Language like no other

Student creates his own alphabet as a way to channel his love of dialect

Kate Muldoon and Jonah Speyer

Language is at the root of civilization. For Solan Wheeler ‘22, it is also the root of his passions.

He has even taken it so far as to create a language of his own. 

“It’s a project I’ve been working on for several years now, and to tell you honestly, I don’t think I know the exact reason why I’ve made it,” Wheeler said. 

Wheeler named his language Lisan Aldārir, which translates to “the language of the people.” It doesn’t use our Latin alphabet, but instead uses a series of symbols unique to Wheeler. 

Lisan Aldārir is modeled after the work of JRR Tolkien and the Tibetan script, since Wheeler admires Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books. Through reading, he was inspired to create something of his own. 

“It seems like I’m subconsciously testing myself on how much I actually know about languages and how they work,” Wheeler said. 

Of course, this project has not been easy. “I remember I retooled and redesigned the script multiple times when I first made it. What I didn’t realize is how cumbersome it is to write,” he said.

Wheeler plans to work on creating the imaginary place where his language is spoken, but is not yet sure what this will look like. “I could adapt it to a fictional story or a fictional world,” Wheeler said.