If you’re creating a world for your movie universe, you’ll want to make things as realistic as possible, and one of the quickest ways to do so is to create a new language for your characters to speak. And you can go to the trouble of hiring a linguist to create a fictitious language, such as Lord of the Rings, Avatar, or Game of Thrones. You can also take it easy, use an ordinary, everyday language, and call it something else. No one seems to care as long as it doesn’t sound at least vaguely familiar. But did you know what Cityspeak is?
Cityspeak is a pidgin street language that combines Japanese, Spanish, German, and other languages. The plot device used in Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 was created by “Gaff” actor Edward James Olmos while researching his character for the film.
Blade Runner’s Cityspeak
In linguistics, this is known as a pidgin, a simplified mix of languages that occurs when people who speak different languages do not share one. This can eventually develop into a creole, a single, stable language composed of several others. Cityspeak is somewhere in the middle. In addition to the languages mentioned by Deckard, it also includes Hungarian, Chinese, and French.
It was created for the film by linguist Edward James Olmos. He is such a dedicated actor that he invented both the concept and language of Cityspeak while preparing for the role of Gaff. Ridley Scott liked it and put it to use. (Source: Film School Rejects)
What was the Language Used in Clockwork Orange?
While Stanley Kubrick was known for being a perfectionist, Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, was not. He wrote the novel in three weeks, including creating the novel’s futuristic slang language, Nadsat.
Most of Nadsat is probably re-appropriated Russian at this point. Tolchock and malchick are obviously common Russian words. Then there’s rooker, gulliver, gloopy, lewdies, rot, and the ever-popular horrorshow. (Source: Film School Rejects)
What Language was Used in Dune?
Whether you like the books, the David Lynch film, the TV adaptations, Jodorowsky’s proposed adaptation, or just like making jokes about how the spice must flow and riding sandworms, Frank Herbert’s seminal Dune series can be experienced in an absurd number of ways. That means you, too, can appreciate all of Herbert’s efforts in creating his fictional universe. Particularly those languages.
In the Dune universe, there are two primary languages. Galach comes first. It’s a mash-up of Russian and English that bears little resemblance to either. For example, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, you’d say baradit nehiidit beed gwarp tau nubukt. I’m sure you get it.
Meanwhile, Fremen, which is said to be a futuristic version of Arabic, is mentioned in Dune. But “futuristic” is probably an exaggeration because it’s mostly modern-day Arabic. Hajj, ilm, jihad, and several other commonplace Arabic words and phrases are prominently featured. Even Paul, one of the main characters, calls himself Muad’Dib. Meanwhile, mu’adib is the Arabic word for teacher, which is obvious even in science fiction. (Source: Film School Rejects)
Image from Reddit