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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Historical Conlinguistics

Itchy Feet history of constructed languages like Volapük, Esperanto, Occidental and Dothraki and why nobody wants to learn them
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San athchomari yeraan!


21 comments:

  1. It doesn't even have a word for "Thank you", though.....

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    1. "Dankon," is thanks in Esperanto. You can also use the verb "danki"

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    2. It's Dothraki that supposedly doesn't have a word/words for "Thank you!" according to the books.

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  2. I'm a conlanger, and, damn… This is so accurate.

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  3. What's a conlanger?

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  4. I had a "how to learn Klingon" book for ages... never learned that either. XD

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  5. But I want to learn Volapük, not this new age Doth-rack-ee stuff!

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    1. Lärnolös Volapüki! XD
      http://volapuk.evertype.com/

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  6. Tio estas tiom vera ke ĝi doloras min!

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  7. Douglas CallenderMay 13, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    What's so surprising about this? People learn languages because they connect with the culture, or because they like the way the language sounds and feels. A language that is easy to learn but culturally sterile isn't going to be attractive to anyone.

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    1. True. But now that Esperanto is over 150 years old and has native speakers in the fourth generation and people died in concentration camps and gulags for it it really starts to feel like a real culture and a real language.

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    2. Native speakers? Can you really be a native speaker of a language that was only spoken by a few family members and their friends, while everyone else in your life speaks a different language? And how many families are there that use Esperanto as their main language at home, rather than using the local language or the language of their homeland?

      I'm asking that with, granted, some skepticism, but also genuine curiosity. I'm friends with a couple who met at an Esperanto conference in China; he spoke English and she spoke Farsi, so for the first several years everything sort of had to be translated twice. She came to join him in the Chicago area, and now she speaks English pretty well, but it never occurred to me that they might still use Esperanto as their sole language at home. I'd assumed their kids would have English as their first language, since it's the most useful in their everyday lives, and also learn some degree of Farsi and Esperanto from their parents at home. I hadn't even realized it was an assumption I'd made until this discussion came up!

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    3. » And how many families are there that use Esperanto as their main language at home

      About 2000, a number you can ridicule, but still big enough, probably comparable to half or quarter of the languages used in the world (as we know, there are few languages that are huge and the rest are quite small, many of them are used as minority languages in bilingual communities, being mostly languages for daily communication in homes).

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    4. Not to mention that revived languages (Hebrew, Manx) also start out once again as a language only spoken by a few family members and their friends. Sure, they are natural languages that died but upon revival they turn into something fairly different, generally more straightforward and easy to learn, or dare we say artificial? Say for some reason Norwegian died one day all of a sudden and we ended up reviving it a century later there's no way it could be brought back with the wealth of dialects it has and probably would shock a Norwegian of today for its uniformity.

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    5. Okay, yeah, 2000 families is a respectable number of speakers, and with the internet I can see how a coherent community could develop. Thank for the information! :-)

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  8. And here I thought Quenya would be tied with Klingon for the most obvious precursors.

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  9. Heh. And I started learning Esperanto recently. Timely comic!

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