Moonspeak: Maou-sama and Gargantia's languages cracked


Ih'j all Vkeer ho pe!

Ah, fantasy. You know it's a fantasy world (including the fantasy of science-fiction) when the world in question has its very own made-up gibberish language. This spring in particular is rife with them, and the two most notable are The Devil is a Part-timer! (aka Hataraku Maou-sama!) and Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.

And of course, nerds the internet over have cracked their codes, as nerds are wont to do. Unfortunately, with Gargantia and Maou-sama being mere single-season television serials, the end results aren't on the level Qenya, Klingon, or even Hymnos

Instead, the language of Maou-sama's Ente Islan people is translated by a rather basic alphabetical substitution cipher (read: switch the places for various letters and attempt to pronounce the result). It's so simple that online translators have begun to pop up. This one has an issue with substituting its L's and Q's, but it otherwise seems to work. 

Gargantia's language, on the other hand, is basically backwards German, occasionally swapping with English to keep folks on their toes. Intrepid internet nerds came up with various examples in the gallery below, as well as rudimentary ciphers for the alphabets used by the Gargantia-folk as well as the space-people from the show. Very diligent of them!

While I find it a very mild disappointment that Maou-sama! and Gargantia didn't opt to go full Tolkien in their fake-language construction, I can hardly blame them for not trying harder. These false tongues not only did the job they were invented to do (i.e. keep everyone from just speaking hoary old Japanese all the time), but even managed to pique nerdy interest in the process. That's above and beyond the call.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



Also on Japanator: The Devil Is A Part-Timer!   (2)   From our database:

  • Annotated Anime: Spring 2013 Week 11 - Josh Tolentino
  • Annotated Anime: Spring 2013 Week 10 - Josh Tolentino
  • Moonspeak: Maou-sama and Gargantia's languages cracked - Josh Tolentino
  • First Impressions: Hataraku Maou-sama! - Josh Tolentino
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    Filed under... #anime #japan #learn japanese #otaku culture #weird news



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