Out of this world: The greatest alien dialects ever createdLooking to learn a new tongue? How about one of these iconic alien languages and the key phrases?
In the new film Arrival, twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft touch down on Earth and linguists must crack an alien dialect in order to figure out their intentions. We’ve dug through The Red Bulletin DVD library to pick out some of the greatest, funniest and most iconic alien languages ever created for the silver screen.
Which one of these would you like to learn the most?
- Klingon (Star Trek)
- Gungan (Star Wars)
- Divine Language (The Fifth Element)
- Na’vi (Avatar)
- Martian (Mars Attacks!)
- Cityspeak (Blade Runner)
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Little is known of how Gungan, a variation of English, was born. Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks) believes George Lucas based it on the speech of the director’s son Jett, then six.
This popular fictional tongue was first spoken in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. James Doohan (aka Scotty) invented the initial sounds and words, which linguist Marc Okrand developed into a language.
Fun fact: A man tried to raise his child as a native speaker in Klingon, however did not really succeed and stopped the experiment when his son was about three years old.
The Fifth Element
Luc Besson and Milla Jovovich collaborated on her character Leeloo’s dialect for the 1997 film, speaking in the Divine Language on set to refine it. Sadly for all involved, Jovovich’s best remembered quote in the film was “Mul-ti-pass”.
James Cameron wanted a complex, unique language for his 2009 sci-fi epic, so asked a university professor to create something that could feasibly be learned by the human race. Continually growing, it currently contains over 2000 words.
Tim Burton was not quite as thorough with his satire of ’50s alien invasion films. The horrific looking Martian invaders do have their own language, deciphered by Pierce Brosnan’s scientist in the film, but (to the human ear at least) seemingly unintelligible.
BLADE RUNNER, 1984
Described by Harrison Ford’s Deckard as “gutter talk, a mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German, what have you”, Cityspeak was used by the character Gaff and created by the actor who played him, Edward James Olmos. Many fictional futures portray a street slang that reflect a blending of cultures – Joss Whedon famously blended Chinese and English for his cult series Firefly.