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Over the course of the show we have discovered something … it’s really hard to dig up good conlangs out there.  Not that there aren’t plenty of conlangs out there, but a large number are ill-informed first attempts, incomplete sketches, or simply have no documentation online for us to look at.  So, we have a couple of things we’d like you, the listener to help us with:

  1. We need to have more conlang suggestions.  Good ones, with enough grammar online for us to make a decent assessment (no, you don’t need a 100-page grammar, but hopefully you have some syntax worked out.
  2. We are considering whether or not to supplement by featuring natlangs on some weeks.  We’d probably start with something familiar to see how it does, but after that I’m sure we can dig up the rare and bizarre.  I have a poll below to ask whether you all would like that idea.


Would you like us to feature a natural language some weeks rather than a conlang?

  • Yes, once in a while (57%, 45 Votes)
  • Yes, alternate natlang-conlang (34%, 27 Votes)
  • No, get your nat out of my con! (6%, 5 Votes)
  • I have a better idea (and you'll find it in my comment) (3%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 79

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11 Responses to “We Need Help AGAIN (Another poll and some more)”

  1. Rejistania

    I wanted to know whether you could maybe just instead of one language could just look at a specific feature and check how it is implemented in various conlangs. Not just the big issues but maybe also things which are just whimsical.

    • Owen

      Hi again!

      I think Rejistania’s idea is exactly what I would suggest. I think I would grasp a lot more about the technical side of grammar and linguistics if I had more reference points to how those rules applied “in the real world”. Also, quite often you say things like “oh this interesting, I like that x-conlang has agglutinative pronouns in the subjunctive future irrealist” etc, but I’d like to hear more examples from the languages themselves of how they do that.

      Perhaps you could feature more beginner conlangs, or discuss people’s sketches and outlines and give your expert opinions on where to go next, or what to do better. My conlangs seem to reach a certain stage that is far short of the famous ones you feature and I wouldn’t dare submit them to anyone unless I knew they were being looked at specifically as seed-ideas and not as full developed langs.

      Keep up the good work 🙂

      PS: I hope Bianca is liking England; I’m originally from north London and have lived in Maine for 12 years, it’s interesting to hear about people who go the other way, and what they think of the culture and way of life etc.


  2. James McCleary

    1) There are still a good number of classic or otherwise important conlangs for you to explore. I’m not sure about the internet presence of them all, but, in no particular order: gzb, Aui, Alurhsa, Na’vi, Kamakawi, Dothraki, the Vulcan language, Verdurian or other Verdurian languages, Tsolyani or any other Tekumel language, and, among the Tolkien languages, at least Quenya, Sindarin, and possibly Aduniac.
    2) One can spend more than a week on a given conlang. Okuna easily warrants three episodes. Kelen and Teonaht at least two.
    3) Classical historical conlangs such as Lingua Ignota, Volapuk, and Esperanto
    4) You could interview interesting conlangers.
    5) You can analyze conlangs in literature. Aside from Middle Earth, how is Old Solar used in the C S Lewis’ “Space Trilogy.” What about Barsoomian in Edgar Rice Burrough’s Mars series?
    6) You can review books about conlangs. There are of course “In the Land of Invented Languages” as well as Sarah Higley’s book on Lingua Ignota
    7) You can discuss your own languages and what you like and dislike (in general) in other constructed languages.
    8) Esperanto as a social movement and the history of Esperanto
    9) You could interview Michael Everson about some of the different translations of “Alice in Wonderland” that he’s published.
    10) I could always answer some questions on what I’m doing in translating “Alice” into mine own language
    11) A discussion on conlangs on film and television – from Avatar to Star Trek. When is it done right and when done wrong? What affect is achieved?
    12) Conlanging as an art
    I’m sure I could think of a few more, but this is what appears off the top of my head.

    • admin

      Thank you very much for your feedback. Many of the examples you gave would really make good main topics, and others notes to follow when we cover specific conlangs. I’m not certain about doing interviews, as tracking people down to book for an interview might be too much for me to really want to do when I don’t get paid for this, but we’ll consider it.

      We probably won’t feature a conlang twice, except in extraordinary circumstances — we talk about what we can in 20-30 minutes and link to resources where people can look at it themselves. I’m also reticent to feature the same author twice without putting in significant padding in between. Also note that some of the conlangs you mention (like Alurhsa and Na’vi) have been covered previously, and others we have trouble agreeing on (I have tried to suggest Dothraki multiple times but William feels that we don’t have enough information, and none of us have seen the Game of Thrones TV series yet).

      I do appreciate you doing some brainstorming, though. We’ll consider some of your ideas, particularly regarding interviews (we have had conlanger guests, sort of). Perhaps we’ll develop a range of ideas to use in the show.

    • wm.annis

      1) By all accounts, it would be interesting to discuss Tsolyani — but we’d all have to buy a book. My head would explode if we had to take aUI seriously. 🙂 I’m curious which Vulcan language you mean — all the ones I’ve seen have been rather dodgy (at least as far as I could tell). And I’d sort of like to hold off on Dothraki until a lot more of it is public. I hope some day Itlani will reappear on the web.

      2) That’s an interesting notion.

      3) Esperanto has been raised as a possibility, as has Lojban. But, I retain scars from auxlang wars, and have a little anxiety about splashing about in those waters.

      7) We’ve consciously avoided that, but a critique of my Vaior from a decade later might actually be useful to beginners.

      9-10) I was thinking about this after recording the most recent episode (to appear in a few weeks). The translation of not just words but style got a good demonstration in that language, and it seems like a useful topic to dwell on, though it scares me a little. It’s a deeper and more subjective topic.

      11) We tried to do this topic, but there were technical difficulties. 🙂 Perhaps we can take a stab at it again.

  3. John Clifford

    Natural languages, if they are weird enough, e.g., Basque, said to be the hardest to learn.
    Looking at suggested languages, aUI has little internet support but a real book, toki pona has a good community going and some Internet support and an interesting creator, if you can catch het. And don’t forget Loglan and Lojban. Dothraki also seems to be building well.
    Literary conlangs outside of a few big cases (Tolkien, Caves, Elgin) are a poor lot, merely uggamumble with lots of qs and odd clusters. Even Lewis, who could do better, is very skimpy — mainly names, as is usually the case.


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