[LCS News] JOB: Create a language for a TV show - deadlines ASAP

Language Creation Society lcs at conlang.org
Fri Sep 4 14:11:30 PDT 2009

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Contact: jobs at conlang.org / 1 (918) 9-CONLANG

Please read the full posting at http://conlang.org/jobs before contacting us.

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The Language Creation Society (LCS) has been hired by a major TV
studio to coordinate the creation of a new artistic language, and
translation of dialogue into it, for an upcoming TV series. We are
seeking a qualified individual to fulfill this job.

The language takes place within a specified fantasy-genre culture,
backstory, etc; you will be given all necessary background
information, including extant vocabulary, cultural description, etc.

Some dialogue will be broadly specified (just outlining the events in
a scene), and you will need to fill in the scene as appropriate; some
will be specific lines to translate or have other needs.

Occasionally there may be song lyrics to create and/or translate as
well; if so, the studio will provide music (though you may supply your
own for consideration).

Dialogue will vary broadly - including simple conversation, commands,
banter, jokes, doggerel, exclamations, etc. - and will include both
high and low register speech. The show is strongly adult-themed, and
includes explicit sex and violence, so dialogue in this conlang will
require very explicit crude language and creative invective, as well
as mundane, romantic, poetic, militaristic, and formal speech.

Due to the studio's concerns about PR, we are not at liberty to give
details of what the project is until you've signed a non-disclosure
agreement with the LCS. We'd appreciate if you don't speculate
publicly about who or what the project is with, even if you are not an
applicant; maintaining good relations with the studio, and letting
them control PR, is important to having more such work in the future.

If selected as a finalist, you will need to sign a blanket copyright
assignment / consulting option agreement. This is a work for hire, and
*all* rights to the conlang will be owned by the studio (except that
you will have the right, once it's published, to say that you made
it). Of course, your work will not be used unless you are paid.

Without discussing the particulars that are confidential, here's what
the job entails.

This language must:
a) aesthetically fit the culture it pertains to and the producers'
creative vision thereof
b) include certain pre-specified vocabulary
c) include guidelines for phonetically correct "crowd babble" and
"accented English" (including e.g. syntax errors, false cognates, etc)
d) include recordings and pronunciation guides for all translated
dialogue, suitable for easy use by actors

This is a spoken only language; no orthography is required.

There is a considerable amount of leeway for inventiveness within
these basic requirements, and the successful applicant will exercise
it. Many of the dialogue requirements are broadly specified, and may
require some elaboration of their culture, worldview, metaphors,
humor, etc (while respecting creative decisions made by the
producers). And of course there are many decisions to be made
regarding morphosyntax, unusual features, derivations, metaphors,
vocabulary structure, conversational conventions, etc.

The initial contract is for one script only, containing a few dozen
lines of dialogue to be created and translated. The studio will have
the option (to which you must commit upfront) to continue the creation
of this language for the rest of the series, on a per-episode basis.

It is possible that you will need to participate in phone calls, or
fly out to the set, to assist as a dialogue coach or do last-minute
work. A reasonable amount of this is included in your fee; however,
you are not expected to incur any unusual expenses (such as travel
costs) and if that comes up we will take care of it ad hoc.

Each episode is 1 hour long. If the option is exercised, there will be
approximately 10-12 episodes per year, some with more of this conlang
in it and some not; you are only hired on a per episode, as needed
basis. You will have approximately 3-4 weeks' lead time per episode
OTHER than the first, though this is not guaranteed and subject to the
whims of TV production.

Good luck, and fiat lingua!


* having your work potentially seen by millions of viewers
* screen credit on all episodes that include dialogue in this conlang
as the creator thereof
* $1250 for the first script and $850 for every subsequent script (if optioned)
* ad hoc if needed for unusual extras (e.g. on-site visits for
dialogue coaching)
* right of first refusal on any further conlanging work under the LCS
for the same show
* fame and acclaim (certainly within our community, potentially in major media)


Expression of interest and NDA signing: ASAP
First round submission: 23:59 PST, Sept. 26th
Final proposal submission: 23:59 PST, Oct. 17th

Applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate with us before these
deadlines to get feedback, seek more information, ensure their formal
applications are in order, etc.

Failure to meet any deadline will result in immediate
disqualification. TV is not a deadline-flexible medium, and ability to
cope with that is a necessary part of the job.

Deadlines (and other terms) are subject to change; any changes will be
announced by email to applicants who have submitted NDAs.


The LCS will recruit a handful of our respected conlanger and/or
linguist colleagues to help review applications.

Reviewers are volunteers (just like us), and their opinions are only
advisory, not votes. Reviewers may not be submitting applications
themselves, must disclose any ties to any applicants, must be quickly
available near the deadline dates above, and must sign a
non-disclosure agreement. Reviewers will be given all the same
information as finalists get.

Reviewers will have already published their own artistic language(s),
and be known and respected by the conlanging community.

Potential reviewers will be solicited directly by the LCS; there is no

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