1. Norin
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    Norin New Member

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    about my new made language

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Norin, Jun 5, 2012.

    Is there a post with tips on creating your own language?
    If not, could you tell me what are the needed properties of a language, so that I know how to build it correctly?
    I have already made the symbols the represent each character and their sound. (27 in total)

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Grey Bodhisattva
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    Grey Bodhisattva New Member

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    Are you sure you should be doing this? It sounds like a fun hobby but it seems a little extensive for a single work of fiction. You need to think up declensions, the vocabulary, the numeral system and any other oddities it might have. Languages are extremely complex things and it might be unwise to try and create one from scratch.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you aren't a linguist or a polyglot, I don't recommend it.

    Definitely don't do it "just because it's cool."
     
  4. Wolfheart
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    Wolfheart New Member

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    A trick I've sometimes used is to translate into a rather foreign language (I use Afrikaans and Finnish mostly) then mutate what comes out into something I can actually pronounce. If you really want to build the language from scratch, perhaps make sure that it's actually sayable (as in, not to many consonnants one after another, along the style of drgpm. Even in your head, that must be pretty hard to say).

    Wolf

    Edit. Actually, for creating your own language... I can't say much. I was thinking more of the fact of having them speak in an unrecognizable language. Otherwise, as Cogito said, I wouldn't really recommend creating it from scratch.
     
  5. Kaidonni
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    Kaidonni Member

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    I'll basically repeat what I posted in another thread on this issue:

    ------

    There is nothing wrong with created a fantasy language as long as you do not let it get in the way of writing the story - a conlang should be an end in itself, separate from the story, something else you are interested in. The story should not depend on creating a conlang.

    Whenever these conversations pop up, I always want to mention Watership Down - Richard Adams incorporated a conlang into the story (Lapine), but only a phrase or name here and there, and it largely depended on the PoV. All of the words he created also made sense in the context of the story - 'hraka' meant going out to poo, basically, and it was an event of importance to such vulnerable creatures (plus you wouldn't say the character went out to poo, it just doesn't sound so eloquent). He didn't go overboard, and if he created much more of the language than the reader got to see, then that was because he was interested in the art of conlanging itself. He certainly never let it get in the way of writing the story.

    All you need to do is be consistent with names of people, places, etc. They should ideally be 'transliterated' into an English equivalent (it's how I perceive Richard Adams' Lapine) - Germans say Köln, the English say Cologne; the French say Pierre, the English say Peter. There are also so many sounds out there that you have to be careful anyway, so don't go mad putting those sounds into a story. Letters themselves mean little - the speakers of language A may think the same word pronounced differently to the speakers of language B. Keep it simple.

    -----

    I'd like to add that you do not need to be a linguist to create your own language, you simply need to be prepared to learn (a lot). There are whole forums dedicated to conlanging, and I'm a member on one of them (can't post links here). One of the best ones is the 'New CBB' forum, and the people there are very friendly and helpful. It also helps to research other languages and the way they do things, because you want to avoid creating a cipher of English. Some people recommend knowing another language really well, but then you might rely far too much on a mix of your native tongue and second language. It's definitely helpful to know a second language to an extent as it helps you understand that things can be done differently from your native tongue, but having a very open mind and learning across the board is the most important thing.

    The first thing you will want to do is check out the International Phonetic Alphabet, as that is where conlanging usually begins - with phonology. The IPA is a list of the various sounds spoken through different languages, both consonants and vowels.
     
  6. Grey Bodhisattva
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    Grey Bodhisattva New Member

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    Well got dang, you may have just answered the question you asked us. Congratulations.
     
  7. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    ^How so?


    I agree with Cogito and Kaidonni both. A language is a complex structure, a plausible language the much more so, as no simple language can evolve without being forcibly shaped. Tolkien was a linguist; whoever came up with Klingon was a linguist; so was Zamenhof. I would only make up a language if I was going to write many different sagas about different people in the same fantasy world, and then it might actually be useful; but it wouldn't be an easy task and since I don't intend to write a series of fantasy sagas, I wouldn't go that far. I love language, but in a story, you can completely get away without it.

    Of course, this is just me speaking, but if you want to make up a language, go ahead - just don't use it in your story unless it's a really good one and you need to do so.
     
  8. Norin
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    Norin New Member

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    No, no, I'm not trying to do this because it's "cool". I just feel like it already exists inside my novels and I have to bring it to the surface, in a way that they won't be complete without it (I hope I'm getting my point through).



    In no ways I believe that what i will eventually (and hopefully) create will be a masterpiece. Also, my ideas are for a lot of sagas (prequels and sequels).
     

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