• Language: Syldavian
  • Created: 1937
  • Alternate names:
  • Language code:
  • Language family: professional fictional language
  • Script:

A constructed language by Hergé.

Syldavian is the language invented by the Belgian comic artist Herge [Hergé] for the Tintin series. It's used as background in two of the books, notably "King Ottokar's Sceptre". I've translated all the instances and developed a grammar to explain them, based on Dutch grammar. As in restoring a fresco, a bit of invention was needed to form a coherent picture.

Language sources: Syldavian, though it's set in a fictional East European country, is based on Dutch-- specifically, the Marols dialect of Brussels, which Herge's grandmother spoke. (Herge also used Marols for Arumbaya and foor naming characters and cities.) However, the language is not simply Marols; Herge jazzed it up with a Slavic-sounding orthography and some borrowings from French and German.

Their love of Tintin, of course. Many are curious to see what the Syldavian expressions in the books mean, and are often charmed to see the system behind it. The page has been written up in Le Monde and Il Corriere del Sera, and is mentioned on the website of the Fondation Herge.