Language is the fabric of the world. In pop culture, invented languages bring fictional worlds to life, teaching us about their culture. Spoofing the ‘90s language program Muzzy, we spotted a Game of Thrones video parody that teaches children how to speak Dothraki (featured after the break). If you want to take things a step further and actually learn the language, there’s a tutorial for that. We found other language lessons online – all videos teaching fictional dialects inspired by pop culture favorites. Start speaking High Valyrian, Klingon, and more, below.
Become one with the Khal by learning a little Dothraki. The language featured on the HBO series Game of Thrones was inspired by author George R. R. Martin’s description, but also fragments of Turkish, Russian, Estonian, Inuktitut, and Swahili. Follow the YouTube links in the below video to further your lesson.
High Valyrian is the ancestral language of the Houses Targaryen, Celtigar, and Velaryon in the Game of Thrones series. It was spoken in the ruined cities of Valyria and the Valyrian Freehold, but became adopted in part by people in the Free Cities and Slaver’s Bay. It’s basically the equivalent of Latin.
The folks behind the Learn Na’vi website and forums take their Avatar very seriously. You can learn the basics of vocabulary and a few simple introduction phrases by following the above YouTube links. The website provides extensive information behind the language featured in the 2009 film, which was created by linguist Dr. Paul Frommer. Na’vi consists of about 1000 words (some of which director James Cameron invented himself), but these tutorials should have you learning them all in no time.
J. R. R. Tolkien’s high fantasy epics The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have inspired a massive following around the globe. Tolkien’s elaborate mythology includes an extensive series of languages — many spoken by the Elves in his stories. There are several different dialects of Elvish, with Quenya and Sindarin being two of the best know. If you want to find a tutorial that dives right into the basics, we recommend starting with the above Sindarin lesson. If you’d like to learn how to write Elvish, go here.
A Klingon language lesson with a German guy dressed like a Klingon in a suit? Don’t mind if we do. Go here for more videos.
Simlish, the language from life-simulation series The Sims, sounds like a nonsense dialect, but it’s actually fragments of Ukrainian, French, Latin, Finnish, English, Fijian, Cebuano, and Tagalog. If that gets your PlumbBob glowing green, check out a few sample phrases, above.
This deadpan Nadsat tutorial, the language of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange, is almost as creepy as the characters in the story itself — made eerily real in Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation.
Of course you want to learn a few common phrases in Ewokese — the language spoken by the furballs from the forest moon of Endor in the Star Wars series.