If this has already been addressed, can someone point me to the thread? (Couldn't find one, but it seems like a very basic problem)
I have pulled several words and a few phrases out of my hat for my MC's language... basically they have their own names for a handful of certain objects and concepts that are central to their way of life (including a few things that have no direct English translation). I think this "language" sounds reasonably cohesive, since I cobbled together sounds that I tend to like. Lots of K's and I's and three-syllable words.
Now I need to come up with a few words and phrases in a language pertaining to a completely different culture in the story. At first I was just picking more stuff out of my hat, thinking, "It'll be fine, I'm making it all up anyway," But then I looked at it and realized that the "foreign" language really needs to have a different flavor to it than the MC's language, and I'm not sure how to best accomplish that.
I've been looking at examples of different languages online all night, thinking maybe I could rip off something, but I'm still flailing.
One idea that seems to be working a little bit: For a different project, I recently notated a bunch of place names from Michigan that were based on the local native language(s). I then noted a bunch of place names from Washington state which were based on THEIR local native language(s). It was pretty obvious that these were two distinct flavors. So one thing I tried last night was to write down some of the more repetitive syllables from the Michigan names, and combine them with a few other syllables, to try to capture that unique flavor. I'm still experimenting with this, so I'm not sure it's going to work- but you can definitely tell the difference between a phrase from my original "language" and a phrase from the Michigan-derived syllables.
Does anyone have any experience/ideas for dealing with this issue?