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What Language Does Leeloo Speak In The Fifth Element?

Although the film originally came out in 1997, it's hard to find someone nowadays who hasn't seen or at least heard of "The Fifth Element." Over the years, the Luc Besson-directed science fiction movie has gained cult status, with an ever-growing amount of fans. The movie stars Milla Jovovich, a woman named Leeloo who is recreated with the memories of her past life. When Leeloo is brought back to life, the year is 2263 and a mystical force called the Great Evil is more powerful than ever. The young woman stumbles into the life of a man named Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) who protects her from Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman), an egotistical businessman secretly working for the Great Evil, only for Leeloo to quickly be identified as the Fifth Element, the one thing needed to finally take down the Great Evil. 

"The Fifth Element" is known for its distinct, bright visual style, with unique characters and a lavish world inspired by various French comics of the time. Besson has also gone on to use comics as sources for later films like "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" (The Verge). A lot of time and effort, including the formation of a special language, went into crafting "The Fifth Element," with Besson working on the project for around 15 years. What some might not know is that the unique language Leeloo speaks in the film is called the Divine Language, and it's actually a personal creation of Besson's, made solely for the movie. 

Leeloo speaks the Divine Language invented for the film

The Divine Language that was developed for "The Fifth Element" only has around 400 words in total, but that's certainly enough to carry a conversation. According to an interview with i-D, Jovovich gives Besson complete credit for the language's creation, stating that "He brought me a dictionary of words. We would write each other letters in the language, so I was getting used to communication and speaking it." 

For Jovovich, who speaks four languages — English, Russian, French, and Serbian — it probably wasn't too big of a task for her to get the hang of the Divine Language (Omniglot.com). In the same interview, the actress explains that Besson's original language was actually created over the course of many years, with the director working on it as he wrote the film. Besson spoke with Nerdist about how long it took him to write and create the world of "The Fifth Element," explaining that "when I started to write at 16 it was more like a novel," morphing to a film over the years until he finally shot his creation when he was 30 years old. 

Jovovich admitted in the 2017 interview that the only thing she remembers of the Divine Language is how to say her name. She then clarified her meaning, saying, "As an actor, I have a great short term memory — I can memorize a lot of things quickly, then forget it quickly." Despite that, Jovovich clearly holds the language and her experience making "The Fifth Element" very dear to her heart, with her official website providing links to various fanmade dictionaries and other sources that people can use to learn more about the Divine Language.