Last month the Icelandic band Sigur Ros released a live album called Inni which contains songs in a language they call “Hopelandic.” It’s not English, it’s not Icelandic – it’s completely invented. And they’re not the only ones to pass over the world’s 6500 or so languages in favor of one of their own making. Slate contributor William Weir joins us along with the linguist Arika Okrent (who has a first level certification in Klingon) to discuss the origins and meanings of constructed languages in song.
Listeners: Do you have to understand a song’s lyrics to love a song? When do words matter? Do you have a favorite song in an invented language? Weigh in!