Before the announcement of the Oscar nominations for the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, let us have a wrap-up of four remarkable motion pictures that brought the command of speech to a whole new level with sensational made-up languages we first heard on the big screen.
Klingon (Star Trek)
Klingon, one of the most popular fictional languages from the film series, Star Trek was created by linguist Marc Okrand. Aside from a number of books published about it, a dedicated journal is also being published by an organization called the Klingon Language Institute every quarter.
Klingon: tlhab ‘oS ‘lw; HoHwl’ So’ batlh.
English: Blood represents freedom; honor hides the killer.
In the 2009 film Avatar, the local tribe of Na’vi—a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora—was featured speaking a language that is native to their clan. This was made by Paul Frommer and was initially designed to fit James Cameron’s concept of what the speech should sound like in the film. With the box office success of the epic motion picture, the language went on to grow and became a serviceable mode of communication especially for fans.
Na’avi: oel nagti kameie
English: I see you.
Martian Language (Mars Attacks!)
In Tim Burton’s quirky science fiction comedy film Mars Attacks!, the language spoken by the Martians, who invaded the Earth for the sole reason of having fun, consisted only of the word “ack” spoken in various pitches and volume. At one point in the movie, a scientist was able to devise an equipment that can translate the Martians’ unintelligible language to stop them from wiping out the Earth’s population.
Huttese (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
Huttese, the language spoken by the Hutts, a slug-like species that appeared on Star Wars, was a creation of sound designer Ben Burtt and linguist Larry Ward. Burtt’s idea was to come up with a language similar to Quenchua, a native language in Peru and the Andes, and so he asked Ward for the creation of the language we now call as Huttese.
Huttese: H’chu apenkee!
Huttese: Coona tee-tocky malia.
English: What took you so long?
Huttese: Hagwa je killya, dolpa kikyuna!
English: Don’t hurt me because I am a loyal, tax-paying citizen.