Folk Language


Space Talk. Space Talk is an makeshift language, much like Pig Latin. Like Pig Latin, Space Talk uses English words and changes them. It inserts “i-b” into the middle of each syllable of a word. So a sentence would sound like, phonetically, “Thy-bis i-bis why-but i-bay si-ben-ti-bence why-bould ly-book ly-bike.”

My sister said, “Dad taught me how to speak it when I was 10 or 11 I think. Dad and my aunt Robbin learned to speak it from another adult when they were young. They don’t remember where exactly from. However, they spoke it enough that they can have entire conversations at a speed that no one can understand what they are saying. It is really only fun when there are other people in the room. That way we can hold entire conversations and no one really knows what we’re talking about.”

Jessica said she seems to remember running across someone at Carnegie Melon University that also knew Space Talk well enough to hold a conversation. It is definitely not as common as Pig Latin which I heard all throughout middle school and school.

The interesting thing about Space Talk, or even Pig Latin, is they seem to find a middle ground between English and a true second language. While it may sound quite foreign to a passerby, once you know the secret to manipulating words, you can start to understand bits and pieces almost immediately. It is not a language the can really define any specific culture or group, but it is as much an oral tradition as telling jokes.