The Barsoomian Language In the Movie: John Carter

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The world of science fiction often presents us with fantastical universes that captivate our imagination. One such universe is the world of Barsoom, as depicted in the movie "John Carter." Within this fictional realm, the Barsoomian language plays a significant role, adding depth and authenticity to the story. In this article, we will explore the fascinating aspects of the Barsoomian language, its creation, linguistic elements, usage in the movie, and its impact on pop culture.


"John Carter" is a science fiction movie based on the classic novel series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The story follows the adventures of the eponymous character, who finds himself transported to the planet Barsoom, known to us as Mars. This alien world is inhabited by various species and cultures, each with its own language. The Barsoomian language, in particular, is central to the narrative, offering a unique linguistic landscape.

Background of John Carter and Barsoom

Before delving into the intricacies of the Barsoomian language, let's briefly discuss the background of John Carter and the planet Barsoom. John Carter, a former Confederate Army captain, mysteriously finds himself on Mars, where he encounters warring factions and becomes entangled in the conflicts of this alien world. Barsoom, as depicted in the movie, is a vibrant planet with diverse landscapes and civilizations.

The Importance of Language in John Carter

Language plays a vital role in shaping the world of Barsoom. It serves as a means of communication, cultural expression, and identity for the inhabitants. The Barsoomian language allows characters to interact, form alliances, and convey emotions. Moreover, it serves as a tool for world-building, establishing the uniqueness of the planet and its civilizations.

The Creation of Barsoomian Language

The Barsoomian language was created specifically for the movie adaptation of "John Carter." Linguists and conlangers (constructive language creators) were consulted to develop a coherent and believable language for the Barsoomian characters. The process involved designing a linguistic system with phonetics, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary that would align with the world of Barsoom.

Linguistic Elements of Barsoomian

Barsoomian possesses distinct linguistic elements that contribute to its authenticity. Let's explore some of these elements in detail:

Phonetics and Phonology

The sounds of Barsoomian are carefully crafted to reflect the alien nature of the planet. Unique phonemes and phonetic structures give the language its distinct sound.


Barsoomian exhibits complex word formation processes. It employs affixes, compounding, and other morphological features to create words and convey meaning.


The sentence structure of Barsoomian follows its own set of rules, which may differ from those found in natural languages. The arrangement of words, phrases, and clauses in Barsoomian sentences contributes to its unique linguistic flavor.


Barsoomian vocabulary encompasses words and phrases specific to the planet's culture, environment, and characters. It draws inspiration from various linguistic sources while incorporating original terms.

Barsoomian Writing System

In addition to its spoken form, Barsoomian also possesses a writing system. The writing system consists of unique symbols and characters that represent the language's sounds and concepts. The written form of Barsoomian adds another layer of authenticity to the movie's portrayal of the language and the civilization of Barsoom.

Use of Barsoomian Language in the Movie

Throughout the movie "John Carter," the Barsoomian language is used to enhance the immersion of the audience. It is employed in dialogues, chants, and ceremonial rituals. The inclusion of the language adds depth to the characters, their interactions, and the overall atmosphere of the movie.

Impact of Barsoomian on Pop Culture

The Barsoomian language, with its unique linguistic features and usage in "John Carter," has garnered a dedicated fan base. Fans have shown interest in learning and studying the language, further contributing to the popularity of the movie and the fictional world of Barsoom. The language has become a part of pop culture, inspiring fan art, fan fiction, and even language courses.

Comparison with Real-world Languages

Barsoomian, as a constructed language, shares similarities and differences with real-world languages. Linguists and language enthusiasts have analyzed the linguistic structures of Barsoomian, drawing comparisons to various natural languages. These comparisons shed light on the creativity and intricacy involved in constructing a fictional language.

Learning Barsoomian Language

For those intrigued by the Barsoomian language, there are resources available to learn and explore this fictional tongue. Language enthusiasts have developed learning materials, online communities, and courses dedicated to understanding and speaking Barsoomian. These resources allow fans to delve deeper into the linguistic aspects of the movie and engage with the fictional world of Barsoom on a new level.


The Barsoomian language in the movie "John Carter" is a testament to the rich imagination of its creators and the dedication to constructing a believable fictional universe. Through its linguistic elements, the language adds depth, authenticity, and a sense of otherworldliness to the story. The usage of Barsoomian in dialogues and rituals further enhances the immersion of the audience. As a result, Barsoomian has left a lasting impact on pop culture, captivating fans and inspiring further exploration of its linguistic intricacies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I learn to speak Barsoomian fluently?

While fluency in a constructed language is challenging, there are resources available for enthusiasts to learn and understand Barsoomian.

Who created the Barsoomian language?

The Barsoomian language was developed by linguists and conlangers specifically for the movie adaptation of "John Carter."

Are there any language courses for learning Barsoomian?

Yes, there are online language courses and learning materials dedicated to exploring the intricacies of Barsoomian.

How does Barsoomian compare to real-world languages?

Barsoomian shares similarities and differences with real-world languages. Linguists have analyzed its structures and compared them to various natural languages.

Has Barsoomian influenced other science fiction languages?

The intricacies and popularity of Barsoomian have inspired language creation in other science fiction works, showcasing its impact on the genre.