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Thread: Language creation

  1. #11
    Senior Member A. E. Lowan's Avatar
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    Just ran across this thread. Have you heard of a book called The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson? I'm reading it right now and it's very informative and helpful.
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  3. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by A. E. Lowan View Post
    Just ran across this thread. Have you heard of a book called The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson? I'm reading it right now and it's very informative and helpful.
    He also has a series on his YouTube channel by the same name.

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  5. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Malik View Post
    The trick, though, is that conlangers are hardcore linguistics nerds and they assume that anyone who's interested in conlangs knows as much about it as they already do. You're jumping in the deep end.
    That's rather over the top! Many language inventors are indeed linguistics nerds --- many of the ones I've met started out making languages and now are actual linguists. Most are not. And certainly they won't, as a group, assume that you know as much as they do!

    Making a language is indeed challenging, but no more challenging than any other aspect of writing. Whether you make your own or hire someone to make one for you, a good invented language (either a whole working language, or a sketch or just a list of words and names) will add considerable depth to a story setting where you've deemed a language is needed.

    But I also get that writers may not necessarily be all that interested in making a whole language. They want to write! This is where hiring one of those language invention nerds can come in handy! There are many conlangers who will be happy to work with writers to create as much or as little of an invented language as is needed.

    If you want to do it on your own, there are certainly many forums to find such help.

    If you'd rather have someone else do that work, I'd recommend getting in touch with the Language Creation Society. They have a lot of experience in pairing up artistic folks --- writers, playwrights, comic authors, movie studios, etc. --- with language invention folks.

    Don't be afraid to try your hand at it; but if it's not your cup of tea, don't hesitate to seek help from those with the expertise to do a good job of it for you!

  6. #14
    Member Lisselle's Avatar
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    I spent 5 years of my early life in Papua New Guinea and could speak fluent Pidgin English, and my Dad was German, with a very active and large German social network, so I could (and still can) understand German, though I did not speak it well.

    When I was a teenager I taught myself Tolkien's Elvish, and created my own languages for the many books I was writing, and to write secrets in my Diaries.

    For my Trilogy I have created four languages. One is thorough, with at least 3000 unique words. The second has 1500 words, and there are two others with only as many words as needed within the books. I love creating languages; the phonetics and syntax of words, tying similar words with similar sounds, listening to the flow of each, and working out how environment and society will have allowed for the evolution of sounds in accordance with where the sounds are created in the throat/ with the tongue etc, and practicing how each language is spoken. I love creating the characters/ letters for my languages as well.

    Body language, eye movements, clicks and sounds not usual in our languages can also make up aspects of a Fantasy language.

    I work in a school, and sometimes speak to the student's in my main language, and some of the high school kids ask if there are swear words, and of course there are! They think I'm nerd, but when I swear it's usually in my Language. (Oh, and their writing advice? Kill the Main Characters!)

    I started by deciding how I wanted each language to sound; either strong, soft, guttural etc. For a soft language I wouldn't use too many heavy consonants, and for a heavy language, D's and G's, etc work well. I would write random paragraphs in my languages to fill the words out. Or poems, poems are good to write in new languages.

    It's a lot of fun once you have started. I have a 'Language notebook' which I carry with me, and whenever I feel like creating new words I jot them there. I look at any writing around me for inspiration, and alter it in accordance to the phonetics of the language I am working on.

    Open sourcing might be fun too.
    “His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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