A delightful squib by Edmund Griffiths, Some remarks on the etymology of literary Martian, begins:
§ 1. MARTIAN is the language spoken by the intelligent indigenous inhabitants of the planet Mars. Since, to the best of current knowledge, there are no such inhabitants, its study has been somewhat neglected: in fact, I am not aware of a single learned monograph on the subject since Victor Henry’s pioneering Le Langage Martien appeared in 1901. The fictional exploration of space was then in its infancy, and the evidence on which Henry based his description came necessarily from ‘Martian’ glossolalia enunciated by the spirit medium Hélène Smith (see Flournoy, From India to the Planet Mars). Subsequently, however, more or less extensive samples of Martian have been offered to the reading public by several generations of writers in the science fiction idiom. True, these writers’ approach to the language has varied, as has their diligence in reporting it: Edgar Rice Burroughs luxuriates in naïve exoticism (Tars Tarkas, Barsoom), Aleksandr Bogdanov contents himself with a few rather monotonous personal names (Ènno, Mènni, Nètti), and Ray Bradbury disdains to concoct a plausible-sounding language at all, choosing instead to name his Martian characters Mr. Ttt, Mr. Bbb, and so forth; but A. N. Tolstoy presents whole sentences of Martian dialogue (Aiu utara šókho, Tao khatskha ra khamagatsitl), and Percy Greg even draws up grammatical tables (although the early date of Across the Zodiac’s publication means its Martian is rather archaic). Readers may feel that the language attested in these various records is an inept mishmash, just too crass and too shoddy to be spoken under minimal atmospheric pressure in the frigid and unchanging rockfields that we all know from the photographs. I make no objection; I share the feeling. I only ask such readers to wonder, as I do, whether our unease at seeing the perfect celestial places thus polluted with sublunary trash does not reflect an emotional attitude to the solar system that is really pre-Galilean,—one that we should perhaps be trying harder to overcome.
It’s a lot of fun, and much respect to him for including Russian sf writers as well as the more familiar Westerners.