Conlangs — or constructed languages — bring a feeling of reality to the worlds of science fiction.

For some people, learning Dothraki or Klingon shows their true dedication. But what are conlangs like? What can they tell us about natural languages, and should you learn one?

In the first of a two-part series, Linguist Daniel Midgley gets geeky on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with James Hall


Show notes

A successful interaction with dolphins?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-working-on-humantodolphin-translator-report-first-successful-interaction-9228552.html
http://www.thewire.com/technology/2014/04/dolphin-to-human-translator/360041/

Elven phrases
http://www.grey-company.org/Circle/language/phrase.htm
http://www.arwen-undomiel.com/elvish/phrases.html

Would you like to learn Quenya? (Oops, I just realised I pronounced Quenya wrong.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quenya

Prehaps Sindarin is more your style.
http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/cases.html

About Mark Okrand, the inventor of Klingon
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Marc_Okrand

Learn from the Klingon Language Institute
http://www.kli.org

Here are some everyday phrases
http://www.kli.org/tlh/phrases.html

New Klingon words
http://www.kli.org/tlh/newwords.html

There was a native speaker of Klingon once.
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/08/a-man-once-tried-to-raise-his-son-as-a-native-speaker-in-klingon/

George Martin, talking about Dothraki
http://grrm.livejournal.com/148593.html

How do you create a language from scratch? David J. Peterson explains.
http://whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/06/language-creation-for-game-of-thrones/

High Valyrian
http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/read-our-blog/game-of-thrones-inventing-the-high-valyrian-language-for-tv.html

More about Dothraki and High Valyrian
http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/game-of-thrones-dothraki-language-inventor.html

Arika Okrent’s article about Dothraki
http://mentalfloss.com/article/49763/7-fun-facts-about-dothraki-language-game-thrones

David J. Peterson’s blog
http://www.dothraki.com

Learn Na’vi, if you want to.
http://wiki.learnnavi.org/Main_Page

More about Na’vi, by the creator, Paul Frommer.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1977

Mr Longbottom longbottomed.

That imgur link
http://imgur.com/gallery/juPWY

Fin Review: Arms buildup | Buys planes | World is fukt
http://www.buzzfeed.com/simoncrerar/newspaper-prints-world-is-fukt-on-front-page

Abject apology
http://mumbrella.com.au/afr-apologises-world-fukt-front-page-222572


Show tunes

‘I’m Not Living in the Real World’ by Belle and Sebastian
from the album Write About Love

‘Re-Invent Your Second Wheel’ by Wire
from the album Change Becomes Us