Use of Fictional Languages in Movies
There are some fictional languages in movies, such as ‘Huttese,’ which was developed by Ben Burtt sound designer. Huttese is the language used most often in planets that are Hutt dominated such as lMos Eisley in the “Star Wars” universe. It partly originates from Quechua, an Andean native American Indian language, and Peruvian languages. Huttese is commonly used by characters in films, such as Jabba the Hutt, Greedo and Han Solo.
When Ben Burtt puts together Huttese for films he tries to use words that sound and look like words that resemble words in our own language. This makes fictional languages in movies like Huttese more familiar. For example, the word “outman” which means ‘outlander,’ is made up of the two words ‘out’ and ‘man’ which we know well and we imagine a man who is from somewhere else, an ‘outmian or outman’. Also, the word “poodoo” is related to the word ‘poop’ or ‘doodoo.’ There are other words in Huttese that seem connected to English such as “parchee” meaning ‘parts’, “tonta” meaning ‘tentacles’, “sleemo” meaning ‘slime-ball’ and “blastoh” a word for ‘weapon’.
Ben Burtt states in the commentary about the Return of the Jedi DVD that a bit of Huttese language needed to be created. Jabba the Hutt and the people who were in his palace spoke Huttese. It was Larry Ward who, as a linguist, spoke many languages and he helped to develop Huttese. In fact, it was Larry who had been the voice for the bounty hunter, Greedo, and the voice for Jabba the Hutt.
It appears that Ben Burtt may have used more than Quechua as the foundation for Huttese as in the National Geographic magazine of June 2003 the word ‘achuta’ was mentioned as being used in Huttese which means “Hello” but in Hindi where the word is also present it means an outcast or untouchable.
Apart from Quechua, and possibly Hindi, there is some evidence to show in Huttese that Polish might have been incorporated into the language. One informant mentioned that “toota mishka Jabba du Hutt?” is a partly distorted sentence in Polish which is “Tutaj mieszka Jabba du Hutt?” which means “Does Jabba du Hutt live here?”
As well as Huttese, the language heard spoken by Ewoks is mostly gibberish, but it does take phrases and words from the Filipino Tagalog language and Kalmuck dialect from Mongolia. However, Nien Nunb, a native of Sullust, actually speaks a language spoken in Tanzania and Kenya called Gikuyu.
So, fictional languages in movies come from some quite interesting sources which can be translated into English.