Conlangs

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JayLee

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Conlangs
« on: July 23, 2017, 10:09:53 PM »
I'm notorious for starting redundant threads... but I couldn't find one....

@Irish_Carbomb mentioned languages in fantasy, and I got so durn excited! I love writing conlangs and hearing about how others go about it. Anyone else? How's yours sound, how does it work? The history of it, etc. etc. Personally, my method is/was probably the most convoluted way ever, but I've gotten somewhere...

Also, what do you think of conlangs? Are they worth the time? Honestly, while reading, I don't find much want of them as the reader, and sometimes when they just sound silly and poorly thought out, they can detract from the feeling of the world. But sometimes, they are used to such great effect.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 10:12:23 PM by JayLee »
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Irish_Carbomb

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 11:35:21 AM »
I use them to a degree. I've only built one language from the ground up and it never ended up being used in any of my writing. Mostly I build my languages around what already exists. So I'll slip in a word here and there when I feel it benefits the story. Like...I just wrote a book featuring pirates. Lots of ships with like...Roman, French, or Italian names. None of these languages exist in my world. So...some words stand out as not belonging even if they're regularly used in our every day life. That's where I'll slip in the use of conlang.

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 03:30:48 PM »
Usually I don't bother. I simply use names and other words from existing languages, or maybe make them up if the culture in question doesn't have a loose real-world basis. Conlanging to me looks like a real rabbit hole into Worldbuilder's Disease.
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JayLee

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 03:49:06 PM »
Conlanging to me looks like a real rabbit hole into Worldbuilder's Disease.
haha, no kidding. I've been working on my only "complete" one for 8-9 years now :)  But when you are co-authoring and waiting for your turn to write the next chapter.... it's at least something to do!
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Amblygon

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 06:24:54 PM »
I agree, JayLee, they can be done really well in some fantasy books, but when there's just random words thrown in with no context, it just pulls me right out of the story.

Years ago I worked a bit on a German/Swedish inspired language for some pirates, but the only fun thing in the end was a really cool alphabet that I created that I used for a year or two to write things for my partner. When I realised we didn't quite share the same interest in learning a useless alphabet (i.e. when I realised all of my messages were basically never decoded), I sort of forgot about it. Now, if I need a foreign word and there's no English word that will do, I'll usually go for a twist on an existing foreign word that has a similar feel to the language I'm thinking of for those people.

I wish I could put the time and effort into properly building a language from the ground up, but I think I'd have to know a lot more about languages in general to feel confident. If anyone is building a language, please feel free to give us some basic phrases! I'd love to see something new! :D

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Xanxa

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 07:58:31 PM »
When I was first building my universe, I had a go at developing my own language but I got bored of writing out pronouns and verb conjugations so I gave up on it.  Instead, I use some made-up words, particularly for cultural references and concepts, to add colour to my universe.  I went from one main language to around nine languages, so it could have become very confusing.  Nowadays, I include a glossary for each book and some of the terms get explained in dialogue anyway. 

The made-up words which I do use are mostly very specific.  For example, in my gangster culture, a Cartagrilia is a bragging statement in the form of a parchment scroll left with the body after a gang assassination.  The name for a gang assassination is yrrq (pronounced "yurk").  The meeting place for the ruling gangster families is known as the Meherq and each family keeps a record of its members and their activities, known as a Merequitus.
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JayLee

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 08:47:08 PM »
The name for a gang assassination is yrrq (pronounced "yurk")
I like that :)

I agree, JayLee, they can be done really well in some fantasy books, but when there's just random words thrown in with no context, it just pulls me right out of the story.
That's pretty much how I feel about it as well. I don't usually notice if the words seem to match the world, or they are consistent in sound to each other, but sometimes I swear people are just button smashing. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does pull me out of the world a little.
I wish I could put the time and effort into properly building a language from the ground up, but I think I'd have to know a lot more about languages in general to feel confident. If anyone is building a language, please feel free to give us some basic phrases! I'd love to see something new!
I dunno... I think to start maybe just go for it if it's something you want to do... I certainly had no clue what I was up to in sixth grade, I just went for it, and I'm learning about language structure as I go :) Probably why Silnarin sucks... Though, I do use it to write songs when I'm bored now. I do have a couple basic phrases I could share....

Ahleon is the formal greeting where as Le is the informal (should have little dotty things over the e's). Meh cahl tri (my name is). Ayh bok ___ gedens dyen (I am __ years old). Eylan yiet nathe aifen (what are you doing)... etc. Though, what gets used in the book tends to be things which don't quite translate... such as Bahltah (more or less meaning cursed thing or one) and more of a sound borrowed from animals "chck-t-t" (like a chickadees call, it warns of a danger the watcher is uncertain of)... Yeah, the otherfolk in this world are odd :)
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HSCook

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 07:03:24 AM »
I adore conlangs. I adore making them, learning them and I love love love when they are done well.

I don't like 'throw random word here' stuff with no foundation or meaning behind it. As a rule, I have very little actually spoken throughout in my main language. So far, the only extensive part is Raic's branding and romanising that was hard.

Ftș lyh fr n s entoi enitueni-l fr n sa inƴr entoi eml-in. Ysiŋfidthr ftș frml inƴr entoi ecteitșt-in. Enƴr s yntoi ynbesthpr-en.
By the Aelic, I mark you with fire and ice. By the Mark, I name you Ysiŋfidthr (frosted wing). sa (will) protect me.

But from the language I get names and stations/ranks. I get races. And I get the odd curses here and there. Some parts are explained, others are not. But the main language is complete with two others constructed partially (all that is needed).

I like conscripts even more. I made mine into a font I can use in word. It's beautiful! I mapped it to romanisation, I think, for ease in typing, but also to the standard... (Image attached for above sentences.)

But again, it is all very limited in the actual book. Maybe an elfn song, or the drc's lament. The races have their old names and the new. The alfar speak a modern derivative of it and the younger among them sometimes struggle for the Cyreltan word (common tongue). Training, teaching, old readings and language barriers. That is where it is most useful.

Edit: screwed up the tense there >.>


« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 03:32:20 PM by HSCook »
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JayLee

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Re: Conlangs
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 12:28:58 AM »
 
Ftș lyh fr n s entoi enitueni-l fr n sa inƴr entoi eml-in. Ysiŋfidthr ftș frml inƴr entoi ecteitșt-in. Enƴr s yntoi ynbesthpr-en.
By the Aelic, I mark you with fire and ice. By the Mark, I name you Ysiŋfidthr (frosted wing). sa (will) protect me.

Oooh! This language sounds really interesting. Well, it does in my head at least at the moment, though I am 100% certain I butchered the pronunciation  :o. I particularly like the grammatical structure I'm seeing here.
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