Simlish is the official fictional language of SimNation and is used by Sims in-game. The language is famous for its unique sound and often funny pronunciations. While playing The Sims, players may wonder where Simlish came from and how it’s used. Today, we will explain Simlish’s creation and function in The Sims franchise.
The Sims creator, Will Wright, understood that dialogue needed to be a prominent feature to make their games more realistic and dynamic. However, he avoided using English as it would require translation into multiple languages, which would cost more money, but more importantly, it would make the game repetitive. Players hearing the same words over and over again would be annoying to listen to.
However, if they could use something that no one understood or knew, words would not become as repetitive, and they wouldn’t need to translate it. This was when the development team used the talents of voice actor Steven Kearin. After failing to meet expectations with simplified words from multiple languages, Steven asked to perform improv. Once he got going, the words became gibberish, which was exactly what Will Wright was looking for.
Steven introduced Gerri Lawlor to the team, who would work as the game’s female counterpart. The two spent hours making up words and phrases for given prompts. When asked to vocalize hunger or loneliness, the two would make up what they felt the language would sound like on the spot. Simlish began in the 1996 game SimCopter, where it was first used. It wasn’t until The Sims in 2000 that Simlish was more fleshed out and prominent in the series.
Games Featuring Simlish?
Every mainline Sims game and some spinoff titles use Simlish. Traces of the language can also be found in other franchises but are not a prominent part of the game.
- SimCopter (1996)
- The Sims (2000)
- SimCity 4 (2003)
- The Sims 2 (2004)
- SimCity Societies (2007)
- The Sims 3 (2009)
- SimCity (2013)
- The Sims 4 (2014)
- SimCity BuildIt (2014)
- Sid Meier’s SimGolf (2004)
- Spore (2008)
Can People Speak Simlish?
While looking online, players will find a large list of translated words from Simlish, which gives the impression that someone could learn the language. There are even wiki pages explaining the phonology of Simlish, along with its vowels, consonants, etc. However, due to the language being created with improv, it lacks deliberate structure and planning.
Players can learn the common phrases, making the game easier to understand, but there is nothing else to learn beyond the known words. EA keeps the dictionary used for The Sims 4 a secret, leaving sources limited to speculation and deduction.
Unfortunately, Simlish cannot be learned beyond EA’s official list used to produce their Sims games.
While Simlish may be impossible to learn fluently, players can understand the translations fans and voice actors have released over the years. Some fans may find traces of Ukrainian, Swahili, Navajo, Tagalog, and Estonian in Simlish. Words were spoken from these languages to the actors before their improv sessions.
|Dag dag, or Deg deg||Hello/Goodbye/Okay|
|Plum||(a Simlish swearword)|
|Om za gleb||Oh my god/gosh|
|Feebee lay||I’m hungry|
|Zo hungwah||I’m so hungry|
|Vens unch?||When’s lunch?|
|Miza||In the way|
|Mik Up||Make Up|
|Litzergam, Fazoo or Vadish||Thank You|
|Shooflee||Distress call, possibly “Help me”|
|Wabadebadoo||I’m on fire! (Note as in English, this can be used metaphorically by confident Sims)|
|Zep tor maboo||Help! There’s a fire!|
|Nart or Nu||Night|
|Wub mezino||Just a moment|
|Dwam||(an expletive, presumably “Damn”)|
|Ne or Blow||No|
|Bay||Be (infinitive form),|
|Neeba zow||Need you now|
|Jadosi||I love this/that!|
|Aws||Second person singular/plural|
|Zow Cay||Cow Bay|
|Gur or Gurn||Girl|
|Ah (Wanobi wa in Japanese-Simlish)||I|
|Zerpa||There is a|
|Roli nowster||Roller coaster|
|Minza bar||Mini bar|
|Va or Fa||(You) are|
|Ninap, Tinap or Tinip||Case of then|
|Deboo! in Old Simlish||Stand up!|
|Wut sa dib||What’s up dude|
|Hotty baba/Hotty ba||when toddler is bored (toddler idling)|
|Daple||puddle (when toddler splashing a puddle)|
|Yucky||yummy (when toddler eating food)|
The Sims 4 Words and Phrases
The Sims 4 contains remnants of Simlish but is set in an alternate universe from the rest of The Sims games. While some phrases remained unchanged, others have different pronunciations or uses. For example, Sims may leave out the second “Sul” in “Sul Sul”, for more casual relationships. This mimics real-life slang and casual language.
While there hasn’t been confirmation, it’s possible that with the release of The Sims 5, the game will continue this casual language or alter the words even more. The development team has said that the sequel will not be a replacement for The Sims 4, so it leads many to believe there will be differences.
|Dag dag, or Deg deg||Hello/Goodbye/Okay|
|Yibs, or Yibsy||Yes/Yup/Yep/Yeah|
|Yume, or Nume||Yum/Yummy!|
|Grobel, or Grubel||Yuck/Disgusting|
|Vu or Voo||You/Your|
|Yebba||Hella/Very/Extremely/A lot of|
|No me velk?||How are you?|
|Ooh be gah!||Very good!|
|Ne gedna.||Not good.|
|Por se gab lurv.||I love you.|
|Vanu marsha ma?||Will you marry me?|
|Om za gleb!||Oh my god/gosh!|
|Fleeba zoob!||Happy new year!|
|Fluz ty roo!||That’s a wrap!|
|Gedna snifa||Good smell/Smells good|
|Mala snifa||Bad smell/Smells bad|
|Des grobel||That’s gross/That’s disgusting|
|Oh Neib||Oh No|
|Presu Fa Vu||Present for you|
|Neib Werefloof!||No Werewolf!|