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February 2, 2013
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Constructed Languages?

:iconultimateridley:
UltimateRidley Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In recent months I have been rapidly developing a couple of constructed languages (or "con langs") I have actually used in my story outlines for several years now, but only just recently got into pounding out the details.

I'm interested to know:


  1. Have any of you created your own constructed language for a story? If so, what is it called, and who/what speaks it?

  2. How did you incorporate it into your story?

  3. To what extent did you develop it? Was it:

    • A word-for-word cipher of your native tongue (i.e. Dovah from Skyrim and Luminoth from Metroid Prime 2)

    • Directly inspired by an existing language (i.e. Sindarin [Welsh] and Quenya [Finnish], both from Tolkien's Legendarium)

    • ...or did you go all-out, with unique grammar and all (i.e. Na'vi from Avatar and Klingon from Star Trek)?



Feel free to share small excerpts of your con lang, just be sure to translate it afterwards! I also wouldn't mind hearing the details behind your con lang provided it is more than a simple word-for-word cipher. :)

Here is an excerpt from a few of my con langs (translated to best approximations using the Latin alphabet, of course):

Here's a sentence in ENGLISH:
He is the man who killed that civilian a long time ago.

RAHTOURIOR
Ehlæ qun ehano hyutirancoro ta kava j'qut reklacor.

REKUALN
Kirek'r ip t'kuima Ehl Minjala'lamorr.

GALRANTIOR (WARNING: DIAERESES WILL BE USED)
Po ïkul äg haaga ïkulëp kiirtelaämisorä käog-asoua hûla tru maaüala.

Liao gʐá'm mon-kolra? (Rekualn for: What about the rest of you?)
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Devious Comments

:iconkagamika:
Kagamika Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have some in my stories, but it's only now that I'm working the details like grammar.
The main language is called Astaerin, spoken by the Ancients who lived in Austaeria in the past and by their chosen warriors in the present. I put little hints of it in my stories, like character/place names, spells and the occasional arguments between the Ancients' chosen.
It's mostly Latin and Japanese based with three dialects: one with Chinese influences, another with German influences, and the last with Greek influences. The dialects are spoken by the descendants of the Ancients. Though I did mess with the grammar a bit.
I can't said too much because then I'd have to explain the Riyuch, Seijian, and Hiceal.
Spell in Original Astaerin:
Femedatosqu talie Kadetsokqu ey
Sis vilies neuman a'olin ledacoum
Sya sacein matei hagisiyla...
English (Or as close as possible)
Oh Great Lady Femedatos and Lord Kadetsok*
Lend me your great powers
Activate, my magic circle...

*It's hard to translate their names without it sounding stupid, but I didn't want to leave it as it is. -qu is a suffix that's unique to a certain group. So I tried and "Oh Great Lord/Lady" was the closest I can think of.
Uhh, wall of text starting to creep in, so I'll stop here...
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Much as with poetry, I'm enough of a connoisseur of conlangs that I know I have no talent for it. In my fantasy fiction I use real-world languages as stand-ins for those of my fictional world. "Old Regellan" is written as if it were Latin, for instance. It doesn't bear the same relation to my "Provincial" common speech as Latin does to English, which is unfortunate: Provincial should be an early Romance language, or perhaps the Gaulish dialect of Late Latin, but I can scarcely write character dialogue that way.

Incidentally, the only aspects of Sindarin and Quenya inspired by Welsh and Finnish are the phonologies. They're otherwise not similar.
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:iconultimateridley:
UltimateRidley Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fair enough. I have a friend who is developing a storyverse that is meant to mesh with mine. One of his species speaks Latin, another Chinese, another German; even though one is human-like, one is a squamate, and the last is saurian, respectively, and none of these three have had any contact with human beings. Even though I want my storyverse to be realistic, he has his reasons for just using existing languages... he's busy.

As for the latter note--about Tolkien's imaginary tongues--true enough for Quenya. I'm no expert on Finnish (though I'd love to learn it), but I have heard that Quenya took away what made Finnish, Finnish, grammatically speaking. That said, I read that Sindarin was, in fact, at least loosely inspired by Welsh in many ways, with grammar being one of them (although it is very loose, and more conforming to Celtic grammar conventions than anything else). I'd have to check again, but I'm fairly certain that was what I read.
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013   Digital Artist
My friend does, it's really pretty. :) [link]
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:iconultimateridley:
UltimateRidley Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is, indeed, pretty. :o She really put tons of effort into those, with all those lessons and such. I should probably upload my script forms as well.
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:iconkyteglory:
KyteGlory Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
Have any of you created your own constructed language for a story? If so, what is it called, and who/what speaks it?
Oh, a couple of different languages. Saying who or what speaks those languages wouldn't be very helpful without an extremely long-winded explanation of their ethnic identities.

How did you incorporate it into your story?
I didn't. Readers don't give a shit about my made-up language. If anything, it's a huge pain in the arse, for example, if I know that my character's language's grammar requires them to provide information that will not be provided in the English translation, or vice versa.

To what extent did you develop it?
Quite a lot. They've got their alphabets and writing systems, vocabularies, unique grammar, and even different dialects based on region and time period.

Have some shittily transliterated translations, using your phrase, "He is the man who killed the civilian long ago."
In vFaerse:
Kghata n'haieive, onoaete.
In a different dialect of vFaerse:
Se na Ghata n'onosa oova.
In Sess a Rhahaevhenyan:
Das helt ketet afhasoend ven hast fen.
In vFalhtrerenre:
De so ensesch sakt lasvelt haen.
In Hanadthyn Hass:
Da hoen hes rhadvedasch, oltheit di fhese.
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:iconultimateridley:
UltimateRidley Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, a couple of different languages. Saying who or what speaks those languages wouldn't be very helpful without an extremely long-winded explanation of their ethnic identities.


This is why I didn't bother posting mine, either. I'd have to go into detail about the cultures of the different Rahtourian species, which would turn my moderately-sized wall of text into an abyssal wall of text.

I didn't. Readers don't give a shit about my made-up language. If anything, it's a huge pain in the arse, for example, if I know that my character's language's grammar requires them to provide information that will not be provided in the English translation, or vice versa.


Fair enough. I sparsely use mine as well in the given story; really, I have them there to provide flavor and to devise names for characters and regions. That said, they are still occasionally used for "I don't want the protagonist to understand me"-type purposes, but I figure that's a given.

Quite a lot. They've got their alphabets and writing systems, vocabularies, unique grammar, and even different dialects based on region and time period.


Same for mine.

Have some shittily transliterated translations, using your phrase, "He is the man who killed the civilian long ago."

*excerpts*


Interesting. Tell me, are your people humans? Or fantasy creatures, perhaps, like elves, dwarves, and hobbits? Or something else? I'm just curious, because those seem quite elaborate.
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:iconkyteglory:
KyteGlory Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013
I have them there to provide flavor and to devise names for characters and regions. That said, they are still occasionally used for "I don't want the protagonist to understand me"-type purposes, but I figure that's a given.
Now that you mention it, I guess I do most of those things, too. I mean, my characters get names from their own languages. Sometimes I'll use the languages for places, but only if there isn't an obvious English equivalent to the term. And while there definitely are occasions of people speaking in languages the protagonist doesn't understand, it's almost always sufficed for me to say, "They chattered away in an unfamiliar language," rather directly quoting that language.

They're all human languages, except for the first [original] version of vFaerse. I don't really find them to be all that elaborate myself--they're just different from English. But no more different than, say, Georgian or Navajo.
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:icondefaultking:
defaultking Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
One particular ethno-linguistic group in my story has towns and tribe names which I construct in a way to show that they're culturally related to each other. For instance, most of the town and tribe names end in suffixes that are spelled slightly different but all mean the same thing (in this case: -shan, -kan, -tan, and -dan all mean "people of" or something to that effect). One example of a tribal name is "Mianushan", which means "people of the eagle". That's just about as far as I'll take their language, since the main character eventually learns it and the reader would therefore read it as English. Otherwise, words that the main character can't understand would have to be made up and presented in context with those that he could. I haven't gotten to that stage yet, so I don't know how exactly it'll work with this particular group.

The other thing I'm doing is having another cultural group speak a real language, but one that's pretty obscure (Kinaray-a has around 400,000 native speakers). Those who speak it will appreciate the shout-out, and those who don't will think I made it up. It's a win-win! The process would be like the one I described above, where words he can understand would appear as English mashed in between words he doesn't know yet. This is how it sounds to me when I'm listening to a language I can't fully understand, so I figure it's a good enough method for the main character to use as he learns too.
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:iconultimateridley:
UltimateRidley Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's an interesting way to go about it, the whole "mashing words up" thing. Also, the variations of the same root based on geography--I might just have to use that somewhere. :ninja:
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