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Showing posts from July, 2018

Some Challenges of Fictional Languages in Worldbuilding

Languages in the Ark Saga are not any Earth Prime language. My philosophy of writing the characters’ idiom – how they speak and write as natives – was rooted in the principle that my narrative style is a direct translation of their fictional language (vocabulary, syntax, and grammar) into idiomatic American English.

Years into writing the books, I formalized unique alphabets for two of the languages represented in the fictional world of the Ark Saga. For the language the main characters speak, I realized that, given my philosophy of language within the story, any time a unique letter was named, there was not a complete correspondence between the English alphabet and the fictional alphabet. What this meant was that any time a character wanted to talk about the language they speak, they didn’t call it “English.” When any character had to directly name a letter or directly spell a word, they had to name the letter(s) in their language, not English. When an acronym was used, there wasn’t d…