Learning a new language is a great way to create meaningful contacts in an increasingly connected world. People have also turned to language learning as a way to escape the recent COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. But there are some unexpected elements at play, as people navigate towards constructed languages. This desire to learn a fictional language is even helping with creativity.
Preply’s Fictional League of Languages Table shows the five most popular fictional languages people are studying. The table includes languages like J. R. R. Tolkien’s Elvish and the Huttese from the Star Wars universe. These languages exist in these fantasy worlds. While they might seem gibberish to some, they follow complex and constructed grammatical rules just like any other language. But what makes them so popular?
Language Learning on the Rise
The pandemic locked people in their homes, unable to socialise with new or old friends. It got many to watch more television and to play games. But people also found language learning as a fun and challenging hobby to fill the days. In their research, Preply noticed how people looked at constructed or fictional languages rather than focusing on languages like Spanish.
It’s no coincidence people were drawn to fictional languages while they lived under lockdown rules. Popular languages such as Dothraki are languages spoken in globally successful TV shows. Many people would have been watching shows like Game of Thrones or the Mandalorian. They would hear a foreign language on these shows and perhaps become interested in learning it.
Languages are always part of the culture speaking them. You can learn a lot more about a language and improve your skills if you also immerse in the history and culture. This can be a great motivator during language learning. If you love the Star Trek universe, then learning to speak a popular language within the fictional world can seem engaging and fun.
These fictional languages provide learners with a lot of study material. You don’t have to spend all of your time learning grammar or doing study books. You can also watch exciting movies and shows or read books and comics to learn, too.
Fictional Languages and Creativity
Learning a language is not only a fun thing to do, but it’s also beneficial. Research has shown how language learning can boost a person’s cognitive functions. One of the great advantages of language learning is the ability to enhance your creativity. Fictional languages are especially good for boosting your creative side.
Languages hold a lot of power and the way we use words can have a big impact, even more than our physical actions. The words we choose and the way we use them is always an indicator of our way of thinking and viewing the world. With a fictional or second language, you are going to be even more mindful of the words you use.
Fictional languages make you use your thinking and creative parts a little more. While many of the fictional languages mentioned in the Preply research have grammar rules and hundreds of unique words, the languages are still evolving. You can be part of improving and evolving the language. It doesn’t get much more creative than being part of creating a language!
Each language is also part of a very rich and imaginary world. When you are learning a fictional language, you are jumping into these fictional worlds. You can learn about things like the Elvish culture and the underworld activities of the bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe. Immersing in these fictional worlds is bound to get you thinking about a lot of weird and wonderful things.
Research backs this view. Mastering another language can help:
- Boost your ability to reason and solve problems, both of which are important parts of the creative process.
- Make you more adaptive to change which can help improve your creativity by boosting your motivation and ability to adjust to new situations.
- Immerse you in new customs, norms and beliefs and broaden your mindset.
When you are learning a fictional language, you’re not only learning words and grammar rules. You are learning about new ways of doing things. With an established, natural language like Chinese, you might have a lot more images and videos to watch to immerse yourself in the culture.
With a fictional language, you might have to imagine much more. You need to think about what those rituals could look like or what the history might have been. All of this can help you embrace your creativity in a more meaningful way.
The pandemic has been a huge catalyst for language learning. There are a lot of benefits to mastering a second language. If you want, you can even pick up a fictional language and unleash your creativity in the process!