Language in the "Verse
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bear with me while I indulge one of my favorite subjects, linguistics. I was just thinking about the languages spoken in our mythical ‘verse. For us, the audience, it’s presented as 21st century English spiced up with interesting regional slang, such as “blubberous,” and “What must you think of them that choose it?” etc., and some Chinese thrown in. But really, what would it have sounded like? Look at the differences between Elizabethan English, spoken about 500 years ago, and our modern English. If you send people, presumably from every country on Earth who are speaking many different languages, out into space, and then mix them up even more than we are these days with globalization, then let it all stew for 500 or so years, then you’ve got to have a pretty different sounding set of languages. The Chinese would be just as different. For dramatic purposes Joss had to give us only English and Chinese, but, as I mentioned, there would most likely be a fair assortment of tongues spoken in the new system, with a lot of them some pretty interesting new blended languages.

It just tickles me to ponder on it, so it does.


Monday, July 18, 2011 6:59 AM


I have only read "The Hobbit," and that a long time ago. Perhaps I should put the trilogy on my reading list, which, disclaimer here, is a little long, though I'm valiantly chipping away at it. But yes, the subject sounds interesting, as I am the type who might burst out in a fictional language at parties.

Are you using "tastee wheat" and "chicken" as similes for languages in general? Or dialog in scripts?

Cheers, Anna

Sunday, July 17, 2011 2:32 PM


Well if you're into languages then you also know that the Lord of the Rings didn't "take place" in English at all, but Westron. Which according to the few words Tolkien actually had out there, sounds absolutely nothing like 1954 British English, and probably made for approximated idioms etc.

So maybe Joss did the same thing.

If you like your Tastee Wheat served that way you're pretty hardcore--tv audiences tend to prefer the chicken simulation so they can understand what the heck is going on. But props to you for thinking about it.


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