Language in Fantasy

Kristyn J. Miller

Language has played a crucial role in the history of our world, but in most fantasy, it is often mentioned only in passing. It’s easy to see why: writing fictional languages is hard, and making them seem realistic is even harder. But it’s a topic worth thinking about, especially for those writers who like to delve really deep into their worldbuilding and want to write fantasy worlds that are especially rich and immersive.

To help you write realistic languages, I want to show you how they emerge, change and die out in real life. Let’s take a look at Medieval England.

Language in Medieval England

Language has a long history in the British Isles.

To begin with, modern-day England was populated by Celtic tribes. These tribes spoke a language now known as Common Brittonic, which was used from circa 600BC to after the Roman invasion.

The Roman invasion in…

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