How to Make Your Own Secret Language

Four Methods:Rearranging the AlphabetSubstituting Certain Words for OthersCreating a Language SystemMaking a Visual Language

Imagine the possibilities when you have a secret language known to only you and a few select friends. You can pass notes to each other that are incomprehensible to anyone who might intercept them, or you can talk to each other without others knowing what you're saying. Having your own secret language is a fun and creative way to share information with a chosen few.

Method 1
Rearranging the Alphabet

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    Substitute each letter for another letter. Decide which letters in the regular alphabet will be swapped out for new letters in your alphabet. This is a great way to create a new language, because you can use letters that you and your friends already know. Some letters can remain the same if you'd like, or you can change every letter.
    • For example, you can substitute each letter with the letter directly after it (A=C, B=D, C=E, D=F). This would be much easier to understanding in writing, because you could decode it. Speaking this language may be more difficult.
    • You could also substitute every letter except for the vowels. For example, H=J because I(the letter in between) is a vowel. This will make it much easier if you want to be able to speak this language.[1]
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    Swap the vowels of the alphabet (A, E, I, O, U). Swap them so that A is E, E is I, I is O, O is U and U is A. This will allow each word in your language to have a vowel, making the language much easier to understand and pronounce when speaking. The language is simple enough for you and your friends to easily learn, but difficult enough for an unfamiliar listener or reader to not understand what you'r saying.
    • For example, "I love you" would become "O luvi yua."
    • Another example would be "Hello, how are you?" turning into "Hillu, huw eri yua?"
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    Practice speaking and writing your new language. Write words over and over again, practice having conversations with your friends, write notes back and for the to each other in a notebook, or send each other messages online. The more you write and speak your language, the faster it will become second nature to you.
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    Decide how to share the language with friends. You’ll either want to create a simple substitution rule that can be memorized and easily decoded by those who know the secret language, or make a cheat sheet / rule sheet if you’d like a code that’s tougher to break. If you decide to go with a tougher code, make sure that all of your friends get a copy of your language code so that they can communicate with you.

Method 2
Substituting Certain Words for Others

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    Create a list of words to use in your new language. Choose unique words that you don't typically use in an average day. These can be big words, names of celebrities or athletes, names of sports or hobbies, etc. You will use these words to replace names, locations, activities, etc. in your new language. Using this technique is a much faster and simpler way to create your own language.
    • For example, if you and your friends are basketball fans, create a list of well-known players, and use their names as substitutes for certain people.
    • If you want to keep things simple, focus on only replacing words that are verbs or emotions. This can change the entire meaning to a sentence without changing every word.
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    Change the meaning of existing words. Replace the meanings of words that already exist to give them your new meanings. Get together with your friends and have a brainstorming session. Write down the words of your language and their new meanings so that nobody forgets.
    • Try to use words that have very different meanings so that your language isn't hard to figure out. For example, use the word taco for hate. So if your sentence was originally "I hate math", your new sentence is "I taco math."
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    Make a dictionary that reveals the definitions of your new words. This will help each of your friends to decipher it quickly before the words are learned. Store it on your phones or computers so that you can access the diary quickly.
    • This dictionary should be akin to an actual dictionary. It should list the words in your made up language, and define what they actually mean in your native language.
    • This dictionary doesn't have to include every single word in a real dictionary, as many of the words will mean the same thing. It should include all of the words that you have changed the meaning of.[2]

Method 3
Creating a Language System

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    Choose a prefix or suffix to add onto words. Popular "secret" languages, such as Pig Latin and Kimono Jive, simply add prefixes and suffixes to already existing words. This makes languages much easier to learn and communicate with.
    • Take Pig Latin for example. To speak in pig latin, you simply move the first letter of the word to the end and then add an “ay” sound. Therefore, banana would become “ananabay."[3]
    • Now, make up your own prefix or suffix to use. Let's say you choose to use the prefix "ho" for every word and also move the first letter of the word to the end of the word. Therefore, the word speaker would become "hopeakers,"
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    Add your chosen prefix or suffix to words. Begin implementing your new language system in your everyday conversations with your friends. It will take awhile for you to develop a natural ability to speak in your new language, so be patient with yourself.
    • Try out basic sentences to start with. For example, using the previously mentioned language structure, "This is my new language" would become "Hohist is my hoewn hoanguagel."[4]
    • Many made up languages don't alter shorter words that are harder to transfer, such as to, by, of, on, etc. It's recommended to keep these words the same to make your language easier to write, pronounce, and understand.
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    Create this language with friends. Secret languages are no fun if you don't have anyone to talk to! Once you get a few friends involved, make sure that you can all agree on your new language system so that everyone is comfortable speaking it and writing it.

Method 4
Making a Visual Language

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    Create an alphabet of symbols. If you're a visual or creative person, making up symbols for your new language can be a great way to secretly communicate with your friends. These symbols can represent entire words instead of creating a whole new alphabet. This is an option if you're fine with only being able to write your made up language. However, if you want to speak your secret language, this isn't the best method to use.
    • Reference other languages that use symbols for their written language to get inspiration for your symbols. Some languages that use symbols for words are Chinese characters and Egyptian hieroglyphics.[5]
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    Make a dictionary of your language symbols. Make sure that the alphabet and dictionary have been agreed to by everyone involved. It's ideal to make symbols that are easy to draw so that your friends with poor drawing skills can still use the language. Making symbols for words instead of letters will make for a much simpler language to learn, and a much easier diary to create. Make sure that all of your friends get a copy of this dictionary.
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    Practice how to write and read in your language daily. This way, you can have it memorized close to the same degree you have of your native/first language. Keep practicing and using it often, as new languages are easy to forget.


  • Consider making new symbols to replace things such as periods, commas, asterisks, number signs, exclamation points, etc.
  • Steer clear of common language games, such as "Pig Latin". If many people know what that is, it isn't really a secret language.
  • Make up a name for your language.
  • Make a small dictionary of common words that you seem to use, and keep it with you always.

Article Info

Categories: Codes and Hidden Messaging | Fictional Languages