The Art of Language Invention

  • by David J. Peterson
  • Narrated by David J. Peterson
  • 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An insider's tour through the construction of invented languages from the best-selling author and creator of languages for the HBO series Game of Thrones and the Syfy series Defiance.
From master language creator David J. Peterson comes a creative guide to language construction for sci-fi and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers. Peterson offers a captivating overview of language creation, covering its history from Tolkien's creations and Klingon to today's thriving global community of conlangers. He provides the essential tools necessary for inventing and evolving new languages, using examples from a variety of languages including his own creations, punctuated with references to everything from Star Wars to Michael Jackson. Along the way, behind-the-scenes stories lift the curtain on how he built languages like Dothraki for HBO's Game of Thrones and Shiväisith for Marvel's Thor: The Dark World, and an included phrasebook will start fans speaking Peterson's constructed languages.
The Art of Language Invention is an inside look at a fascinating culture and an engaging entry into a flourishing art form - and it might be the most fun you'll ever have with linguistics.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great resource, but not conducive to audiobook

Peterson is one of the foremost voices in language invention today, but this book didn't really lend itself to an audio production. Keep the PDF included with your audible purchase close at hand in order to follow along. It would've been more helpful to have actually cited the page number of the PDF, rather than him just saying, "refer to your PDF," as the PDF is 50+ pages long.

Otherwise, this is a great resource for those wanting to create their own language or are wanting to better understand the process of language invention and linguistics.
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- Ashley T.

Amazing Resource!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES!! It's funny, sarcastic AND informative. A subject that could be super dry and boring to those who are not conlangs is made fun, intriguing, and fascinating.

You'd need to get both the audio book AND the printed on (for visual folks) as there are visual clues that are important.


Who was your favorite character and why?

n/a It's an educational/informational book.


What does David J. Peterson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A human voice that is warm, friendly and funny.


What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

That languages have specific patterns to them, like songs. Where an accent or emphasis is on words in general is specific to the language itself. So , if you were knowledgeable enough, you could tell a conlang's native language OR know what irl language they based theirs on.

That and I learned what a conlang is as well!


Any additional comments?

If you are a writer that need to develop a language, read it. It's so worth it.

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- Hope L Bryant

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-29-2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio