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Using IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 18:30
by MoonRightRomantic
So if I wanted to write a fantasy novel and wanted to pepper it with words and phrases representing an in-setting language, would I be better served by copy-pasting phrases from an auxiliary or zonal conlang like Esperanto, Interslavic, Folkspraak, Lingua Franca Nova, Afrihili, Jennai, etc rather than just making up foreign sounding gibberish because I don't have the time or experience to invent a functional language?
Edit: Removed reference to natlangs.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 18:57
by Isfendil
MoonRightRomantic wrote:So if I wanted to write a fantasy novel and wanted to pepper it with words and phrases representing an in-setting language, would I be better served by copy-pasting phrases from a natlang, auxiliary or zonal conlang like Portuguese, Esperanto, Interslavic, etc rather than just making up foreign sounding gibberish because I don't have the time or experience to invent a functional language?
If you want to create an authentic world, and the speakers of said languages don't have cultures that are at least a little similar to those who speak the natlang, then I'd say no. I mean it's better than foreign sounding gibberish I guess but people are going to pick up on real languages and will be shattered either by mistakes in those phrases, inconsistency with the cultures of those who speak them, get angry if any inclement characters speak them, or a combination of all these things.

Also, honestly humans tune out languages that they don't understand so you don't really need to include any sort of foreign language in your novel if it is not especially centric to the whole thing. GRRM did not invent Valyrian, that was invented mainly for the show where such things needed to be heard. Neither Valyrian nor Dothraki existed before they had to be used in that show, save for personal names and one discrete word which had to be excused as a lexeme because it didn't fit well enough. Yet, the books are far older than the show- do you see my point here?

If you do need a language, you could always befriend a conlanger and persuade them to make one for you. Many of us have great fun making languages, and it's fairly easy to make basic grammars for theatrical purposes. I myself am already making a language for a friend's novel.

I do also, however, encourage you to try and learn some linguistics yourself. Not only will it open your eyes to the world of language but making them will be 100x easier (not an exaggeration), and also you'll probably find it fun. I mean it takes a while to learn and you said you don't have time but it's just something to consider. I know how it feels, honestly, because I tried to conlang before I learned linguistics and the abysmally sparce work I managed to do was so hard for me. Once I learned, that abysmally hard language turned out to be the easiest I work on, and has increased in size by several orders of magnitude. I rarely have to make new words now, and the world that I'm creating feels more complete to me.

Again, though, time is money, so I understand.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 19:07
by Isfendil
Oh! There is one exception to the above response that I should mention: Consider dead natural languages. Not only do they sound pretty cool but people aren't as personally invested or connected to the cultures that spoke them because they're dead. Although you ought to avoid very well known ones like Classical Arabic, Ecc. Latin, or Bib. Hebrew, because you might offend people and get the same inauthenticity marker. Don't worry, there are plenty of well attested dead languages that aren't very public. I'm also sure you'll be able to find help with those as well.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 19:15
by MoonRightRomantic
Isfendil wrote:Oh! There is one exception to the above response that I should mention: Consider dead natural languages. Not only do they sound pretty cool but people aren't as personally invested or connected to the cultures that spoke them because they're dead. Although you ought to avoid very well known ones like Classical Arabic, Ecc. Latin, or Bib. Hebrew, because you might offend people and get the same inauthenticity marker. Don't worry, there are plenty of well attested dead languages that aren't very public. I'm also sure you'll be able to find help with those as well.
Do International Auxiliary Languages like Esperanto count? If I had a fantasy counterpart culture modeled after a hodgepodge of Eastern Europe would it not make sense for them to speak Interslavic? Pseudo-germanic culture speaking Folkspraak or a pseudo-African culture speaking Afrihili?

People produce conlangs and leave them lying around. Would it not be cost-effective to piggyback from those efforts? Hasn't anyone invented a time-saving resource like "here are some pre-made conlangs for world builders"?

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 19:17
by Creyeditor
MoonRightRomantic wrote:People produce conlangs and leave them lying around. Would it not be cost-effective to piggyback from those efforts? Hasn't anyone invented a time-saving resource like "here are some pre-made conlangs for world builders"?
That would be cost-effective for world builders.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 19:24
by Isfendil
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
Isfendil wrote:Oh! There is one exception to the above response that I should mention: Consider dead natural languages. Not only do they sound pretty cool but people aren't as personally invested or connected to the cultures that spoke them because they're dead. Although you ought to avoid very well known ones like Classical Arabic, Ecc. Latin, or Bib. Hebrew, because you might offend people and get the same inauthenticity marker. Don't worry, there are plenty of well attested dead languages that aren't very public. I'm also sure you'll be able to find help with those as well.
Do International Auxiliary Languages like Esperanto count? If I had a fantasy counterpart culture modeled after a hodgepodge of Eastern Europe would it not make sense for them to speak Interslavic? Pseudo-germanic culture speaking Folkspraak or a pseudo-African culture speaking Afrihili?

People produce conlangs and leave them lying around. Would it not be cost-effective to piggyback from those efforts? Hasn't anyone invented a time-saving resource like "here are some pre-made conlangs for world builders"?
I guess auxiliary international languages don't count in that respect. Also, normally there isn't leftover languages for world builders, but making simple grammars is so easy for conlangers that, again, I'm sure someone could make you something if you asked, and then later followed up with information and specifications. Like commissioning a piece of art but with much less effort and cost involved to the artist.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 04:56
by k1234567890y
hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 14:50
by MoonRightRomantic
Isfendil wrote:Also, honestly humans tune out languages that they don't understand so you don't really need to include any sort of foreign language in your novel if it is not especially centric to the whole thing. GRRM did not invent Valyrian, that was invented mainly for the show where such things needed to be heard. Neither Valyrian nor Dothraki existed before they had to be used in that show, save for personal names and one discrete word which had to be excused as a lexeme because it didn't fit well enough. Yet, the books are far older than the show- do you see my point here?
Peterson says a lot of things that bug me. He uses the similarity of dracarys to the real word dragon as an excuse not to make it two morphemes for "dragon" and "fire", even though that was clearly the intention of Martin. Elsewhere he says that writing Valyrian in the Greek alphabet is bad-wrong-fun because Greece doesn't exist on Planetos, which is fallacious because by that logic humans shouldn't exist on Planetos either. The show invalidates his argument by using the Latin alphabet to represent Valyrian and Futhark for Old North even though Rome and Scandinavia don't exist on Planetos.
k1234567890y wrote:hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?
I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude, one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc. That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 15:37
by Frislander
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
k1234567890y wrote:hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?
I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude, one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc. That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.
Why creoles specifically? Why not just make a language that looks and behaves like it belongs to one of those language areas?

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 16:14
by MoonRightRomantic
Frislander wrote:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
k1234567890y wrote:hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?
I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude, one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc. That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.
Why creoles specifically? Why not just make a language that looks and behaves like it belongs to one of those language areas?
Because the languages in the story would be creoles that became lingua franca and eventually supplanted the native languages, much like English originated as a creole of French and German with some Latin loanwords.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 16:34
by qwed117
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
Frislander wrote:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
k1234567890y wrote:hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?
I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude, one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc. That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.
Why creoles specifically? Why not just make a language that looks and behaves like it belongs to one of those language areas?
Because the languages in the story would be creoles that became lingua franca and eventually supplanted the native languages, much like English originated as a creole of French and German with some Latin loanwords.
English isn't a creole as so. Sure, there's some syncretism, but for the most part, it's Germanic, with the jargon coming from French and Latin.

Re: Using IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 16:37
by k1234567890y
anyway, you need several languages that bear similarities to languages of our world, MoonRightRomantic? how about creating languages that sound Romance, Slavic, Germanic, etc. but their vocabularies are unrelated to real Romance languages, Slavic languages, Germanic languages, etc.?

Re: Using IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 20:00
by MoonRightRomantic
k1234567890y wrote:anyway, you need several languages that bear similarities to languages of our world, MoonRightRomantic? how about creating languages that sound Romance, Slavic, Germanic, etc. but their vocabularies are unrelated to real Romance languages, Slavic languages, Germanic languages, etc.?
Considering that at most a short proverb in a foreign language will ever appear in a novel (otherwise the readers would lose patience wading through gibberish), it would probably be easier to write gibberish that conforms to the phonology of the language whose appearance is desired.

For example, "cromulent" and "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" are not real words in English but sound like they could be. Unfortunately most fantasy writers don't bother making sure their foreign words are remotely consistent, and thus we get characters from the same village named "Vel Virazzo" and "Salon Corbeau."

Using a real auxlang at least would give it some exposure. More people speak Dothraki than Esperanto!

Re: Using IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 20:07
by Frislander
MoonRightRomantic wrote:Using a real auxlang at least would give it some exposure.
How many people do you think speak IALs?!
MoonRightRomantic wrote:More people speak Dothraki than Esperanto!
Don't you mean the other way round?

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 20:28
by Keenir
MoonRightRomantic wrote:I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude,
?
one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc
well, we can point you to the jobs board so you can commission someone to make them for you.
That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.
no. no they are not.

you might want to do some reading on creoles.

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 20:55
by Frislander
Keenir wrote:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude,
?
[+1]

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 23:27
by Isfendil
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
Isfendil wrote:Also, honestly humans tune out languages that they don't understand so you don't really need to include any sort of foreign language in your novel if it is not especially centric to the whole thing. GRRM did not invent Valyrian, that was invented mainly for the show where such things needed to be heard. Neither Valyrian nor Dothraki existed before they had to be used in that show, save for personal names and one discrete word which had to be excused as a lexeme because it didn't fit well enough. Yet, the books are far older than the show- do you see my point here?
Peterson says a lot of things that bug me. He uses the similarity of dracarys to the real word dragon as an excuse not to make it two morphemes for "dragon" and "fire", even though that was clearly the intention of Martin. Elsewhere he says that writing Valyrian in the Greek alphabet is bad-wrong-fun because Greece doesn't exist on Planetos, which is fallacious because by that logic humans shouldn't exist on Planetos either. The show invalidates his argument by using the Latin alphabet to represent Valyrian and Futhark for Old North even though Rome and Scandinavia don't exist on Planetos.
k1234567890y wrote:hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?
I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude, one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc. That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.
Our shared problems with David Peterson do not invalidate the argument that I made, if that is whatbyou were arguing against.

Also I could help make a language for your novel as well. More heads ought to help.

Re: Using IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 19 Aug 2016 07:22
by k1234567890y
MoonRightRomantic wrote:Unfortunately most fantasy writers don't bother making sure their foreign words are remotely consistent, and thus we get characters from the same village named "Vel Virazzo" and "Salon Corbeau."
this can be the name of the village in two languages (:

Re: Using natlangs and IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 19 Aug 2016 14:46
by MoonRightRomantic
Isfendil wrote:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
Isfendil wrote:Also, honestly humans tune out languages that they don't understand so you don't really need to include any sort of foreign language in your novel if it is not especially centric to the whole thing. GRRM did not invent Valyrian, that was invented mainly for the show where such things needed to be heard. Neither Valyrian nor Dothraki existed before they had to be used in that show, save for personal names and one discrete word which had to be excused as a lexeme because it didn't fit well enough. Yet, the books are far older than the show- do you see my point here?
Peterson says a lot of things that bug me. He uses the similarity of dracarys to the real word dragon as an excuse not to make it two morphemes for "dragon" and "fire", even though that was clearly the intention of Martin. Elsewhere he says that writing Valyrian in the Greek alphabet is bad-wrong-fun because Greece doesn't exist on Planetos, which is fallacious because by that logic humans shouldn't exist on Planetos either. The show invalidates his argument by using the Latin alphabet to represent Valyrian and Futhark for Old North even though Rome and Scandinavia don't exist on Planetos.
k1234567890y wrote:hello (: can I make a language for your fictional world if you don't have time to make one?
I would need multiple simplified creole languages for verisimilitude, one as the lingua franca for every empire. A Romance language, a Slavic language, a Germanic language, a Sub-Saharan African language, a Semitic language, an East Asian language, etc. That's why I'm interested in international auxiliary languages specifically: they are simplified creole intended as lingua franca.
Our shared problems with David Peterson do not invalidate the argument that I made, if that is whatbyou were arguing against.

Also I could help make a language for your novel as well. More heads ought to help.
I was agreeing with you. As I said, "at most a short proverb in a foreign language will ever appear in a novel (otherwise the readers would lose patience."

Let's cut to the chase: I prefer to use an existing conlang rather than making one up. Which conlangs would be worth using? It is very difficult to find detailed conlangs because most of the index websites refer to empty entries.

Re: Using IALs to represent ficlangs?

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 06:02
by shanoxilt
MoonRightRomantic wrote:So if I wanted to write a fantasy novel and wanted to pepper it with words and phrases representing an in-setting language, would I be better served by copy-pasting phrases from an auxiliary or zonal conlang like Esperanto, Interslavic, Folkspraak, Lingua Franca Nova, Afrihili, Jennai, etc rather than just making up foreign sounding gibberish because I don't have the time or experience to invent a functional language?
For a fantasy novel, that would seem inappropriate. But for an alternate history, steampunk, or science-fiction novel, that might be acceptable. Most auxiliary languages seem too "modern", if that makes sense.