Google embraces fictional languages

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on Jan 19, 2011 Jan 19, 2011

Klingon languageFrom Newspeak (George Orwell, “1984”) to Bork, bork, bork! (The Muppets) to Simlish (The Sims), invented languages are everywhere!

One of the most famous fictional languages is Klingon, a language originating from Star Trek, which still has a massive following to this day. Some fans have even joined together to create the Klingon Language Institute, to promote and protect the constructed language.

A constructed language, also known as a conlang, is often created using a mix of existing languages.

While the languages above have all been invented for entertainment purposes, Esperanto was created in the late 1800s to become the world’s new lingua franca. It’s one of the world’s most widely used constructed languages, with Ethnologue reporting that 2 million people speak it as a second language, although other sources say the number is only 10,000.

A satirical letter from "the president of the United States of Google”, written by Tim Sneath on Jan. 11, played with the idea of Google’s love for dying and invented languages.

With the recent addition of Latin to Google Translate and a "Bork, Bork, Bork!" version of Google, one does wonder if the search giant is trying to spread the use of little-used languages or simply trying to entertain.

Topics: Language