Twitter Data Reveals the Popularity
of Fictional Sci-Fi Languages
Fictional languages are considered gibberish on screen, but an informed few have changed the perspectives of the multitude through social media.
To create something unique, movie makers considered giving their imaginary universe a culture different from conventional human culture. Of course, it also spans across languages, which social networks like Twitter have immensely enhanced and is reportedly one of the most impactful platforms, convincing online communities to adopt constructed languages.
Twitter’s Popularity of the Most Popular Fictional Languages
Following the League of Languages by Preply, Dothraki is the most popular fake language on Twitter, with an average of 38,082 mentions.
Dothraki is a fictional language of George R. R. Martin’s fictional novel series A Song of Ice and Fire. It was adopted in HBO’s popular TV series, Game of Thrones. Though not fully developed, Dothraki conlang is cultured by the Dothraki, a nomadic tribe in Game of Thrones, and the central plains of Essos, known as the Dothraki Sea.
Somehow, Dothraki lags in word count, unlike its counterpart, Elvish, considered a complete conlang in the world. Nonetheless, in May 2015, Dothraki featured more than 4,000 words. During the May 2015 episode of the Lexicon Valley podcast, the conlang creator, David Peterson, mentioned that he’d like Dothraki to increase towards 10,000 words. Of course, he has worked on various fictional languages, including High Valyrian, Skroth and Asshai’i.
Constructed Languages and How It Aids Learners
Twitter aside, fictional languages also garner popularity from class lessons inspired by online social communities. For instance, as a linguist, Peterson instructed students about the making of Dothraki, a starring language, in HBO’s Game of Thrones in a three-unit course in The Linguistics of Game of Thrones and the Art of Language Invention in the U.C. Berkeley alum. The course does not only inform students about the making of Dothraki and High Valyrian in Game of Thrones; it teaches students how they can create a language.
Although fictional language learning may comprise almost no practical value, it helps in many ramifications. Learners can link up with what they are passionate about and interact with people with similar interests.
Learning a constructed language can be quite beneficial. When you study a conlang that people do not use conventionally, the usage is restricted to you. However, it enhances your language learning ability since, like fake languages, natural languages are not too easy to learn, especially the grammatical aspects.
By learning a fictional language, it can help learners engage their brain, and of course, you’re challenged and thrilled to learn even more languages as you progress.
Twitter Popularizes Various Fictional Languages
Upon the debut of the internet, constructed languages have surged in popularity. Through social platforms backed by the internet, learners can find counterparts to keep learning alive and improve vocabulary.
Among the most popular fictional languages aided by social media is Klingon, featured in Star Trek” and authored by Mark Okrand, which basks in fame since the 1990s. Interestingly, new words are still released into Klingon, surging in popularity and increasing to over 14,887 Twitter mentions, but about 23,000 times less than Dothraki mentions.
Klingon is also available on Duolingo, followed by other electrifying conlangs like Na’vi, featured in Avatar, a 2009 blockbuster, and J. R. Tolkien’s Elvish, featured in Lord of the Rings. Na’vi and Elvish, as compiled in the Preply study, are mentioned 11,358 and 33,854 respectively.