The languages of fantasy

Now I’m sure we are all familiar with our favorite fantasy movies and books, that have all this elaborate world building and back story to help amp up the plot and drive of the main character, but to me what’s really special are the authors who take it up a notch, and create a whole new language!

Now obviously not every fantasy novel does this, it completely depends on the type of fantasy ( sub genre) and even then, not all are created equal so to speak.

If by any chance you are familiar with the Lord of the Rings, the first thing that may come to mind on this topic is the elvish language. Now, on so many different topics, I tip my hat off to Tolkein, because that man is a flipping genius with an extraordinary mind. But in this aspect, he takes the cake for me.

This man, not only created a language that could be spoken by those of a particular race, but also showed it in some of his books. By that I mean legitimately created an alphabet to write down this made up language. I don’t think most people realize how insane that is.

In my opinion a lot of fantasy reads that do this, it enhances my experience with that novel. It helps me further submerge my mind into the world this author creates.

A lot of books and movies I’ve seen have typically used a little here and there and mostly with mages or wizards.

I guess you could say I’m a huge admirer of this tactic. It just takes so much skill. Because then you have to decide its origin and how it sounds when pronounced, and why people choose to use that language of another, it’s just a lot.

So the next time you read a good fantasy book and some new vocab is introduced to that world, I hope you might have a little more appreciation, because I can guarantee you have no idea how much thought went into that one word, let alone a full sentence!


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