31 Responses

  1. Berry Brain at |

    “Lingua Ignota was the first known human-made language, created by German abbess Hildegard of Bingen in the 12th Century.”
    This sentence makes no sense. All human-spoken language is human-made. And human language predates the 12 century by a great deal.

    Reply
    1. Sha at |

      “Made” implies conscious construction, rather than cross-generational evolution.

      Reply
      1. Berry Brain at |

        Maybe it does to you but I still think it’s a badly written sentence. I get that the author means that Lingua Ignota was consciously designed by one person, but ‘made’ can be used to mean unconscious acts as well, e.g. ‘I made a mistake’ or ‘the dog made a mess of the garden’. It’s no big deal, I just find badly-phrased sentences in an article about invented languages kind of ironic.

        Reply
        1. brandino at |

          “but ‘made’ can be used to mean unconscious acts as well”

          That’s why he specified “human”-made not just “made”.

          Reply
    2. Mike at |

      I think she is comparing it with all other languages that evolved ‘organically’ over centuries from the bottom up as opposed to ‘top down’ where one person deliberately sets out to create a language from scratch in a much shorter time

      Reply
  2. zokiba at |

    It is the first known deliberately constructed language, as opposed to natural languages which form and change by the population at large.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous at |

    There’s a whole bunch of hobbyists on the internet constructing more or less naturalistic languages, actually: http://cals.conlang.org is kind of a yellow-pages site.

    Reply
  4. jamie b. at |

    How, oh how, did the author overlook Loglan/Lojban!?

    Reply
    1. Anon at |

      Because Lojban is easy to overlook. I am more concerned with the fact that Klingon is on this list whatsoever. Klingon, whilst a fairly stable language in itself, is little more than an elaborate cipher.

      Reply
      1. jamie b. at |

        Loglan/Lojban is the product of over fifty years of work by dozens of professionals. No other conlang compares to it. That the author overlooked it would suggest a shallow degree of research into the subject.

        Reply
  5. Jonathan at |

    No Hangul?

    Reply
    1. jamie b. at |

      Hangul is not a language.

      Reply
  6. Steve at |

    I’ve enjoyed trying to think or write in E-Prime since I heard Dr. David Bourland speak it during a radio interview. I was impressed with the richness of his simple sentences. He seemed to convey more meaning with fewer words, and I didn’t notice the lack of “to be” until he pointed it out.

    My technical writing at work has improved by minimizing the use of “to be.” I also like how E-Prime makes it difficult to pass knee-jerk judgements; you can’t say, “He’s a jerk,” but you can say, “I feel hurt when he doesn’t listen.”

    “This is a flower” has a few easy-to-use alternatives, such as “I have a flower,” or, “Look at my flower.” However, E-Prime plays havoc with verb conjugation. I never did find an easy way to say, “It’s raining.” “It rains,” or, “The clouds are raining” sound too awkward.

    Interestingly, the creator of the Klingon language didn’t include “to be” in his original design. He had to add it when, in the movie “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country,” General Chang quoted Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be” in “the original Klingon.”

    Reply
    1. Steve at |

      Whoops! Even though I took great care to avoid using any form of “to be” in my comment, nevertheless I suggested, “The clouds *are* raining” as a possible E-Prime version of, “It’s raining.”

      Silly me.

      Reply
      1. jamie b. at |

        Does “Rain now falls” sound too stilted? How about “I see rain”?

        Reply
        1. Steve at |

          I’ve yet to find a comfortable, natural-sounding equivalent, though your suggestions come as close as any. Thankfully, rain rarely comes up in my technical writing!

          How about asking the equivalent of “is it raining?” Yuck! “Does it rain now?” “Do we have rain at the moment?” I can’t think of any good alternatives.

          At least, I enjoy the mental exercise. I couldn’t follow the rules in real life, nor do I try. Still, E-Prime helps me think more clearly at times, given the extra effort.

          Reply
      2. Manz at |

        You also said, “I was impressed.” It’s a hard verb to obliterate!

        Reply
        1. Steve at |

          Good catch!

          Reply
  7. Denise at |

    Sindarin should probably be mentioned alongside Quenya; I run into more people learning Sindarin than I do Quenya speakers.

    Pedin edhellen!

    Reply
  8. pat at |

    In “Harry Potter Deathly Hallows part 2″ there was a short part spoken in Parseltongue!

    Reply
  9. rin at |

    no simlish?

    Reply
  10. Fartz at |

    what about the elfin language from the lord of the rings

    Reply
    1. jamie b. at |

      Umm… did you not see number 9 from the list?

      Reply
      1. Fartz at |

        Um… FARTZ!

        Reply
  11. Ike at |

    So… No one’s going to address No. 6? Really? Guess it’s up to me then..

    I can’t begin to describe how massively retarded this old hag is, the fact the she’s crossing her fingers in zen-like philosophical repose, whilst claiming some feminist BS about the essence of communication, makes me want to back hand her silly face.

    The fact it’s called ‘Laagan’ is equally as retarded. Is there any reason for it? Or, more likely, did she just use the same ‘on the rag’ method of thinking to come up with the language’s name as she did for her crackpot hypothesis?

    Reply
    1. jamie b. at |

      The name of the language is actually ‘Laadan’, and not ‘Laagan’. Hopefully, Laadan is far less offensive to you than Laagan, for whatever inexplicable reason.

      Reply
    2. grt at |

      Actually I don’t think you know what you are writing about. You can’t even read the name “Laadan” correctly, so what could you possibly know about it? Yeah, right, nothing. Come back when you have learned some basics about linguistics. Or something at all. Back to school with you.

      Reply
  12. Jim at |

    The Dothraki language was constructed by David J. Peterson for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

    Reply
  13. Michael Everson at |

    ah. Newspeak isn’t a conlang; it’s just an idea for a relex of English. And E-Prime is just a style of discourse. The list misses Volapük and Lojban.

    Reply
  14. Yusnia Sakti at |

    Hey, have you known ALAY or 4L4Y?!

    Reply
  15. Jack at |

    Fhlúir na h-Alba! Ama?igh!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Current day month ye@r *