What's Trending: Dothraki, Na'vi and other Hollywood created languages

Elvish, Na'vi, Dothraki - you won't hear these languages spoken at the U.N, but you will hear them in Hollywood. These are real languages, created by real linguists and they are spoken by fictional characters.  And they are what's trending.

These days, TV shows and movies create sophisticated languages from scratch.  Directors insist on this to enrich the authenticity of the fantastical worlds found in movies like Avatar and Lord of the Rings.  But shows have also created their own languages.

The language Dothraki was invented for the Emmy and Golden-Globe winning fantasy series, "Game of Thrones." The series returns to HBO for a third season March 31. David J. Peterson is the UC Berkeley trained linguist and President of the Language Creator Society who conjured Dothraki.

According to series co-creator David Benioff, that language is one reason the show, which has been called by Newsday "the best show on television," succeeds.

“Dothraki changed the sound of the show. It's a very guttural language and it is not an easy one to pronounce,” said Benioff.

And while the vocabulary is extensive, there are some things you just can't say. For example, there is no word for “thank you” in Dothraki.

Dothraki isn’t the only Hollywood invented language.  Paul Frommer, a USC linguist, spent four years laboring on the language of the Na'vi. This is the language the giant blue beings populating the planet Pandora spoke in the blockbuster "Avatar." 

This trend of invented languages is just beginning. Based on the success of show and movies that have incorporated it, it’s a trend that’s going to continue for some time.

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