My three favorite fictional languages

Because I’m kind of a linguistics nerd, and a total media nerd, I dig fictional languages. These are my three favorites right now:

1. Trigedasleng (from “The 100”) {within the quotes, my comments in braces}

“Trigedasleng (TRI-ge-da-sleng), sometimes shortened to Trig, is the language spoken by the earth-born people, the clans of Mid-Atlantic United States, known as Grounders. Trigedasleng translates to ‘forest language'” {actually, forest nation language, to be pedantic}. “It originated with the Trikru {Trigeda} clan and doesn’t have its own writing system. Trigedasleng is the common tongue for the various Grounder clans, but is not the only language they use.”

“The language was developed for Season Two of ‘The 100’ by the linguist David J. Peterson, who also made the Game of Thrones Dothraki and Valyrian languages. He claims that Trigedasleng is an a posteriori language based on English. He also says that he got his influences by studying pidgin and creole languages, ‘but [he] was probably more influenced by [his] recent read of Heine and Kuteva’s The World Lexicon of Grammaticalization more than anything else.'”

The 100 fandom wiki

Through the first six seasons, I was led to believe that the language was a posteriori language, an evolved pidgin of an urban dialect of the mid-Atlantic US, originally coded as a way to communicate secretly due to their (American-English-speaking) enemies’ constant surveillance of them. In the final, seventh season, it is revealed that the language was actually created by a person, Callie, the original ‘leader’ of the group of people from which the Grounders were descended. She said she studied Latin in order to create the language. It did evolve, a bit, but not enough so that several generations later, Callie’s dad (still alive through cryogenics) was able to recognize the language, albeit remarking upon how it had changed.

2. The vampire language in the Sam Raimi-produced 30 Days of Night

“[A] fictional vampire language, with click consonants, was constructed with the help of a professor of linguistics and the nearby University of Auckland. [Director David] Slade explained, ‘We designed this really simple language that didn’t sound like any particular accent that you would be aware of.’”


3. Minonese

In addition to wanting several minions as pets (not as many as Gru has, maybe just a half dozen or so), I love their language! I though the Minions movie in particular did an incredible job of having most of the movie spoken in this language, without subtitles (it was narrated, but nothing actually translated), without losing anything, only gaining absurd lingustic fun.

“Minionese appears to be a polyglot language, which borrows words and – such as they are – grammatical rules from many different languages. Minionese contains some elements of English… Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Filipino (Tagalog), French and Russian… Japanese… Korean… and many other languages.”

“All of the Minionese heard in the films was created and voiced by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud {who are French btw}, the directors of the Despicable Me movies.” 

From what I understand, it was exclusively Coffin who wrote and voiced the Minionese in the Minions movie, which again contained much more Minionese than in the other Despicable Me movies. So he’s kind of my linguistic media nerd idol.

“As seen in Despicable Me 3, Gru has a dictionary of Minionese but he is actually not good at speaking them, and when he tries, the Minions burst out laughing of his words.”

Despicable Me fandom wiki

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