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Language game

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A language game is a system of manipulating spoken words to render them incomprehensible to the untrained ear. Language games are used primarily by groups attempting to conceal their conversations from others. Some common examples are Pig Latin
Pig Latin
Pig Latin is a language game of alterations played in English. To form the Pig Latin form of an English word the first consonant is moved to the end of the word and an ay is affixed . The object is to conceal the meaning of the words from others not familiar with the rules...

, which is used all over the globe; the Gibberish
Gibberish (language game)
Gibberish is a language game or secret language similar to Pig Latin that is played in the United States, Canada and Northern Ireland. Similar games are played in many other countries...

 family, prevalent in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

; and Verlan
Verlan
Verlan is an argot in the French language, featuring inversion of syllables in a word, and is common in slang and youth language. It rests on a long French tradition of transposing syllables of individual words to create slang words...

, spoken in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Each of these language games involves a usually simple standard transformation to speech, thus encoding it. The languages can be easily mentally encoded and decoded by a skilled speaker at the rate of normal speech, while those who either don't know the key or aren't practiced in rapid speech are left hearing nothing but gibberish
Gibberish
Gibberish is a generic term in English for talking that sounds like speech, but carries no actual meaning. This meaning has also been extended to meaningless text or gobbledygook. The common theme in gibberish statements is a lack of literal sense, which can be described as a presence of nonsense...

.

A common difficulty with language games is that they are usually passed down orally.
While written translations can be made, they are often imperfect, and thus spelling can vary widely.
Some factions argue that words in these spoken tongues should simply be written the way they are pronounced, while others insist that the purity of language demands that the transformation remain visible when the words are imparted to paper. Contrary to what proponents of either side may say, there is no one definitive written lexicon
Lexicon
In linguistics, the lexicon of a language is its vocabulary, including its words and expressions. A lexicon is also a synonym of the word thesaurus. More formally, it is a language's inventory of lexemes. Coined in English 1603, the word "lexicon" derives from the Greek "λεξικόν" , neut...

 for language games, but it is rather a matter of dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

.

Use


Language games are primarily used by children, to disguise their speech from others. Some language games, such as Pig Latin, are so widely known that privacy is nearly impossible, as most people at least know how it works, even if they can't speak it themselves. Although language games are not usually used in everyday conversation, some words from language games have made their way into normal speech, such as ixnay in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 (from Pig Latin), and loufoque in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 (from Louchébem
Louchébem
Louchébem or loucherbem is Parisian and Lyonnaise butchers' slang, similar to Pig Latin and Verlan. It originated in the mid-19th century. Each word is transformed by moving the first consonant to the end; and suffixes such as -ème, -ji, -oc, -muche are added at the end; the letter "L" is placed...

).

Classification


One way in which language games could be organized is by language, for example, Pig Latin
Pig Latin
Pig Latin is a language game of alterations played in English. To form the Pig Latin form of an English word the first consonant is moved to the end of the word and an ay is affixed . The object is to conceal the meaning of the words from others not familiar with the rules...

, Ubbi Dubbi
Ubbi dubbi
Ubbi Dubbi is a language game spoken with the English language, and is a close relative of the language game Obbish. It was popularized by the long-running PBS television show ZOOM...

, and Tutnese
Tutnese
Tutnese or Double Dutch is a language game primarily used in English, although the rules can be easily modified to apply to almost any language...

 could all be in the "English" category, and Jeringonza
Jeringonza
Jeringonza is a Spanish language game played by children in Spain and all over Latin America. It consists of adding the letter p after each vowel of a word, and repeating the vowel. For example, Carlos turns into Cápar-lopos....

 could be in the "Spanish" category.

An alternate method of classifying language games is by their function. For example, Ubbi Dubbi, Bicycle, and Allspråket all work by inserting a code syllable before the vowel in each syllable. Therefore, these could be classified in the Gibberish family. Also, Double Talk, Língua do Pê
Língua do Pê
Língua do Pê is a language game spoken in Brazil and Portugal with Portuguese. It is also known in other languages, such as Dutch.-"Double talk" dialect:...

, Jeringonza
Jeringonza
Jeringonza is a Spanish language game played by children in Spain and all over Latin America. It consists of adding the letter p after each vowel of a word, and repeating the vowel. For example, Carlos turns into Cápar-lopos....

, and B-Sprache all work by adding a consonant after the vowel in each syllable, and then repeating the vowel. Thus, these could be classified in the Double Talk family. Another common type of language game is the spoonerism
Spoonerism
A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched . It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner , Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency...

, in which the onsets of two words are exchanged. Using a standard word for each transformation gives another type, for example, the Finnish "kontinkieli", where kontti is added after each word, and spoonerism applied (kondäntti koonerismspontti koppliedäntti).

List of common language games

Host Language Name Basic Rules Notes
Afrikaans Emmer-taal Insert "mer" at the end of each word. Longer words that consists of joined words are often broken into two or more words with the "mer" sound inserted in the middle and at the end. Example.
Daar onder in die vlei stap 'n mannetjie → Damer ommer immer diemer vleimer stammer immer mammer-tjiemmer.
Afrikaans P-taal Insert "Əp" before the first vowel of each syllable. Syllables with stacked consonants may follow additional rules. Writing generally depicts the sounds instead the original letters.
Daar onder in die vlei stap 'n mannetjie → Depaar epondeper epen depie vlepei stepap epe mepannepekepie.
Albanian
Albanian language
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

"Të folurit me f" (Speaking with F) All vowels are doubled, and "f" is placed between them. Speaken mostly by kids and teenagers, between friends. Dialectal patterns are observed in some areas. Example: "Ç'do bëjmë tani? (What are we going to do now? - Tosk Dialect)" becomes "Çdofo bëfëjmëfë tafanifi?"
Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

Yewof q'uanq'ua ("bird language) Duplicate each syllable, replacing the initial consonant with "z" in the duplicate. It occurs wherever an Amharic letter would appear, so that sew becomes seze-wizih
Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

Insert "faado" at the end of each syllable. Additional rules may apply to note the end of a word. Example: the word 'Aami" (I or me) would be stated as Aa-faado-Mi-faado spoken very fast.
Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

Pileshki Insert "pi" before each syllable. Though simple, when spoken quickly words become nearly incomprehensible. Often called "chicken language" because it mimicks the sounds fledgelings make. Pileshko means chicken in Bulgarian  
Burmese
Burmese language
The Burmese language is the official language of Burma. Although the constitution officially recognizes it as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese. Burmese is the native language of the Bamar and related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar, as well as...

ဗန္းစကား / Ban Zaga Thor Zagar, Put Thor at end of any word and change the consonant of the first and last word. Example: achitachor thit
Cantonese S-language Repeat each syllable changing the initial consonant to /s/ Used by children and teenagers to avoid understanding by adults.
Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

Kinabayo ('Horse language') Mimics the sound of a horse's gallop. For every occurrence of a vowel, the following rule is followed: (the vowel)+'g'+(the vowel)+'d'+(the vowel). "Ani-a ang salapi" becomes "Agadanigidi-agada agadang sagadalagadapigidi"
Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

Huizongyu or Qiekou or Fanqie Split one syllable into two: the first syllable represents the onset of the original word, the second represents the final Derives from the fanqie
Fanqiè
In Chinese phonology, fanqie is a method to indicate the pronunciation of a character by using two other characters.-The Origin:...

 system (a traditional way of indicating the pronunciation of a Chinese character through using two other characters). Example: ni haoningni heng hao
Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

"P-language" All vowels are doubled, and a 'p' inserted between the doubled vowels. Rules are identical to Swedish P-language
Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

"Røversprog" All consonants are doubled, and an 'o' inserted between the doubled consonants. Rules are identical to Icelandic Goggamál
Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

  Reversed elements and words. A mercantile code
Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

P-taal Insert "Əp" before the first vowel of each syllable. Syllables with stacked consonants may follow additional rules. Writing generally depicts the sounds instead the original letters.
Daar op straat staat een mannetje → Depaar epop epin depie strepaat stepaat epen mepannepetjepe.
Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

Okki-taal Add -okki to any consonant, and replace vowels with a number corresponding to the order of vowels in the alphabet (e.g. a → 1, e → 2, etc.)
Ex. example2 xokki 1 mokki pokki lokki 2.
Popular children's game.
Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

Panovese Kal Mixing characters in a particular way. Used in Kortessen, Limburg
Limburg (Netherlands)
Limburg is the southernmost of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. It is located in the southeastern part of the country and bordered by the province of Gelderland to the north, Germany to the east, Belgium to the south and part of the west, andthe Dutch province of North Brabant partly to...

, ca. 1900.
Ex. "Onze vader die in de hemelen zijt" → "Onze zeder die in de vamelen hijt".
English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 (etc.)
Pig Latin
Pig Latin
Pig Latin is a language game of alterations played in English. To form the Pig Latin form of an English word the first consonant is moved to the end of the word and an ay is affixed . The object is to conceal the meaning of the words from others not familiar with the rules...

Move the onset of the first syllable to the end of each word, and add "ay" (eɪ). When a word starts with a vowel (there is no onset), you simply add "ay", "way", "yay", or "hay" (depending on the variant) at the end.
English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 (etc.)
Aigy Paigy (or Haigy Paigy, etc.) Insert "aig" (ˈeɪɡ) before the rime
Syllable rime
In the study of phonology in linguistics, the rime or rhyme of a syllable consists of a nucleus and an optional coda. It is the part of the syllable used in poetic rhyme, and the part that is lengthened or stressed when a person elongates or stresses a word in speech.The rime is usually the...

 of each syllable.
E.g. "hello" becomes "haigellaigo"
English (etc.) Ubbi Dubbi
Ubbi dubbi
Ubbi Dubbi is a language game spoken with the English language, and is a close relative of the language game Obbish. It was popularized by the long-running PBS television show ZOOM...

 (or Obby Dobby)
Insert "ob" (ˈɒb) or "ub" (ˈʌb) before the rime
Syllable rime
In the study of phonology in linguistics, the rime or rhyme of a syllable consists of a nucleus and an optional coda. It is the part of the syllable used in poetic rhyme, and the part that is lengthened or stressed when a person elongates or stresses a word in speech.The rime is usually the...

 of each syllable.
Also called Pig Greek; part of the Gibberish family
English (etc.) Jaredian Reverse the word, and replace the letters with letters and combinations of letters from the Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

.
E.g. "hello" becomes "оллэх" or "olleh"
English Cockney rhyming slang
Cockney rhyming slang
Rhyming slang is a form of phrase construction in the English language and is especially prevalent in dialectal British English from the East End of London; hence the alternative name, Cockney rhyming slang...

Canonical rhyming word pairs; speakers often drop the second word of common pairs. wifetrouble [and strife]; stairsapples [and pears]
English Gibberish
Gibberish (language game)
Gibberish is a language game or secret language similar to Pig Latin that is played in the United States, Canada and Northern Ireland. Similar games are played in many other countries...

Insert ("itherg" for words 1 to 3 letters, "itug" for words with 4 to 6 letters, and "idig" for words with 7+ letters) after the first consonant in each syllable. Gibberish is also a family of related language games.
English Inflationary English Any time a number is present within a word, inflate its value by one. "Anyone up for tennis?" becomes "Anytwo up five elevennis?" Originally part of a comedy sketch by Victor Borge
Victor Borge
Victor Borge ,born Børge Rosenbaum, was a Danish comedian, conductor and pianist, affectionately known as The Clown Prince of Denmark,The Unmelancholy Dane,and The Great Dane.-Early life and career:...

.
English -izzle Insert "-izzle" after a word's last pre-vowel consonant while discarding the remaining letters. Popularized by rappers
English Back slang
Back slang
Back slang is an English coded language in which the written word is spoken phonemically backwards. It is thought to have originated in Victorian England, being used mainly by market sellers, such as butchers and greengrocers, to have private conversations behind their customers' backs and pass off...

Formed by speaking words backwards; where necessary, anagram
Anagram
An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; e.g., orchestra = carthorse, A decimal point = I'm a dot in place, Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort. Someone who...

s may be employed to aid pronunciation.
Used by butcher
Butcher
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

s in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 to conceal details of shop talk from customers.
English Spoonerism
Spoonerism
A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched . It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner , Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency...

Formed by swapping prominent sounds, usually the first letters, of consecutive words. For example, "The pig is sick" becomes "The sig is pick", "she nicked my pose" becomes "she picked my nose", "light a fire" becomes "fight a liar".
English Tutnese
Tutnese
Tutnese or Double Dutch is a language game primarily used in English, although the rules can be easily modified to apply to almost any language...

Spell out words using a lexicon of names for consonants, and special rules for double letters.  How are you? - Hashowack arure yuckou?
Esperanto
Esperanto
is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto , the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887...

Esperant' Replaces the accusative with the preposition je, and the final -o of nouns with an apostrophe, all while keeping to the letter of official grammar if not actual usage. "Oni ĉiam obeu la Fundamenton" becomes "Ĉiamu onia obe' je l' Fundament'"
Filipino
Filipino language
This move has drawn much criticism from other regional groups.In 1987, a new constitution introduced many provisions for the language.Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:...

 / Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

Binaliktad ('Inverted') Exchange first and last syllable of any two-syllable word. Prefix last syllable onto first syllable and affix the first syllable after the second to last one in any word more than two syllables. Sometimes "s" is added to certain words for stylistic effect. Ex: Hindi (No) becomes Dehins (e and i are allophones in Philippine languages
Philippine languages
The Philippine languages are a 1991 proposal by Robert Blust that all the languages of the Philippines and northern Sulawesi—except Sama–Bajaw and a few languages of Palawan—form a subfamily of Austronesian languages...

). S added as stylistic feature.
Sigarilyo (taken from Spanish term Cigarillo) becomes Yosi (last and first syllable, middle syllables omitted).
Katulong (Domestic helper
Maid
A maidservant or in current usage housemaid or maid is a female employed in domestic service.-Description:Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford, as was historically the case...

) becomes Lóngkatuts (last syllable prefixed, other syllables moved along. t affixed as means of differentiating word from subsequent ones. s is added as stylistic feature.
Also applicable to English words like Father and Mother, which become Erpats and Ermats.
Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

Sananmuunnos
Sananmuunnos
Sananmuunnos is a sort of verbal play in the Finnish language, similar to spoonerisms in English.Special to Finnish is a narrow phoneme inventory and vowel harmony. As Finnish is a mora-divided language, it is morae that are exchanged, not syllables...

Spoonerism
Spoonerism
A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched . It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner , Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency...

: swap first mora
Mora (linguistics)
Mora is a unit in phonology that determines syllable weight, which in some languages determines stress or timing. As with many technical linguistic terms, the definition of a mora varies. Perhaps the most succinct working definition was provided by the American linguist James D...

e of words
Apply vowel harmony
Vowel harmony
Vowel harmony is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels that occurs in some languages. In languages with vowel harmony, there are constraints on which vowels may be found near each other....

 according to the initial syllable, repair "broken diphthongs" into permitted diphthongs
Finnish Kontinkieli Add word 'kontti' after each word and apply the same conversion as in sananmuunnos. Finnish counterpart of Pig Latin. This game is also called siansaksa ('Pig German'), which is a common expression for unintelligible gibberish.
Finnish A-Kieli (A-language) Replace every vowel with the vowel "a". For example: "Mitä sä teet" becomes "Mata sa taat"
French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

Louchébem
Louchébem
Louchébem or loucherbem is Parisian and Lyonnaise butchers' slang, similar to Pig Latin and Verlan. It originated in the mid-19th century. Each word is transformed by moving the first consonant to the end; and suffixes such as -ème, -ji, -oc, -muche are added at the end; the letter "L" is placed...

Move the initial consonant to the end and add '-em' (the suffix may be different in other varieties). Prepend 'l' ('L') to the base word. Initially a Parisian/Lyonnaise butchers' cant. example: parlerlarlepem
French Verlan
Verlan
Verlan is an argot in the French language, featuring inversion of syllables in a word, and is common in slang and youth language. It rests on a long French tradition of transposing syllables of individual words to create slang words...

Inverted nouns syllables order. Examples: arabebeur; femmemeufeu
French Jargon
Jargon
Jargon is terminology which is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, group, or event. The philosophe Condillac observed in 1782 that "Every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas." As a rationalist member of the Enlightenment he...

Each vowel is replaced by "adaga" for A, "edegue" for E, "odogo" for O etc...  
French Javanais
Javanais
Javanais is an element of French slang where the extra syllable "av" is placed inside a word , between every consonant followed by a vowel, rendering it more incomprehensible...

Insertion of 'av' between consonants and vowels...  
French Loght el V After every vowel, insertion of 'v', then the vowel. An Egyptian "dialect" of Javanais
Javanais
Javanais is an element of French slang where the extra syllable "av" is placed inside a word , between every consonant followed by a vowel, rendering it more incomprehensible...

, used by children and teenagers in French speaking schools in Cairo to avoid understanding by adults (specially by teachers).
German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

  'Lav' inserted after some vowel sounds.  
German B-Language Each vowel or diphthong is reduplicted with a leading 'b'. "Deutsche Sprache" → "Deubeutschebe Sprabachebe"
German Löffelsprache (spoon language) Each (spoken) vowel or diphthong is reduplicted with a leading 'lef', 'lew' or 'lev'. "Hallo! Wie geht es dir?" → "Halewallolewo! Wielewie geleweht elewes dilewir?" Also possible with other languages: "Don't try to take me to New York!" → "Dolevon't trylevy tolevo tailevaik meleve tolevo Newlevew/Newlevoo Yolevork!"
Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

Podana Similar to the Spanish vesre
Vesre
Vesre is one of the features of Rioplatense Spanish slang. Natives of Buenos Aires and Uruguay use vesre sparingly in colloquial speaking, and never in formal circumstances...

.
 
Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

Korakistika Insert "k" and the vowel(s) of the original syllable after each syllable "Kalimera" → "Kaka liki meke raka"
Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

Splantziana The vowels of each word are place before the consonants Examples: στόμα → όσταμ ; άριστα → άϊραστ
Also used in Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 and Khania
Hakka Yuantang dialect
Yuantang dialect
Yuantang is language game spoken by Hakka speakers at Yuantang , a village in southern China. It is also known as the snake language.-Rules:Example : 食饭 → 手习花散 [sit fan] → [siu jit fa san]; eat → hand + learn + flower + separation....

Each consonant and vowel is replaced by a Hakka word. Similar to fanqie
Fanqiè
In Chinese phonology, fanqie is a method to indicate the pronunciation of a character by using two other characters.-The Origin:...

 spellings.
食饭 [sit fan] → 手习花散 [siu jit fa san] → [s(iu) (j)it f(a) (s)an]
Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

Bet-Language Identical to the German B-Language described above. A song that won the Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union .Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition...

 was titled "A-Ba-Ni-Bi
A-Ba-Ni-Bi
"A-Ba-Ni-Bi" was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978, performed for Israel by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta....

", based on this game.
Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

Madárnyelv (birds' language) Repeat each vowel and add 'v' A variety of Gibberish (e.g. látok I see → lávátovok)
Hungarian madárnyelv (birds' language) Repeat each vowel and add 'rg' (e.g. látok I see → lárgátorgok)
Hungarian Kongarian Add 'ko' before each syllable (e.g. látok I see → kolákotok)
Hungarian Verzin Syllable order is inverted. Hungarian version of "verlan". (e.g. hátra backwards → rahát)
Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

Bahasa G Repeat each vowel and add G. For example, the sentence "Belajar itu susah" becomes "begelagajagar igitugu sugusagah."
Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

Bahasa Oke Take only the first syllable of a word and replace the vowel with oke, oka or oki. For example, "Buku" becomes "Bokeku", "Bokaku", or "Bokiku".
Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

Latino Maccheronico (see below: Romance languages, Macaronic Latin)  
Italian Alfabeto farfallino Add 'Fx' after all syllables. x is the vowel in the corresponding syllable of the real word. ex.: ciao → cifiafaofo (ci-FI-a-FA-o-FO) By applying the same 'rule' to the English word hello, we would obtain: he-FE-llo-FO
Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

Goggamál Consonants are changed to ' o '. The 'o' is pronounced as in "hot". Example: Icelandic: "Hvernig hefur þú það?" → "Hohvoverornonigog hohefofuror þoþú þoþaðoð?"
English: "How are you doing?" → "Hohowow arore yoyou dodoinongog?"
Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

Babigo Same as Double Talk or Spanish Idioma F Example: put "b" plus vowel between syllables, "waba taba shibi waba" instead of "watashi-wa"
Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

Gwisin Mal (귀신말; ghost language) / Dokkaebi Mal (도깨비말; Ogre language) Put "s plus vowel" or "b plus vowel" between syllables Example 1: "Yasa! Neoseo! Jasal gasa (야사! 너서! 자살 가사)" instead of "Ya! Neo! Jal ga (야! 너! 잘 가; Hey! You! Good bye)"
Example 2: "Neoseo neoseomusu yeseppeoseo (너서 너서무수 예세뻐서)" instead of "Neo neomu yeppeo (너 너무 예뻐; you are so pretty)"
Macedonian
Macedonian language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...

Папагалски / Parrotish Put "P" in front of every vowel; Example: "Ова е Википедиа." becomes "Оповапа епе Випикипипедипијапа";
Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

Ke-an Add the circumfix "ke-...-an" to every word rendering them all nouns or noun-like. Words with affixes are stripped to their root words first. Used for amusement rather than to encrypt, as results are easily understood and some changes drastically affect meaning.
"Kenapa kau selalu buat begitu? Kau tidak rasa malukah?" → "Kekenapaan kekauan keselaluan kebuatan kebegituan? Kekauan ketidakan kerasaan kemaluan?" ("malu": shame; "kemaluan": private parts)
Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

"Half lang" The last syllable, excluding its first consonant, is dropped from a 2- or 3-syllable word; similarly, the last two are dropped from a 4- or 5-syllable word.
Variation: Add an 's' to each "halved" word as well.
"susu besar" → "sus bes"; "gunung tinggi" → "gun ting"; "Kenapa kau selalu buat begitu?" → "Kenaps kau selals buat begits?"
Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

"Cha-Bhasha" The first phoneme is replace by "cha" and the dropped sound is added after the word.
Variation: only nouns are encoded.
"Dhungan dukhtay kaa?" → "Changandhu chakhtaydu chaak?";
Variation: "Dhungan dukhtay kaa?" → "Changandhu dukhtay kaa?"
Mandarin Fanqie    
Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

Røverspråk Take the first letter of each word, put it at the end of the word, then ad "al" at the very end of the new word. No: "Slik snakker man røverspråk på norsk." → Liksal nakkersal anmal øverspråkral åpal orsknal.
En: "This is how you speak røverspråk in Norwegian." → Histhal sial owhal ouyal peaksal øverspråkral nial orwegiannal.
Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

Zargari
Zargari
Zargari may refer to*Zargari , a village in Hangu District, Pakistan*Zargari , a village in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan*Zargari people, a Romani ethnic group in Afghanistan, Iran, and Bulgaria...

Insert the sound [z] somewhere into every syllable. In monosyllabic words, the [zV] is inserted between the initial and final phonemes; e.g., mazan < man 'I'; azaz < az 'from, of'; tozo < to 'thou' (singular 'you'), etc.  
Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

Sima    
Portuguese Língua do Pê
Língua do Pê
Língua do Pê is a language game spoken in Brazil and Portugal with Portuguese. It is also known in other languages, such as Dutch.-"Double talk" dialect:...

After each silable of every word in a phrase add "p" plus the preceding vowel (and a few consonants - like m, n, r, s...) "Olá, tudo bem com você?" would rather be: "Opôlapa, tupudopô bempem compom vopocêpe?"
Portuguese Língua do "i" Each vowel is changed for an "i". "Olá, tudo bem?" would rather be: "Ili, tidi bim?"
Romance languages Macaronic Latin Romance vocabulary is given Latinate endings. "de Don Quijote de la Mancha" becomes "Domini Quijoti Manchegui"
Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

păsărească (birds' language) After each syllable, add 'p' and repeat last vowel "maşină" becomes "mapaşipinăpă"
Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

greaca vacească (cow greek) After each word, add 'os' "istorie" becomes "istorieos"
Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

Fufajskij yazyk   Insert "pe" before each syllable.  
Russian Porosyachia Latin    
Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian Šatrovački
Šatrovacki
Šatrovački is a feature of permuting syllables of words used in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Macedonian. It is similar to verlan and louchébem in French. The term is sometimes used to describe other slang in which words are deformed, as well.Šatrovački was initially developed by criminals in...

Various styles of reordering syllables "zdravo" becomes "vozdra"
Serbian Utrovački
Šatrovacki
Šatrovački is a feature of permuting syllables of words used in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Macedonian. It is similar to verlan and louchébem in French. The term is sometimes used to describe other slang in which words are deformed, as well.Šatrovački was initially developed by criminals in...

Words are formed using: U + last part + ZA + first part + NJE "zdravo" becomes uvozazdranje
Serbian Pig-Italian "are" is appended to words or their roots "krava pase travu" becomes "kravare pasare travare"
Slovene papajščina After each vowel insert P followed by the same vowel; popular among young children "zdravo" becomes "zdrapavopo". Identical to Spanish jeringonza
Jeringonza
Jeringonza is a Spanish language game played by children in Spain and all over Latin America. It consists of adding the letter p after each vowel of a word, and repeating the vowel. For example, Carlos turns into Cápar-lopos....

 described below.
Somali
Somali language
The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

Af Jinni (Djinni language) Add a consonant of your choice followed by the preceding vowel after each vowel in the word. Example: Ahlan (meaning Hallo) has two syllables, so when used with B, it will be abahlaban (aBAh-laBAn).
En: enjoying → eBEnjoBOyiBIng, eben-jobo-yibing.
Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

Idioma F Each vowel is reduplicated with a separating 'F'. A variant of Jeringonza
Jeringonza
Jeringonza is a Spanish language game played by children in Spain and all over Latin America. It consists of adding the letter p after each vowel of a word, and repeating the vowel. For example, Carlos turns into Cápar-lopos....

Spanish Mexico City slang Substitute a word for another that begins the same Unas caguamas bien heladasunas Kawasakis bien elásticas
Spanish   Add a certain syllable before every original syllable. "Perro" → "Tipetirro"
Spanish Jeringonza
Jeringonza
Jeringonza is a Spanish language game played by children in Spain and all over Latin America. It consists of adding the letter p after each vowel of a word, and repeating the vowel. For example, Carlos turns into Cápar-lopos....

Each vowel is reduplicated with a separating 'p'. "No sabe nada" → "Nopo sapabepe napadapa"
Spanish Rosarigasino
Rosarigasino
Rosarigasino is a language game traditionally associated with the city of Rosario, , even though very few people, if any, currently employ it....

 (a.k.a. Gasó)
Add gas after stressed vowel and repeat stressed vowel. "Don Quijote de la Mancha" → "Don Quijogasote de la Magasancha"
Spanish Vesre
Vesre
Vesre is one of the features of Rioplatense Spanish slang. Natives of Buenos Aires and Uruguay use vesre sparingly in colloquial speaking, and never in formal circumstances...

Syllable order is inverted. "Muchacho" → "Chochamu"
Used in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

Allspråket The first consonant in each word ends with 'all'. Sv: "Hur är läget?" → Hallur ärall lalläget?
En: "How are you doing?" → Hallow aralle yallou dalloing?
Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

Fikonspråket Each word is split in two halves (or each syllable). The parts are then put in reverse order to form a new word (sometimes written as two words) started with "fi" and ended with "kon" ("Fikon" is Swedish for fig
Ficus
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

).
Sv: "Hur är läget?" → Fir hukon fir äkon figet läkon?
En: "How are you doing?" → Fiw hokon fir(e) akon fio(u) ykon fiing dokon?
Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

I-sprikit All vowels are changed to 'i'. "Can I go to the mall?" → "Cin I gi ti thi mill?"
Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

"P-language" All vowels are doubled, and a 'p' inserted between the doubled vowels. Example: Rövarspråket → Röpövaparspråpåkepet
Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

Rövarspråket
Rövarspråket
Rövarspråket is a Swedish language game. It became popular after the books about Kalle Blomkvist by Astrid Lindgren, where the children use it as a code, both at play and in solving actual crimes....

Consonants are changed to ' o '. The 'o' is pronounced as in "hot". Sv: "Hur är läget?" → Hohuror äror lolägogetot?
En: "How are you doing?" → Hohowow arore yoyou dodoinongog?
Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

Kuş Dili (birds' language) After each syllable, add 'ga', 'ge', 'gi', 'go' or 'gu' "Ben okula gidiyorum" (I am going to the school) becomes "Begen ogokugulaga gigidigiyogorugum"
Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 (Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

)
Fay ki Boli Insert "fay"(Urdu language Alphabet corresponding to the sound of 'F' in English) after each syllable in each word. Spoken and understood widely in Karachi (Pakistan) and Native Urdu Speakers
Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

Nói lái Switch the tones, the order of two syllables in a word or the initial consonant and rhyme of each syllable Example: "bầy tôi" all the king's subjects → "bồi tây" French waiter

"bí mật" secret → "bật mí" revealing secret

External links

  • Language Games A long summary on language games, including descriptions of many games, and an extensive bibliography.
  • Language Games - Part 2 A follow-up summary with additional descriptions and bibliography.
  • Nevbosh – a language game used by J. R. R. Tolkien
    J. R. R. Tolkien
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

    , the inventor of Quenya
    Quenya
    Quenya is a fictional language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien, and used in his Secondary world, often called Middle-earth.Quenya is one of the many Elvish languages spoken by the immortal Elves, called Quendi in Quenya. The tongue actually called Quenya was in origin the speech of two clans of Elves...

     and Sindarin
    Sindarin
    Sindarin is a fictional language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien, and used in his secondary world, often called Middle-earth.Sindarin is one of the many languages spoken by the immortal Elves, called the Eledhrim or Edhellim in Sindarin....

    Elvish, as a child