Happy Holidays

Or, if you prefer, or evenĀ  See you in the New Year!


Translating the untranslatable

Translators face many challenges in attempting to convey meaning from the medium of one language to another. The many idioms, nuances and semantic differences between languages renders all acts of translation necessarily imprecise. In other words, translation, especially of literature, is very much an art rather than a science. Corpus linguistics has helped to generate…

Introducing Invented Languages

Douglas Bigham, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at San Diego State University, presents a really interesting introduction to the whole idea of invented languages, and how art languages fit into that wider context. The link on Youtube has an especially useful list of links to websites about individual art languages which is well worth exploring.

Tolkien’s Invented Languages

Tolkien can be seen as the father of invented art languages. His Middle Earth mythos, whose tales have thrilled generations of readers, and latterly cinema goers also, only came into being because of his fascination with language and desire to create his own languages. Elvish, which exists in two main forms in his work -…


We started this project in March 2015 with a seedcorn grant from Coventry University. Since then, we have been joined by colleagues from the University of Birmingham in our quest to discover how 'untranslatable' invented art language gets translated, by focusing on the 'Nadsat' slang embedded in Anthony Burgess's cult novella, 'A Clockwork Orange'. We've…