Are Constructed Languages Legitimate?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Esperanto, since I’ve talked about it and have done a test drive of the language. It’s a constructed language, one that did not evolve over time, but was created by a linguist for a purpose. It was to be the international language, easily learned, and easy to understand. This is a legitimate language, and there are actual native speakers of the language, having grown up using it as a main language.

But there are other languages that are real languages that people can learn and use. Probably the most famous ones are:

  • Klingon, created by Marc Okrand for Star Trek movies and subsequent TV series.
  • Quenya, created by J. R. R. Tolkien, and spoken by the elves in The Lord of the Rings novels.
  • Sindarin, created by J. R. R. Tolkien, and spoken by the immortal elves of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Na’vi, created by Paul Frommer, and is spoken by the Na’vi in the Avatar movie.

Both Klingon and Na’vi are functional languages that can be learned and spoken in conversation. Quenya and Sindarin were never intended to be used by people, and only a few hundred words were created. Not enough for advanced conversation. However, they have been further developed by fans, and Sindarin apparently now has twenty-five thousand words published.

Do you think these are legitimate languages? Do you think people should try to learn them? Personally, I want to learn Klingon. I have the dictionary. If you could learn any of these languages, which would you like to learn?

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3 thoughts on “Are Constructed Languages Legitimate?”

  1. Good article! In my opinion, I say YES, constructed languages are certainly legitimate. Any language with which two (or more) people can converse, using words unknown to outsiders, it is legit. Take the example of children, twins maybe…they often have conversations that only they understand. In fact…I have two fictitious characters who are sisters, who have their own secret and private language. I have never developed them, but they sort of live in my thoughts. 🙂 Another example would be teenagers…we all had/have words which we understand but no one else does. 🙂

    1. I actually have tried to create my own language with my best friend in elementary school. We didn’t get very far, though. Would’ve been interesting if we’d been successful 🙂

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