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World building in D&D - Creating a Language



This will come as no surprise to you; I like world-building. World-building is developing an environment where your characters can become emerged. There needs to be culture, language, politics, trade, war, and many other details that you can use to create an expansive world. In this post, I want to spend a little time on the approaches you might want to take in creating a language for the characters in your game.


Some key steps that would be involved in creating a new language might include the following:

  1. Develop the language's phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary, considering how it will be used and how speakers will learn it. This may involve creating new words, adapting existing words from other languages, and establishing rules for sentence structure and word order.

  2. Test the language with a small group to see how well it can be learned and used for communication. This may involve conducting experiments to evaluate the language's effectiveness and making changes based on the results of these experiments.

  3. Continually refine and develop the language based on feedback from speakers and users. This may involve adding new words and grammar rules and making changes to improve the language's clarity and usability.

Some key aspects in developing the phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary of the language include:

  • Phonetics: This involves developing the sounds used in the language, including the consonants, vowels, and other sounds that make up the language's phonetic inventory. This may include creating new sounds that do not exist in other languages or adapting sounds from other languages.

  • Grammar: This involves establishing the rules for how words are put together to form sentences and phrases in the language. This may include rules for word order, verb conjugation, and other grammatical elements that determine the structure of the language.

  • Vocabulary: This involves creating the words used in the language by inventing new words or adapting existing words from other languages. This may include defining the meaning of each word and establishing how it will be used in the language.

Developing a new language's phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary is a crucial step in determining speakers' ability to communicate effectively and be learned by speakers. It is important to carefully consider each element and how they will work together to create coherent and usable language.

When creating a language for a mythical creature like an Atlantian, you would have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to developing the phonetics of the language. There is no "right" way to create the sounds of a fictional language, and the best approach would depend on the language's specific goals and intended use.

However, here are a few examples of phonetics that you might consider using in a language for an Atlantian:

  • Consonants: You could create a set of unique consonants for the language, such as sounds made by clicking the tongue or by expelling air through the nose. These sounds could give the language a distinct and exotic quality.

  • Vowels: You could also create a set of unique vowels for the language, such as sounds that are made by altering the shape of the mouth or by using the throat differently. These sounds could help to create a more musical and flowing quality for the language.

  • Tone: You could also use the technique in the language, which involves changing the pitch of the voice to convey different meanings. This could create a more expressive and emotive quality for the language.

The phonetics of a language for an Atlantian could be designed to be unique and exotic, focusing on creating sounds that are not found in other languages. This could help make the language more authentic and immersive for speakers and users.

When creating a written language for the Atlantians, you would have a lot of creative freedom to design a system of symbols and characters that would be used to represent the sounds and words of the language. There is no "right" way to create a written language, and the best approach would depend on the language's specific goals and intended use.

However, here is an example of a written language that the Atlantians might use:

  • Symbols: You could create unique characters for the language, such as geometric shapes or abstract patterns. These symbols could represent the sounds of the language, with each symbol representing a different sound or combination of sounds.

  • Characters: You could also create a set of characters for the language, such as letters or syllables. These characters could be used to represent the words of the language, with each character representing a different word or combination of words.

  • Grammar: You could also use written language to convey information about the language's grammar, such as word order, verb conjugation, and other grammatical elements. This could be done by using special symbols or characters to indicate these elements or placing words and feelings on the page to indicate their function in the sentence.



A written language for the Atlantians could be designed to be unique and expressive, focusing on creating symbols and characters that are not found in other languages. This could help make the language more authentic and immersive for speakers and users.

Creating a new language is a challenging but potentially rewarding endeavor requiring a deep understanding of linguistics and language learning and a clear vision of the language and its intended uses.

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