Language creation

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
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Marduk
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Language creation

Post by Marduk »

Hey everyone.

I have been writing machine/computer languages for about 8 years now. I am completely self taught and use my own tools. I have many languages that I have completed that work wonderfully. I have a program that I use with each language that translates in real time. Everything works nicely. My languages are around 56,000 words each. I use a combination of Excel and various custom tools to generate the languages.Language creation is not a easy process, but it is fun.It takes me about 4 hours to create one from scratch. I believe what I am creating is more like machine languages? I am certainly not knowledgeable about how to properly create languages as most on here. Its just a fun obsession.

Lately I have been into creating image languages. Languages based on images. I was curious if anyone has ever made a image language? How did you do it? Did you create your own custom font to go along with your language? Did you program a translation tool or app? What have you experimented with?

Also, what is the typical word count when others create languages? What tools do you use?
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elemtilas
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Re: Language creation

Post by elemtilas »

Show us some examples of what you've done!

As for word count, I think that varies anywhere between naught and 100k+. Much depends on the glossopoetry at the moment.

For tools, I at least prefer Pen-n-Paper 1.0 and Imaginarion 0.1.

Image languages are cool. By "image" do you mean some kind of written icon, like a hieroglyph or a written icon like, well, an actual icon. Pictography. And by "language" do mean the spoken language that is imagery-rich, like "Philip and the Eunuch at Dhirweh fountain, his eye opened" kind of thing?
Marduk
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Re: Language creation

Post by Marduk »

Sure.Ive never shared, but here are 3 examples.link expires in 1 day.

https://ibb.co/1X4S2v9
https://ibb.co/VYm9tmY
https://ibb.co/XYLQLY6

Yep. A image based language. Pictographs.

I started using “word creator” ,“word generator”, “word builder” and some game code generators years ago. Then kinda moved into more advanced stuff like scripting and programming my own apps to write/translate my languages. I am in IT so the technical side of putting it all together appeals to me.
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Re: Language creation

Post by Salmoneus »

Marduk wrote: 22 May 2021 23:43 Hey everyone.
Hello.

I have been writing machine/computer languages for about 8 years now. I am completely self taught and use my own tools. I have many languages that I have completed that work wonderfully. I have a program that I use with each language that translates in real time. Everything works nicely. My languages are around 56,000 words each. I use a combination of Excel and various custom tools to generate the languages.Language creation is not a easy process, but it is fun.It takes me about 4 hours to create one from scratch. I believe what I am creating is more like machine languages? I am certainly not knowledgeable about how to properly create languages as most on here. Its just a fun obsession.
I'm only familiar with 'machine language' as a term for a language used in programming computers. But I think what you're saying is that you just exchange the words of an English (or other language text) with made-up words? This is what conlangers usually call a "cipher" or "cipher language" - it's basically still English, but run through a 1-to-1 encipherment to not LOOK English. Ciphers are a useful way to quickly create what looks superficially like a non-English language - if you need one for a story, or something - but don't include any of the actually interesting bits of language.

[tangent: although conlangers call this a cipher, cryptographers would instead call it a "code". Ciphers in the strict sense replace the plaintext letter-by-letter, whereas codes replace the plaintext word-by-word. Although the same distinction could be made in conlanging, we generally just call both of these 'ciphers'.]
Lately I have been into creating image languages. Languages based on images. I was curious if anyone has ever made a image language? How did you do it?
What do you mean, "based on" images?
Also, what is the typical word count when others create languages?
Do you mean, how large is our lexicon (the list of words in the language), or what is the wordcount of the description of the language itself?

Most conlangs have very small lexicons, because lexicon-creation is time-consuming and many people don't find it interesting. Many people will only create words as they are needed for translations or examples. However, a small subset of conlangers concentrate on this aspect, and create lexicons of tens of thousands of words. I'm not one of those. Most of my conlangs have had between, say, 10 and 30 words at any one time. A couple have had 100-300. One sort-of has maybe 1000-1500, which is very unusual for me. ['sort of' because most of those words still need to be gone through to update them to the latest version of the language]

Wordcounts of language descriptions likewise vary wildly. Many of us don't so much have a unitary, single description, as a series of smaller sketches and details of parts of the language that gradually go out of date... the longest descriptions I've seen have been 200-300 pages, I think, but that's a tiny minority of conlangs - many 'sketch' languages probably never get beyond a page or two, and even serious languages may not have more than a few dozen pages of description.
What tools do you use?
Mostly Word. Sometimes Excel. And Zompist's Sound Change Applier (probably not the best at what it does, but I'm used to it now). I've previously experimented with dictionary software, and with random generator software, but haven't used either for a long time and couldn't give any advice.
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Re: Language creation

Post by Marduk »

Thanks for helping me clear that up.

Im not interested in cypher languages. I don't really want to obscure or hide.

Yeah, how large the basic lexicon was. I see now they are pretty large.

Yes.Pictographs. Just trying something different. Never was great at graphic design work but its still fun.

Im confused. How can you make a language with between 10-30 words?

Im still making my way through the site resources. Lots of good info.
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elemtilas
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Re: Language creation

Post by elemtilas »

So...

Image

I guess the 64000 question is how do you get from one box to the other? For the first two, what are the romanisation schemes? For all three, which word is what concept and how do the grammatical functions work?

What kinds of peoples speak these languages and what are their cultures like?

I'd leave the technical queries to the IT folks, because I wouldn't even know what to ask!
Yeah, how large the basic lexicon was. I see now they are pretty large.

Yes.Pictographs. Just trying something different. Never was great at graphic design work but its still fun.

Im confused. How can you make a language with between 10-30 words?
Indeed, some folks have very large lexicons. We don't hold that against them! Though I'd say that you're averaging ~50k, you're definitely in good company.

Show us some of your pictographs!

As for low word count invented languages, not everyone's interested in megalexicons. Some folks create language sketches -- maybe they need a few words and a couple phrases or perhaps they're researching how two grammatical structures interact. They don't need fully developed grammars and they don't need a lot of words. Consider the famous SAT language. Sometimes someone will begin a project and abandon it for some reason.
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Re: Language creation

Post by Salmoneus »

Marduk wrote: 23 May 2021 03:06 Thanks for helping me clear that up.

Im not interested in cypher languages. I don't really want to obscure or hide.
Nonetheless, your languages are what we would call ciphers. Going by your examples, you seem to just replace the English words one-to-one with non-English words (that have a lot more letters!). So really, it's still the same English sentence, only you have to look up the meaning of each word in a codebook.

In a non-cipher language, you can't translate without both the codebook ('dictionary') AND an understanding of the grammar, because of course every real language has its own, distinctive grammar. You can't translate from one language to another just by replacing the words, unless they're very closely-related languages - in different languages, there are different endings to show different things on verbs and nouns, and words go in different orders. So, we try to make our own constructed languages be like that too.

To give an example...

How do you say "Do his mothers trust you?" in Irish? Well, 'do' is déan, 'his' is a, 'mother' is máthair, -s is often ('cailín', girl; 'cailíní', girls), 'trust' is muinín, and 'you' is just .

So the translation should be *Déan a máthairí muinín tú?, right? Wrong.

In fact, I think the translation should be (bearing in mind that I don't speak the language and could be wrong): An bhfuil muinín ag a mháthaireacha asaibh?

What the hell? How does that work!?

Well, using "do" to form a question like that is uniquely English. Irish instead uses a question particle, an, which it puts in front of the verb, leaving everything else the same. The verb in this case is , but when you put an before the result, somewhat counterintuitively, is an bhfuil. doesn't translate as either 'do' or 'trust', but as 'is' (but NOT the 'is' in "he is a duck", only the 'is' in "he is tall"). Only then do we come to 'trust', which in Irish is a noun, not a verb. Then we get ag - this means 'at'. Then a, and then the plural of máthair - but note that this word uses a different plural, not -í at all. Also note that although 'mothers' is máthaireacha, 'his mothers' is instead a mháthaireacha - mh, not m. a máthaireacha is grammatical, but means 'her mothers', or 'their mothers', never 'his mothers'. And finall there's asaibh, which is a single word meaning "out of you", and conveying the fact that there's more than one of you, at the same time (asat for 'out of you' singular; asam for out of me', astu for 'out of them', and so forth). So literally the Irish translates to "Is trust at his mothers out of you?"

And if you only swap out words one by one, you'll never arrive at this sentence; you can't know that this is the correct Irish translation without actually knowing something about the grammar of the language. If you just swap words one by one, you end up with a 'language' that is just English in disguise, because all of the grammar is still English grammar: it can look nice to someone who can't read it (and that can be a valid goal in its own right), but most people find that just copying English gets dull fast...
Im confused. How can you make a language with between 10-30 words?
If by 'language' we mean 'completed language' - you're right, you can't. But most conlangs are nowhere near complete, ever. And for many of us, the actual words are a long way down the list of things to get 'right'.

Personally, for most of my languages, I've been much more interested in the grammar, so I've only bothered to invent enough words to be able to write example sentences in grammar descriptions. [and before I have time to make more, I become dissatisfied with some element of the language so rewrite it all and change all the words...]
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Reyzadren
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Re: Language creation

Post by Reyzadren »

I have collated around 3900+ word entries in my conlang, which is probably much lower than most conlangers' typical word counts irl, but so far it is enough for me to make many storybooks and to describe anything that I need irl.

As for computer tools, I mostly use a word processor (OpenOffice) with any text editor or image editor.
Image griuskant thread | Image conlang summary
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Re: Language creation

Post by Khemehekis »

Marduk: Are your conlangs this type of language:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ ... erLanguage

? Or just this type (an April Fool's joke demonstrating what not to do in conlanging):

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7480&p=308404&hili ... an#p308404

?

Also, do you have concultures -- cultures of fictional speakers from fictional worlds who use these languages?
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My Kankonian-English dictionary: 78,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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Re: Language creation

Post by Khemehekis »

Reyzadren wrote: 23 May 2021 23:46 I have collated around 3900+ word entries in my conlang, which is probably much lower than most conlangers' typical word counts irl,
What do you mean? 3,900 is far larger than most conlangs ever get in lexicon. When I was talking about the size of Kankonian's and Shaleyan's lexicons in the Lexicon Milestones thread, people were saying things like: "Good job. My conlangs have 7-10 words each."
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Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 78,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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Reyzadren
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Re: Language creation

Post by Reyzadren »

Khemehekis wrote: 24 May 2021 02:17What do you mean? 3,900 is far larger than most conlangs ever get in lexicon. When I was talking about the size of Kankonian's and Shaleyan's lexicons in the Lexicon Milestones thread, people were saying things like: "Good job. My conlangs have 7-10 words each."
I guess I have seen more conlangers with thousands of words in my experience which made me think otherwise. My number is still lower than his though for comparison in this thread.
Image griuskant thread | Image conlang summary
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Re: Language creation

Post by Khemehekis »

Reyzadren wrote: 26 May 2021 23:47
Khemehekis wrote: 24 May 2021 02:17What do you mean? 3,900 is far larger than most conlangs ever get in lexicon. When I was talking about the size of Kankonian's and Shaleyan's lexicons in the Lexicon Milestones thread, people were saying things like: "Good job. My conlangs have 7-10 words each."
I guess I have seen more conlangers with thousands of words in my experience which made me think otherwise. My number is still lower than his though for comparison in this thread.
Read through the Lexicon Milestones thread and you'll get a good idea of the distributions. The page https://www.frathwiki.com/Conlangs_with ... ,000_words lists only 52 conlangs with more than 10,000, out of the thousands and thousands of conlangs have ever been started, although Vayardyio needs to be added and the 16 conlangs of Marduk are not listed there.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 78,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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