The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

13 Oct 2008


Cinema and language: Scene 4

This scene from The Name of the Rose shows Salvatore speaking to Adso in a strange language. After it, William explains to his pupil what kind of language it is.

A: Master, what language was he speaking?
W: All languages and none.
A: And what was the word you both kept mentioning?
W: “Penitenziagite"?
A: What does it mean?
W: That the hunchback, undoubtedly... was once a heretic.

Apparently the hideous monk is using a constructed language, in this case as an identity feature for a group of heretics. Searching the Internet for some information about constructed languages, I’ve realised that Esperanto is just one of the many artificial languages that exist or have existed. I’ve clicked on one of them: eklektu. It seems that someone is creating a new language made up of a mixture of existing words in various natural languages. There are more wordsmiths and ‘languagesmiths’ than I expected, in this world!


  1. I really can’t understand why some people hate so much constructed languages. To me languages should be first a way to communicate between people and second a way of cultural expression. If a constructed language allows a better communication between different persons, to me it’s OK.

  2. This morning, My French teacher told us about VERLAN, a sort of “constructed” language youth normally use in France.

    From Wikipedia:

    [In the French language, verlan is the inversion of syllables in a word which is found in slang and youth language. It rests on a long French tradition of transposing syllables of individual words to create slang words.[citation needed] The name verlan itself is an example: verlan = lan ver = l'envers (meaning the inverse)]

    Why not?, I thought. Languages and words are there to play with them. I also visited the site about “Eklektu 96” and I liked what his inventor said about the purpose of it:

    [Language creation is one of my hobbies, and I'm using Eklektu to organize my vocabularies and clarify the meanings of words. ………But the ultimate reason may be that it gives me an excuse to learn about all kinds of different subjects and different languages of the world.]