Are Languages Dying Thanks to Tolkien? Fictional Language Learning Exceeds Irish Speakers
Fictional Language

To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – by Charlemagne. These words inspire the most receptive of minds to learn languages and, in our digital age, create or learn fictional languages, also known as constructed language or CONLANG for short.

Over 30 million people chose to take up a new language as lockdown eased last year, Duolingo reported. English remains the most popular language for online courses, followed by Spanish and French. However, there are lesser-known languages that are quickly beginning to overtake other-fictional languages from our favourite TV shows and films.

Learning fictional languages is growing at a fast rate in our digital and socially connected world. J. R.R. Tolkien, the author of high fantasy novels Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, created fictional languages that contribute greatly to that fast growth as his languages garner new students daily, as evidenced in Preply’s “The League of Languages.” More people now speak Elvish globally than Irish.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a great impact on the educational sector, and it contributes greatly to the wider audiences conlang is adopting. The lockdown measures have pushed online learning to the fore as more people resort to it.

Rise of Online Language Learning

The future of education is online learning, and it is defined as education that occurs through the internet. It’s also known as “e-learning.”

Online language learning is defined as the learning or acquisition of new languages over the internet.

Online learning is simply one form of “distance learning,” an umbrella word for any learning that occurs at a distance rather than in a traditional classroom.

The online language learning sector is rapidly growing due to economic globalization and the development of cost-effective technology-based commodities.

The following influences the recent rapid rise of online fictional language learning

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos in education and business institutions all across the world. According to UNESCO, nearly 60% of the world’s student population has been affected by countrywide closures.

Over 1.2 billion kids are out of school worldwide. As a result, education has undergone significant transformations, with the emergence of e-learning, in which instruction is done remotely and via digital platforms.

The pandemic has forced the language education sector to look for alternatives to in-person education worldwide. As a result, instructors and students have been using online education at an unprecedented rate.

According to research, online language learning increases information retention and takes less time, implying that the alterations induced by the coronavirus are here to stay.

Learning of fictional languages grew during the pandemic as people stayed at home, and with a thriving online education industry, its popularity grew.

Fans of fantasy novels, particularly youngsters, took a step further to learn fictional languages and build online communities. Some suggested preferring conlangs to traditional languages.

Functional languages have grown into fully formed languages that can be learned and utilized in meaningful conversations.

Increased Interaction and Efficient Communication

The belief that online language learning lacks interaction is no longer valid. The learner and the teacher, can communicate and engage in a properly designed course.

Language learners are accustomed to communicating and engaging via mobile devices, and online learning allows the utilization of a wide range of resources and technology to engage them. Mobile learning, for example, allows course writers to incorporate features like gamification and social learning to promote interaction with their students.

Conlangs have advanced to a new level as a result of the internet. Everything gets transported around the world in milliseconds, thanks to global connectivity.

Meeting new people online, conversing on forums, and looking through various sources are all methods that make it simple to propagate conlangs. This is why the number of online conlang communities is increasing.

Fans of conlangs communicate via forums such as Livejournal and Zompist Bulletin Board (ZBB). Conlang lovers use these kinds of forums to share new languages they find, discuss current conlangs, and, of course, talk about their love for these imaginary languages.

Efficiency for Language Learner

Comparing an online learning experience to a regular classroom encounter is a more economical alternative, reducing tuition rates and commuting, housing, and board costs. It also provides for a lower-stakes classroom experience.

Online students save time by not studying “on the go” in front of their instructor and peers.

Online Fictional language learning allows learners to practice and polish languages and knowledge in a low-risk environment thanks to features like simulation training, which may help learners “experience” a language digitally before speaking it in real life.

Are Conlangs phasing out languages?

Although a bit too early to speculate, there’s enough evidence that these languages are here to stay.

A conlang fan community sees their language as actual languages. This is because Conlangs have a tight relationship between their representation and its culture. Hall (1997) claims that language, identity, and cultural variety are interwoven because of the tight relationship between representation and culture.

Conlangs grow in popularity as a result of their large fan base. The development of internet tools helps disseminate languages throughout the world.

Conlangs are now so well-documented that they must be taken seriously as legitimate languages.

Would you be speaking Elvish or Dothraki in a couple of years? We let your curiosity and the years guide you.

The online learning business is being propelled ahead by globalization and the increased need for cross-border communication, the growing E-learning sector, the effect of COVID-19, and the penetration of artificial intelligence in e-learning. Fictional languages are leveraging this progress to stem a hold in this world.

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