Hello, I would like to talk to you a bit about constructed languages. Many of you have probably heard of languages such as Zamenhof’s Esperanto or Tolkien’s Elvish languages, some of you may have even heard of Dothraki from the Game of Thrones series. Other constructed languages of note are Klingon, from Star Trek and Na’vi from Avatar. I, however, would like to talk a bit about my own languages and how they came to be. To simplify, from now on, instead of saying “constructed language” I will be using the word “conlang”.
Let’s start with the word itself. “Conlang” is a portmanteau of the English words “constructed” and “language” and means a language, whose phonology, grammar or vocabulary were consciously devised by a single person or group of people. Conlangs can be divided into three main categories depending on the intended use of the language. The first category is engineered languages (engelangs), devised for the purpose of experimentation in logic, philosophy and linguistics. The second category is auxiliary languages (auxlangs), devised for international communication, one example would be Esperanto. The third and final category is artistic languages (artlangs). This is the most popular group and this is where we can find most of the well-known conlangs from films, books and television series.
Where can my languages be found in this classification? They can be found in the third group, since my languages are part of an imaginary world that I created. My best developed language is Enterdese, which one could almost use on a daily basis, since it has a vocabulary of over three thousand words. Unfortunately, you can never have enough words and every time I translate something new, I have to add at least one new word. Enterdese is an agglutinative language, which means that to modify words grammatically you add affixes to the root word without modifying the root word itself. Enterdese is an a priori language, which means that the vocabulary is not based on an existing language. It has its own alphabet and family tree. What, therefore, does Enterdese sound like? Here is an example, the first article from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Loson hjūmanum opeletlastien uvedria vyn beliei jin adhberos vyn galianum. Mēr levendan heghā opteignin vyn tōnaia vyn mēr iaratans raerian heghā losthi jin miralos uv homeroi.
(All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.)
Something worth noting is that hjūmanum is a loanword, since Enterdese is not spoken by humans, but beings similar to humans living in my world.
Why should you create conlangs? I do it as a hobby, to pass the time, but also as a lesson in linguistics. Enterdese, therefore, could also be called an engelang.
Thank you for your attention.