Language is defined as “the principal method of human communication, consisting of words used in a structured and conventional way and conveyed by speech, writing, or gesture.” or “a system of communication used by a particular country or community.”.
In every world with sentient beings, language is quite important, for obvious reasons. This applies to any genre or setting. So, some thoughts should be given to the various languages in your world. You don’t have to invent full language sets for each culture, well, you COULD if that’s something you enjoy, but for most people just having an idea of the background of the languages is enough.
Strictly speaking, some of these prompts count as two questions, but they are so closely linked that separating them seemed pointless.
Something else to bear in mind, the topic of languages is one rich in possibilities, so there will probably be a part 2 next week.
- What is the most famous/known “dead” language?
- Which is the name of the oldest known language?
- Which language has the most living speakers?
- Which language is considered to be the hardest to learn and why?
- What is the longest word in the world?
- What is the most commonly used profanity and why is it a “bad word/phrase”?
- Are there any two (or more) languages that can’t be directly translated? If so, why?
- Is there a trade/”common” language present?
- How many speak more than one language and what are the commons groupings?
- Is there a specific language used by a certain profession and nowhere else, such as spellcaster, scientists etc?
Bonus question – Is there a language that is forbidden/banned from being spoken and/or written?
The ongoing & growing list of world-building prompts & questions can be found HERE.
World Anvil gives you a series of tools, templates and prompts to help manage and build your world – See more HERE (Affiliate Link)
What world-building topic would you like to see next time? Let me know in the comments below or on social media like Twitter.