geeks, the Wikipedia article has an exhaustive rundown of phonetics, word order, grammatical cases and more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantean_language

Gamok!

February 22, 2015

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MusingThoughts

Awesome!

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

I love codes! I found the key to an elaborate one I created when I was about 14. I was so excited! :D

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flying_Frenchman

Yeah, codes as a kid were so much fun! I remember once writing a mini Zelda book in grade school and translating letters into the Hylian alphabet I found online. I'd make up the sounds and everyone would think I was crazy!! Haha good times.

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sakana_Otoko

Not out of the ordinary for r/Conlangs.

Very cool!

February 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Windrammer

conworkshop.info has different tools to create your own languages, and a very nice conlang society too.

February 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TatianaBoshenka

This is so cool! Thanks for posting about this!

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

Wow. Seven years ago, I started studying a wee bit of Ancient Greek, but I wasn't aware that older forms of Greek were written in the Boustrophedon format.

Thanks a bunch for having taught me something new =)

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fr224

The number system looks like writing with the structure of Roman numerals and the appearance of Mayan numerals.

February 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mead549254

You know, it will uploaded the Atlantean Language in Tradukka. com

December 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiryuu1

4years later we have navajo, klingon, high valyrian, but not atlantean :(

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PureSniperWolf

Why not see if we can bring it to the Devs' attention enough to make it happen? :)

May 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v_is_weird

I really hope so! There's an entire Wikipedia page on the Atlantean langauge, with grammar, prefixes and suffixes, pronunciations, everything! Here it is - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantean_language

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mead549254

Yes

December 5, 2017
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.