Your characters are on an adventure or simply walking around town. They encounter a foreigner with a heavy accents, speaking a language they don’t understand. Maybe they do understand. Or maybe, you characters never encounter foreigners. It’s your story. You could create a world where everyone speaks the same language. The history behind that could be pretty interesting.
I’d prefer a diverse world, though. That means your character will encounter various cultures. How do you create a fictional language? Do you even need to?
I’ve had to dive into language creation for my two recent work-in-progress. One is a side story. The characters live in a different world, separate from the main one. As I was writing, I realized certain words, like mother or father, are going to be different.
Then, for another WIP (Book 4 of the Merging Worlds Series), a group of characters suddenly find themselves on a ship. It’s a floating city that travels around the world, picking people up and dropping some off. It wouldn’t be realistic if every person on the ship spoke the characters’ home language. Well, it’s my story and I can make that realistic. But, it’s more fun to have the ship’s passengers come from various cultures. In the same story, another group of characters have been living in another country for several years.
I’ve started creating my one languages. But, I’m not an expert and I’m not about to hire one. I barely have the funds to pay rent. How can you create believable languages on your own?
I’m currently reading one story where the authors rarely includes words from a different language. They usually add something like, “they said in Farlander”. They show speaking a foreign language by putting the dialogue in italics. They do sometimes add certain words here and there.
What do you need? Will your character be speaking full sentences or will you just drop in a word here and there? For the side story, the characters are all speaking the same language. Since an outsider won’t be listening to them speak, I won’t be adding full sentences. But, for Book 4, I’ll be adding some full sentence because the characters will be speaking and listening to different languages.
Fantasy language generators