Writing Journey #3- Character Languages

I’M FASCINATED by languages. And accents. Australian. Spanish. French. Irish. Scottish! British especially. I mean, Doctor Who, am I right? Probably because I don’t speak any other language? I know English. I should know Tagalog but my parents never taught me. Which is totally okay, I guess it gives me more respect for the different languages and accents that do exist. But I digress, onto the purpose of this entry. Allonzy!

SINCE THE BEGINNING of developing this story, I’ve wanted the 5 distinct muse races to speak with different accents and different languages. When I first watched Pan’s Labyrinth I loved the way the voice of the Faun sounded. In Japanese movies or anime, the dramatic way they speak has always intrigued me. The way the words sound in other languages, and how simple phrases can sound powerful, is amazing. Elvish in Lord of the Rings? Am I right?

I PLAN TO HAVE 5 languages, of course for each of the 5 muse races. I’ve narrowed it down to French, Spanish, Scottish (Gaelic), Tagalog, and Greek. Why? Because I like the way they sound, the way they flow, and the way the words come together. They fit the different muses I’ve created and accentuate the diversity. That, and I think it’d be really cool.

THE STRUGGLE THAT I’VE been having with languages is whether to keep it in reality, or make up new ones? In an early draft of the book, a reader said that the real world terminology took them out of the story. My world is completely made up. So it would make sense to have made up languages to go with the fantasy, right? Elves speak their own language in LotR. Parseltongue in Harry Potter is unique. Klingons in Star Trek, among the many races of the show, speak their own language.

SO I GUESS THE ISSUE is that I don’t know any other languages. I never studied a language. I can’t speak any other language except for English. Then again the beauty of being a writer is being able to make stuff up! But then there’s the time and the effort it takes to create a brand new language. There are technical nuances that you need to capture, a special way to string vowels and consonants together, and different formations that I don’t understand. I’ve already made one up, which will be used in a later book, making the language count six?

THE ONLY WAY that I know how to create a new language is to take words, jumble them together, then try to make something that sounds at least like a word. That just has a nice flow to it? And if it sounds cool, I suppose it could work. But then again, I’m not adding a lot of what makes a language different and unique… I’m not sure what that is since I don’t speak another language. And around and around we go! Anywho, that’s where I stand! I guess if this book ever sees publication, you’ll know if I figured it all out, huh? So, yup. That’s my writing journey for now. Cheers!

*Elvish alphabet header image from flavorwire.com

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