10 Examples of invented languages

Inventing a language from scratch might seem like an odd way to spend your time, but there are good reasons to do it. People create languages for scientific, cultural and artistic purposes: to test theories about how the brain works, to help people communicate, to ‘improve’ existing languages, or because they just need a new language for a book they’re writing.


Here are some of the best examples of invented languages:


  1. Chanel 9-speak from The Fast Show. “Scorchio!”
  2. Elvish. Matthew Randall and others pointed out that there are two Elvish tongues, Sindarin and Quenya. We could have done a top 10 just of languages invented by JRR Tolkien.
  3. Klingon (above). “Obviously,” said Tom Doran. My colleague Tom Peck went to the UK’s first Klingon wedding…
  4. Sign language. Nominated by Matt Charles, who also mentioned Makaton, a signs and symbols language for people with no speech or whose speech is unclear about which I did not know.
  5. Esperanto “is numeron unu I assume”, said Atticus Beaterband. Well, numeron kvin, anyway.
  6. Newspeak. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Goodthink by John Ruddy and Citizen Sane. Fittingly, Jeremy Corbyn launched his digital manifesto at a place called Newspeak House in Shoreditch.
  7. Parseltongue. The language of serpents in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Thanks to Citizen Sane, Tom Doran and Chi the Cynic.
  8. Emoji. Smiley face, Ian Douglas.
  9. Critical Theory. Smiley face, Alan Benzie.
  10. Unwinese. “Could I humblyfy in nominatory the magnificolly Stanley Unwin for his talkywrite the Toppy Tendency of langyspeak that have in the inventybole?” asks Paulty Horganvole.


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