Simlish is a fictional language featured in EA Games' Sim series of games. It debuted in SimCopter, and has been especially prominent in The Sims franchise. The Sims development team created the unique Simlish language by experimenting with fractured Ukrainian, French, Latin, Finnish, Icelandic, English, Fijian, Cebuano, and Tagalog. Simlish can also be heard in SimCity 4, SimCity Societies and SimCity 2013, but far less frequently. Civilized Creatures in Spore can also be taught to speak Simlish. It is also featured to an extent in Firaxis Games' Sid Meier's SimGolf. Simlish was created because Will Wright, creator of The Sims, knew that the game needed dialogue, but thought that using real life languages such as English would cause the dialogue to be repetitive and would be expensive translating the entire dialog Sims may say.
Initially, inspired by the Native American code talkers of World War II, Sims creator Will Wright and language expert Marc Gimbel suggested experimenting with the Navajo language to create Simlish. However, they ultimately decided that Simlish worked best as a "language" made up of gibberish words that couldn't be translated, so that its meaning would be left open to the imagination of the player. Wright later commented that using "nonsense language" turned out to be the right development choice, as people were capable of imagining it more realistically than a computer could simulate a real one. The actual sound of Simlish was created improvisationally by voice actors Stephen Kearin and Gerri Lawlor.
In The Sims: House Party and The Sims: Vacation, Sims sing campfire songs. They are sung to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain", "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" and "On Top of Old Smoky". Lyrics for these songs were posted on the official website. A free full-length soundtrack album for The Sims: Superstar has also been released for download (complete with cover art), with several tracks sung in Simlish. Several artists re-recorded hit songs in Simlish for the expansion pack Pets, including Aly & AJ doing their "Chemicals React"
- "The Sims Bustin' Out Designer Diary #3". Archived from the original on January 6, 2006.
- Celeste Biever (24 September 2008). "Interview: The games master". New Scientist (Reed Business Information) 199 (2675).
- "Gonna Play the Sims? You Gotta Speak Simlish". Savvy Gaming. 2008-09-08. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
The voice actors who were working on the Sims are credited with actually giving voice to the Simlish language. These voice actors were Stephen Kearin and Gerri Lawlor.
- "Make Your Own Superstar Soundtrack CD!". Thesims.ea.com. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011.
- EA and Aly & AJ collaborate on signature song for The Sims 2: Pets from GameZone. March 1, 2007.
- Spot On: Simlish stylist Robi Kauker. Simlish music in The Sims 2: University
- Some songs in Simlish. Official The Sims 2 Site.
- Official Simlish Lessons. Official The Sims Site.[dead link]
- The Big Simlish Dictionary The Big Simlish Dictionary thread on The Sims 2 Forum (BBS)