LONDON – A British teenager has invented a brand new language with 1,500 unique words and a completely original script – but she is the only person in the world to speak it.
At the age of 18, multi-lingual Melissa May, from Corsham, west Wiltshire, England, already speaks fluent German, French and Spanish and reads Portuguese, Norwegian, Italian, Swedish and Danish.
She is also learning Chinese and Dutch and has applied to study Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University, according to the Mail Online.
But all of it seems not enough for this young and talented teen. The brainy student has now invented her own language with its own words and script, written ‘backwards’ like Arabic.
Melissa has spent the past three years creating Skénavánns, which has a distinctive grammatical structure and a vocabulary of 1,500 original words.
She has already built up a 50-page dictionary which she is constantly adding to, detailing the definitions, related terms and roots of each word she invents. But sadly she cannot hold a conversation with anyone in her new tongue – because she is the only person in the world who speaks it.
Skénavánns, which literally means ‘our speaking of the language’, sounds a little like a Nordic language but isn’t based on any other dialect.
Each root word was built around how Melissa thought that concept should sound, using a combination of letters she was ‘drawn’ to.
“Most people don’t generally understand how it’s possible to create a language or why you would want to do it,” Melissa said.
“I picked what sounds appealed to me from different languages. I really like long vowels, for example – it is very personal.”
Amazingly, Skénavánns is not the first language Melissa has invented. At the age of just 11 – inspired by J.R.R. Tolkein and films like Avatar – she created ‘Kalichiyaan’.
She said: “I write a lot and love creating my own roles and characters. Creating a language comes part and parcel with it.
“If you’re creating your own religion, people, magic and stories, why not a language?”
Melissa eventually hopes to be able to write her own poems and stories in Skénavánns, as well as creating other sister languages.