From Aklo to Klingon: The Fictional Languages Quiz

Staff

The beeps and whistles R2-D2 makes in "Star Wars" are what language?

Most astromech droids like R2 (and, apparently, moisture vaporators as well) speak Binary.

What species speaks the language Lapine in "Watership Down"?

Lapine is the language of the rabbits, the main characters of "Watership Down."

If you're hanging out with your khaleesi, you must be speaking what language?

"Game of Thrones" fans know that khaleesi is Dothraki for queen.

In China Mieville's novel "Embassytown," the Ariekei language requires the speaking of two words simultaneously. How do humans speak with Ariekei?

The pairs of twins that speak to the Ariekei are known as Ambassadors.

Which guttural alien language has a variety of words to describe fights, battles and warfare but no word for love?

Even linguistic experts struggle to express the phrase "I love you" in Klingon, resorting to awkward constructions such as "I really like you" or "I unhate you." Although there is no verb "to love" in Klingon, "bangwI' SoH," meaning "you are my beloved," is generally accepted as the best answer.

On what planet is Barsoomian spoken?

Edgar Rice Burroughs created Barsoomian for a series of stories and novels set on Mars. The language was further developed for the 2012 "John Carter of Mars" movie.

What is the magical language of snakes in the Harry Potter novels and films?

In the Potterverse, those who speak with snakes (Parselmouths) don’t learn Parseltongue, they're simply born with the ability to speak it. Or as my grandmother used to say, "sssssah hssssshaaahssssss."

What is the roaring, grumbling language of Wookiees called?

Like many fictional languages, Shyriiwook isn't a fully developed language — it is able to impart emotional meaning to viewers through tone and inflection.

Words like crimethink, bellyfeel, ungoodthink and blackwhite are part of Newspeak, the language of what George Orwell novel?

The authoritarian government in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" uses Newspeak to regulate the thoughts and ideas that could be expressed by the citizens.

Translate the following phrase into English: "ash nazg durbatuluk."

"One ring to rule them all" is the phrase in Black Speech that's engraved on the One Ring in "The Lord of the Rings."

In 2010, portions of the Shakespearean plays "Hamlet" and "Much Ado About Nothing" were performed in what language by the Washington Shakespeare Co.?

A complete version of "Hamlet" has been published "in the original Klingon."

The flowing, runelike written characters Tolkien uses to depict several of his fictional languages is called what?

Elves invented the Tengwar writing system, but other races in Middle Earth used it as well.

The Goa'uld in the "Stargate" universe speak a language loosely based on what Earth culture?

Goa'uld text appears similar to hieroglyphics, and some of the words are derived from ancient Egyptian words.

What language is Greedo speaking in the Mos Eisley Cantina just before Han shoots him?

Greedo is working for Jabba the Hutt and speaking the universal language of scum and villainy, Huttese.

What language from "Star Trek" includes the term "pon farr"?

Pon farr is a secretive part of Vulcan courtship and mating.

The Twi'leks in the "Star Wars" universe speak Ryl, which includes a sign language component. What body part do they manipulate to add meaning to their spoken words?

Twi'leks distinctive head-tails are an important part of their language.

The fictional language developed for the film "Avatar" is called …

The Na'vi in the movie speak a language named for them, Na'vi.

One of the most complete and fully developed fictional languages is Quenya, spoken by elves and created by what author?

Tolkien created several of his fictional languages before he ever wrote "The Lord of the Rings."

The Old Tongue is a fictional language from what massive epic fantasy series?

The Old Tongue appears repeatedly in Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" series.

Translate the following phrase, in High Valyrian from "A Song of Fire and Ice," into English: "valar morghulis."

It means "all men must die." The traditional response is "valar dohaeris," or "all men must serve."

Alien refugees who make their homes on Earth speak Tenctonese in what film and television series?

The aliens in "Alien Nation" are from Tencton and speak Tenctonese.

When the "Book of Oa" in the DC Comics universe was rewritten, it was written in what universal galactic language, first seen in the far future of the "Legion of Super-Heroes"?

Interlac is a common language that's understood by many different alien species.

What alien language do the primary antagonists in the "Macross" anime series speak?

The giant space warrior clones known as the Zentradi have an alphabet and phonetic language that was developed by the series' producers.

What was the name of the 118-symbol alphabet, based on phonetic sounds, that was written and spoken on Superman's home planet (before a retcon replaced it with a different language)?

DC editor E. Nelson Bridwell created Kryptonese.

What language (really just a substitution code) was created for "Futurama" just to put inside jokes and gags in the background graffiti?

Alienese was solved quickly by fans and replaced by the more complex Alienese II.

Who originally spoke the language Dovahzul, which was created for the game "Skyrim"?

The word "Dovahzul" can be translated as "Dragon-Voice."

In the Minbari language from "Babylon 5," what does "ahel" mean?

The Minbari term for "continuous fire" is, unfortunately, phonetically identical to the English phrase "ah hell."

What is unique about the fictional occult language Aklo?

Arthur Machen first used Aklo in 1899, then H.P. Lovecraft used it in several of his Cthulhu Mythos stories. Alan Moore used it in a few comic book series, and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game put Aklo to work as the language of underground or occult races.

The Tamarians in the "Star Trek" universe speak only in phrases like "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" or "Shaka, when the walls fell." Federation translators understand the words but not the meanings. Why?

The Tamarian allegorical language is one of the most innovative uses of alien language in science fiction.

The language spoken by the Sims in the "Sims" series of games is primarily gibberish, with most meaning derived from tone and inflection. What is this language called?

Sims speak Simlish.

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About This Quiz

Do you know a chotwl from a lingwe? Have you been brushing up on your Huttese and your Dothraki? This quiz will put your fantasy grammar and science-fiction vocabulary to the test.

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