Tag Archives: fictional languages

Star Wars Needs More Tolkien

…and I don’t mean more elves, pointy ears or not. I mean somebody with a fundamental understanding of languages. Tolkien was a linguist, and it shows in the languages he created for his world (or, as some say, the world he created for his languages).

I can’t sugarcoat it in any way: the “alien” languages in Star Wars are just stupid. They don’t seem to follow any rhyme or reason. It’s just a gibberish of random syllables. They don’t even have to start from scratch with a grammar, but if somebody talks about a place or a person, chances are you should be able to hear the names in the flow of language. “Berlin” in English is “Berlin”, and “New York” in German is “New York”. A sentence that is translated as “See you on Dromund Kaas” should contain the words “Dromund Kaas”, because it’s a proper name.They might be pronounced a bit differently, and every now and then, another language might have a historically grown name that is totally different, but those are rare exceptions. If you can never, ever make out any name, it makes you think somebody just rolled their face over the keyboard to create random gibberish.

In that respect, SW:TOR would have been a lot better off without voice-overs. They just make me cringe. Not that the movies were any better, if I remember correctly…