When I was small I had always wanted to create a secret language, but then again, when I was small I wanted to do a whole lot of things that were way out of my mental reach.
I wish we could learn linguistics as a part of the language curriculum! Then I could have learned to make a secret language. It’s actually really easy, all you have to do is pick a language you and your friends are fluent in (i.e. English) and then make some rules to change up the words.
There are four things you can do to a word:
- Add some fun-sounding syllable in the word. Example: add the syllable -tuc before the last syllable of every word. Almost becomes altucmost.
- Rearrange the word the way you want to. (keep in mind that the word shouldn’t be too difficult to pronounce!) Example: Move the last letter to the front of the word. Almost becomes talmost.
- Remove something from the word. You have to be careful with this one, if you remove too much then it might be too difficult for your friends to understand. Example: remove the second last letter from each word. Almost becomes almot.
- Insert something in place of something else. Example: remove the second last letter of the word and replace with -tuc. Almost becomes almotuct.
You don’t have to use all of these strategies, but the point is that you use them to make different rules. You will have to try these rules out on different types of words, and you may have to make rules for exceptions. For example, what do you do with a one letter word, can you still apply the rules you made?
Here is a language a friend and I made called Enoyo, can you decode it? Try and figure out what the sentence would say in regular English.
Whenoyo lifoyo esgivoyo onlemoyos, chuckoyos themoyos atoyos epyoyopl youoyo hatoyo.
If you need a hint I will translate this sentence in Enoyo: Ifoyo youoyo needoyo aoyo hintoyo ioyo willoyo etransoyolat thisoyo esenoyotenc inoyo Enoyo.