Appropriate Artwork#2: Pig Latin Whisper Game

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Artwork #2: Appropriate

Pig Latin Whisper Game

Players stand around in a circle, one whispers to the next something in Pig Latin, the next person hears and repeats in English, this alternates until we reach the last person in the circle. The last person should match the first person’s words. 

Rules of Pig Latin:

Most words in Pig Latin end in “ay.” Use the rules below to translate normal English into Pig Latin.

  1. If a word starts with a consonant and a vowel, but the first letter of the word is at the end of the word and add “ay.”

Example: Happy = appyh + ay = appyhay

  1. If a word starts with two consonants move the two consonants to the end of the word and add “ay.”

Example: Child = Ildch + ay = Ildchay

  1. If a word starts with a vowel add the word “way” at the end of the word.

Example: Awesome = Awesome +way = Awesomeway

English Igpay Atinlay (Pig Latin)
Welcome Ellcomeway
Hello (General greeting) Ellohay
How are you? Owhay arehay ouyay?


My idea with this game was originally inspired by something I read from Marcel Duchamp, “To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.” 

It was so interesting to me to be describing the place that artists get either inspiration/ideas from way beyond any dimension. This stuck out to me, this idea of getting inspired by something stored far away and obscurely in either our memories or as Marcel insinuates, a different labyrinth. 

For me, this labyrinth is my childhood. The happy, joyful times of playing games all day long and silly laughing constantly. With my younger brother, I used to talk in Pig Latin all the time! It helped us be silly and also helped us utilize our processing skills. When thinking back to my childhood, we also used to play Telephone very often. I got the idea to combine both and playtest the game in class. 

During the playtest process, I learnt that Pig Latin is hard. Players need examples in the rules sheet to get used to the game. Furthermore, the rules need to be explained in simple words, not paragraphs. I also learnt that just playing with Pig Latin, made it so the players were just saying gibberish back and forth. This wasn’t the point of the game! I wanted to illustrate that same feeling of being a child and processing all the words in your head. 

This feedback resulted in me changing the game. I made it so that players would alternatively speak in Pig Latin so that each user was either translating from Pig Latin -> English or English -> Pig Latin. This time around, players conveyed the game as being more fun and reminiscent of how quickly they used to do this as kids in their heads. My point of making this artwork was achieved when I heard that from the players!