Today may be Zamenhofa Tago - 'Esperanto Day', in honor of Esperanto inventor LL Zamenhof - but film-lovers have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an entirely new language. In James Cameron's new movie Avatar, the aliens speak Na'vi, an artificial language invented by linguist Paul Frommer. The actors in the film were not required to be fluent (they learned their lines phonetically), leaving Frommer as the only Na'vi speaker on this planet. You can join his exclusive club with a dictionary and a system of grammar, and if you end up on a distant planet inhabited by giant blue creatures, you'll be set. See also: Atlantean, the Divine Language, and, of course, Klingon (among many, many others). Update: Language Log has a nice consolidation of the technical aspects of Na'vi by Frommer.
And before "Avatar" and "Star Trek" there was Bill Shatner speaking Esperanto, in the horror film called "Incubus".
As an Esperanto speaker I found it terrifying! His Esperanto pronunciation that is, not the film.
Your readers may be interested in http://www.lernu.net :)
--Brian Barker , 12/19/2009 08:48:58
That's awesome, Brian - I've heard rumors of the existence of Incubus, and I'm impressed that it's online. I'll have to watch it, even though I'm not an Esperanto speaker.
--Derek, your host , 12/19/2009 19:55:42