With the opening of the newest Star Wars film, Sara Maria Forsberg, a 21-year-old from Pietarsaari, Finland, can now speak openly about her work creating an alien language for the movie. “Keeping the secret has been horrible, because it would have been nice when promoting your new career, to tell people, ‘Hey I worked on the “Star Wars” movie,’ but I had to just humbly wait,” Forsberg told Variety. “Now that I can talk about it, it feels amazing.” The Star Wars franchise has a history of casting relatively unknown actors in life-changing roles, and the same happened when Forsberg gained internet popularity after posting a Youtube video of her language skills. The video, “What Languages Sound Like to Foreigners,” features Forsberg speaking gibberish in 14 languages and has over 15 million views. A month after her video went viral Forsberg was offered the opportunity to create a newly constructed language for the Star Wars franchise.
After receiving a script to translate and vague instructions to listen to Euro-Asian languages, Forsberg spent one month researching and creating audio files to send to the actors. Although not a fully functioning constructed language, the alien dialect has more structure than previous Star Wars tongues. “I listened to Gujarati and Hindi and languages from different islands in Asia,” Forsberg continued. “I also watched YouTube videos of languages I didn’t understand at all, and then I worked on creating words and structure so it would sound like a believable language. I didn’t want it to sound like complete nonsense.”