1. Sarah's scribbles
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    Sarah's scribbles Member

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    Creating languages. random button mashing or actual purpose?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sarah's scribbles, Aug 7, 2015.

    K so for a short segment in my story my character, five from each different worlds and then another group from the host world, cannot understand one another because the languages from their worlds are not the same as this world. So far I'm just mashing buttons to come up with what the other people are saying so should, when i go back over for editing, I try and refine it and make some form of actual language or should I just let it go, because after this chapter they will be able to understand one another. I don't see much purpose in creating six languages for a four page segment of my story.
     
  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Agreed. No point. You can easily describe the confusion, and perhaps even describe the language sounds, but you do not need, imo, to come up with actual words.
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  4. Laura Elisabeth
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    Laura Elisabeth Member

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    I think it's worth doing some basic form of the language. Personally, if I was reading a book where dialect in the chapter consisted of keyboard mashing, I would turn off and maybe even put the book down. It's worth basing it on some sort of structure, maybe just play around with different languages or something - use some root latin words, some root greek. Google translate is always a good go-to!

    Best of luck!
     
  5. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    There rabid fans who have learned Klingon so either cut the language and describe confusion OR be prepared to create new languages!
     
  6. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    At minimum, I would try have different syntax and allow for some identification of simple affirmations and denials "Yes/No." There is no need to create languages, which are very involved and likely more work then the book itself. There is quite a lot to think about with language an sometimes the best experience creating a language is learning a completely different one... from scratch.
     
  7. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here are my two cents: (Disclaimer: My examples may not be perfect, but should hopefully help get my points across.)
    1. Don't just button-mash! The words must be readable, or you will put the reader off. Compare these two examples:
      The second line still doesn't make any sense, but it is readable without it being a chore.

    2. Don't just make the words readable--the entire sentence must flow as well. Take a random sentence from the English language and speak it really slowly. Do you feel how (almost) every word flows into the next? This is important make the words even easier to read. (E.g. I believe this is one of the points (if not the point) with having irregular verbs; if these verbs are conjugated regularly they break the flow.) Compare these two examples:

    3. Keep the English syntax, but replace the words! By doing this everything you write does convey a message (even though no one but you can read it), and your "language" will feel more solid since some of your words would be repeated (e.g. I and you). It should also help you write the language since you have some (familiar) guidelines to follow, and don't need to come up with new words every time.
      Let's say that the sentence in my examples above means "I can not understand them!":

    I think that's all I had to say at the moment. I hope it helps! :)
     

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