Alien Languages

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The authentic languages of Banu, Vanduul, and Xi’an are planned to be created for the Star Citizen universe.

Scope

As of December 2016 three languages have been officially announced as the $50 million stretch goal. Those languages are:

According to the author of the Vanduul language, Britton Watkins, Chris Roberts and the team at Star Citizen have a modern, fan-oriented approach to their development of language.[1] Watkins is hopefull that all three languages will be fully published.

Progress

Extract (showing Xi’an language) from Star Citizen Special Edition: Around the Verse - Alien Languages [2]

In October 2012, a Spectrum Dispatch article called Meet the Xi’an mentioned several helpful Xi’an phrases are recorded at the end of the article.[3]

In March 2016, the monthly studio report the following information was included:
We had our alien language specialist, Britton Watkins, down to visit the office. After designing the Vanduul language for our shoot with Andy Serkis, Chris wanted to discuss next steps for Vanduul as well as the other languages. Hopefully, more news about that to come, but should be very exciting.[4]

In a behind the scenes video with Andy Serkis, several voice actors speak in Vanduul.[5] In Squadron 42, the Vanduul lines will all be part of the actual Vanduul language.

At CitizenCon 2017, a Xi'An language dictionary[6] and guide[7] was anounced and released on the RSI website.

Creators

There are several conlang creators working on the Star Citizen project to bring the languages to life but only one of them has been confirmed as of December 2016.

Britton Watkins

Britton Watkins is a conlang artist and polyglot working on the creation of the fictional languages for Star Citizen.

From his bio on fiatlingua.org:
In addition to his native Southern American English Britton is comfortable communicating in Japanese, Spanish and Na’vi, which was his first major “gateway language” into conlanging. He’s also studied Thai, Mandarin, French, some Latin and Cherokee. His core passions lie in orthography but he loves everything about human (and alien) language and in 2012 was very pleased to teach Zoë Saldana and several other Klingons their lines for Kronos in the JJ Abrams production, Star Trek Into Darkness.[8]
In March 2016 Sandi Gardiner posted a picture showing an interview with Britton discussing the alien languages of Star Citizen.[9] As of December 2016 this interview has not been released.

Na'vi was Watkins' first learned conlang. He is fluent in the language as seen in a 2014 interview.[10] Currently, he runs a fan website in the Vulcan language from Star Trek and he hopes to increase awareness of the Vulcan language.[11]

Current Analysis

Vanduul

An extensive analysis of Vanduul phonology has been completed by Dr. Tuomo Sipola who studies ancient languages. The abstract is from the article:
This paper investigates the sound system of the fictional Vanduul language invented by Britton Watkins for the Star Citizen computer game. At the moment, there is no clear understanding about the language and there seems to be a need for more information among those who admire the game. The Vanduul phonology is reconstructed from Vanduul dialogue in a Youtube video using phonetic transcription and analysis. The phonological analysis discusses consonants, vowels, stress, phoneme frequencies and other features. Phonotactics and syllable structure are also analyzed. This paper offers a holistic interpretation of Vanduul phonology based on the findings.[12]

References