forum How do you incorporate languages into your book?
Started by @dianag

people_alt 7 followers


I myself am not writing a language, but I am curious as to how and why other people do. Do you write the whole book in that language, mix it with English, or just do it for fun?

Deleted user

The book Eragon by Christopher Paolini is a great example of this. He developed a language called the Ancient Language (because it's so old no one remembers its name) and uses it throughout the story. A fascinating detail I noticed while reading is that the name of a forest in the world he created is named Du Weldenvarden, the Guarding Forest. Similarly, the name of a group of rebels calls themselves the Varden. Using the Ancient Language, you can translate Varden to Guard. Christopher Paolini incorporates language into his world so flawlessly, it seems real.

Elle F. Wade

It depends on the person. I think most writers, myself included, create languages to incorporate into their story. It makes it feel more real, more diverse, yet fantastical. If I can live next door to someone who speaks a different language, why would my story – filled with diverse characters from different places and backgrounds, sometimes different planets – speak the same language? Plus, it's fun.

My understanding is that those who refer to themselves as conlangers on the other hand just love to create languages. They're not necessarily doing it to flesh out a story, and they're putting in a lot more work than what will probably ever grace their pages if they do write a book incorporating that language.

IMO there's not much point in writing a whole story in an "artificial" language unless it's a very popular one – like Tolkien's Elvish, or Klingon – so that others can also enjoy it.