Introduction to Sikwenchu

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shukudai
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by shukudai » 26 Dec 2018 05:11

sangi39 wrote:
26 Dec 2018 04:06
One thing I should probably note, if it hadn't been clear at this point, is that we tend to be somewhat more "critical" of auxlangs in general than with other sorts of conlangs, most likely due to the fact they have specific aims beyond "interesting" or "based mostly on attestation".

For example, one of my conlangs, Proto-Sirdic, has morphosyntactic alignment which is depending on the perfectivity, telicity and duration of the verb, another, Proto-Skawlas, as direct-inverse marking and stress-related vowel alternations (resulting in pairs like /məˈnim/, "wing", and /ˌmemˈmim/, "wings"), while another one still, Lesi Kirra, has a total of 23 noun classes, marked by a distinct, stand alone word which can in turn be used as a sort of "generic" noun, referring back to the specific noun (for example the word for "father", /ˈtʼu.ɲu/, must always be preceded by the generic noun /ˈɲa.ʃa/, but if you wanted to refer back to the father later on, you could just use /ˈɲa.ʃa/).

Now, as far as I know, to some extent or another, those are all attested in some language or another, but the goal was never for these languages to be learned by anybody (not even myself), but instead to just, well, exist, to fill a world I'm slowly building from the ground up literally just because I want to.

The more "goals" you put in place, though, the more your language will be critiqued in response to those goals. For example, you've said you've aimed for simplicity, but then thrown in a gendered distinction in the 3rd person pronouns because you personally would get confused, while, as you rightly stated, such a distinction doesn't exist in spoken Mandarin (the written distinction is the result of European influence), nor is it a distinction made in languages like Finnish, and yet they get by perfectly fine without it. So if you aiming to remove "gender" from the language, why include it there when all it does is reflect English (which as noted only has that feature because it used to have gender classes for both nouns and pronouns, but lost them in nouns).

Similarly, your way of representing tense is notably "English", albeit represented by particles not auxiliary verbs and inflection, but some of the distinctions you're making aren't found in a number of languages, at least not in the way they're marked here. So, again, why go with what English does?

On the note of "simplicity", why have you chosen the phonemes you have (including a "hard 'k', whatever that means when you have't explained what <k> represents or what "hard" means)? And why that syllable structure? Some people's native languages don't have, for example, /f/, or a distinction between /v/ and /w/, or /r/ and /l/ (go one stem further with Cantonese, which in casual speech fully lacks a distinction between /r/, /l/, and /n/). Surely that would make it somewhat more difficult of them to learn the language since pronunciation is an immediate barrier. Once again, all seeming rather... "Englishy", which pokes its way through when you're talking about English vowels being a mess. Pronunciation-wise, English vowels aren't all that odd, it's just the way we spell them that's a pain (English might only have 5 "vowels" in writing, but the spoken language has around 25 or so vowels depending on how you count them), so "making the spelling of vowels" easier only makes sense in relation to English, but not in relation to, say, Spanish, which has a fairly straightforward link between its written and spoken vowels, which at least to me suggests that you're confusing written language with spoken language, which makes sense given your comment about gender in 3rd person pronouns in Mandarin.

Anyway, what I meant to say, if I hadn't made my point yet, is that you're probably going to get a lot of people going "why have you done this this way?" and "what do you mean by this?" on this board when it comes to auxlangs, because the results tend not to match the goals, at least as we understand them. For example, what do you mean by "simple"? Because so far it looks like you mean "no inflection", but then what about syntax? You're making the same distinctions are English does, but in a different way, so it's not "more simple".
Yep, you guys are way over my head when it comes to all of this linguistic terminology. I barely understand anything in your second paragraph and it probably makes perfect sense to everyone else on the board. It reminds of when I'm speaking computer programming terms to non-programmers.

I am different breed - an artist and an programmer and I like certain elements of math as well. When I conquered (at least in my mind) the puzzle of how to make a language much simpler for the majority of the population who might be able to use it (immigrants, migrants, foreign aid workers, students living abroad, families moving abroad, tourists, business travelers, etc., I just winged the first volume out in about 6 weeks and two of those weeks were dedicated towards the publishing process.

It's the way I work, just like when I write fiction stories; I never define any characters in advance, there is no outline, there is no plot, it is just flying out of my brain and I have to type it up as fast I can remember it. So it's likely there will be considerable misunderstanding between my thought processes and perhaps everyone else on this board.

So I can understand why there will be plenty of constructive and non-constructive criticism. I'm targeting the people in the world who don't have the time or desire to spend years learning a new language. A lot of the material in my books is contextual. Even half-way through the first volume, I begin switching to a light-hearted, contentious romance story as the way to reinforce the grammar and vocabulary. That way the student can forget about the complexities of the language grammar, structures (or whatever the correct terminology might be) and just get immersed into the story, learning the language that way.

Believe me, I'm already well aware that I will get lots of critique from this board. You guys might drive me away yet and at some point it might be better just to focus my energy elsewhere towards the gals that I already know who are interested in learning it. I kinda get the feeling that I'm treading other people's language toes. Oops, sorry, that's not my intention.

The purpose of removing the gender was because I found it hard to try and remember the gender for the particles, adjectives and nouns in French and Spanish. It was always a barrier so I nixed it. But I did leave elements of English in because of how many people already know it so I figured it would make it simpler for them to learn my language. I just changed the vowels to be completely consistent in pronunciation to avoid pronouncing the same vowels in a different way, like I pointed out somewhere, either here or on YouTube, with the words "could, shout, trouble and through", all having the same vowels but different sounds.

Maybe the difference here is that I just want to tell someone to pick up a saw and start cutting a piece of wood, versus, you all might want to first describe the metal characteristics of the blade, the number of teeth, the type of material it cuts, etc, before then showing how to hold the saw properly, use their hips when cutting it, and then have them cut it. That's all very valid as well, but for a mass market approach to reaching billions of people, my approach might be a little more pragmatic. Your approach is likely better suited to academic circles, intellectual types and those who simply love the particulars of language design. Both approaches have their place.

I sincerely appreciate your point of view, however. And seriously, I will have to study the details of your second paragraph as I simply don't understand most of the terminology in there.

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elemtilas
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by elemtilas » 26 Dec 2018 05:35

shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 04:03
Standard for who? In my standard vowel set, there's more like 12.

Auxlanging 101: you need to be crystal clear.
In my book I make it clear that this is the initial standard vowel set in my language. Reading the book is how to really learn the language; that's why I wrote it. That's what I do when I want to learn a language - I buy copies of someone's book to learn. There are many vowels and vowel sets in Sikwenchu.
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So, in other words, it's much more complex than you make it out to be initially. At this point, Esperanto clearly fulfills all your goals of simplicity and ease of learning, and I've only looked at something like two posts on your language's grammar.

I think I'll just stick with English and its billions of people as user base!

So, Auxlanging 401: How to Defeat the World's Greatest Auxlang?

What's your actual plan? You know, your business model? I've read in your posts thus far quite a number of lofty goals and hopeful sloganeering, but I haven't seen anything like a solid plan. I mean really: in this day and age, if you want to sell a product, you need a plan, you need a product and you need an ad campaign. You said you had something like 700 words in your language and were not really too eager to post educational videos until and unless more people watch the ones you've already done.

Sounds rather like a man without a plan...

I'm becoming less and less convinced of your product's quality and your organisation's ability to deliver a top notch product!

While I'm being half facetious here, I do have an ethical concern (not just with you, but with nearly every auxlang I've ever come in contact with). You are claiming to have solved the world's interlanguage problem. You are seeking to justify foisting your new auxlang onto people who don't speak English (or any other major regional auxlang). How do you balance the ethics of giving them something that is, essentially and honestly, useless, when teaching them English or a major regional auxlang would benefit more people and put more people into contact with global civilisation?

As a counter example: there is a fellow who is working on Guosa, a West African regional auxlang. I find this solution to be more ethical: the auxlanger in question is basing his language on regional & ethnic languages. It is being touted as a "Swahili for West Africa". Guosa won't put any West Africans in touch with global civilisation, but it may help solve some problems in West Africa.

What problem is Sinkwenchu actually designed to solve that haven't already been solved by English or Esperanto?

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Imralu
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Imralu » 26 Dec 2018 16:39

So, I looked at the book on Amazon and had a peek inside ...
The book wrote:The vowels "a", "e", "i", "o" and "u" in Sikwenchu™, sound like the vowels in "hop", "bet", "me", "boat" and "true" in English.
Ah, so [ɔ] [ɛ] [ɪi̯] [ɐʉ̯] and [ʉː] then. Weird vowel inventory!
The book wrote:If you prefer, it's "ah", "eh", "ee", "o" and "u"
Hmm, I thought you said the "a" is like the "o" in "hop" but now you're saying it's like "ah"??? [ɐː] That's a completely different sound!

In case you don't get it, English pronunciation of vowels varies wildly. A lot of us actually use a somewhat [o]-like sound for the "o" in "hop" (weird, I know!) ... not even all Americans say "hahp"! Explaining your vowels this way shows not only how English-centric your thinking is but also how North-America-centric it is.
The book wrote:- The vowels "ae" sound like the "a" in "cat"
Hmm, you said there were only five vowels and now there's also [æ], a sixth vowel, which is very tricky to distinguish from [a]-like sounds and [e]-like sounds for people of many if not most language backgrounds. It's a very typical English sound - easy for Anglophones and Finns among others, difficult for a great many others ... including the Japanese and Mandarin speakers you seem to be inspired by. *shakes head*
The book wrote:- The vowels "eu" have the sound in "book"
Oh, yet another vowel. We're up to seven now. Expecting people to distinguish [ʊ] from [ʉː], [ʊ] from [uː] or [ʏ] from [uː] etc. (depending on which dialect of English your pronunciation descriptions were aiming at) also pretty bad for an auxlang. Again, this is a distinction that will be very easy for English speakers (assuming we can agree on their realisation) and some others but a huge number of others will struggle with, including, yet again, Japanese and Mandarin speakers (unless the Mandarin speakers pronounce one as [ u ] and the other as [y] although you haven't made it clear which should be which).

I need to stop. Your book is written very nicely and, to a North-American native speaker of English, it might sound as if you're someone who knows what they're talking about, yet you really don't. It feels like used-car-salesman shtick to me. I'm sorry - auxlang creators generally have very noble goals, but you've got to do more than keep repeating "This language is very simple". It's not. From what I've seen of the phonology (which is just the vowels), Esperanto is simpler because it really does only have five vowels /a e i o u/.
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific, AG = agent, E = entity (person, animal, thing)
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shukudai
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by shukudai » 26 Dec 2018 17:33

Imralu wrote:
26 Dec 2018 16:39
So, I looked at the book on Amazon and had a peek inside ...
The book wrote:The vowels "a", "e", "i", "o" and "u" in Sikwenchu™, sound like the vowels in "hop", "bet", "me", "boat" and "true" in English.
Ah, so [ɔ] [ɛ] [ɪi̯] [ɐʉ̯] and [ʉː] then. Weird vowel inventory!
The book wrote:If you prefer, it's "ah", "eh", "ee", "o" and "u"
Hmm, I thought you said the "a" is like the "o" in "hop" but now you're saying it's like "ah"??? [ɐː] That's a completely different sound!

In case you don't get it, English pronunciation of vowels varies wildly. A lot of us actually use a somewhat [o]-like sound for the "o" in "hop" (weird, I know!) ... not even all Americans say "hahp"! Explaining your vowels this way shows not only how English-centric your thinking is but also how North-America-centric it is.
The book wrote:- The vowels "ae" sound like the "a" in "cat"
Hmm, you said there were only five vowels and now there's also [æ], a sixth vowel, which is very tricky to distinguish from [a]-like sounds and [e]-like sounds for people of many if not most language backgrounds. It's a very typical English sound - easy for Anglophones and Finns among others, difficult for a great many others ... including the Japanese and Mandarin speakers you seem to be inspired by. *shakes head*
The book wrote:- The vowels "eu" have the sound in "book"
Oh, yet another vowel. We're up to seven now. Expecting people to distinguish [ʊ] from [ʉː], [ʊ] from [uː] or [ʏ] from [uː] etc. (depending on which dialect of English your pronunciation descriptions were aiming at) also pretty bad for an auxlang. Again, this is a distinction that will be very easy for English speakers (assuming we can agree on their realisation) and some others but a huge number of others will struggle with, including, yet again, Japanese and Mandarin speakers (unless the Mandarin speakers pronounce one as [ u ] and the other as [y] although you haven't made it clear which should be which).

I need to stop. Your book is written very nicely and, to a North-American native speaker of English, it might sound as if you're someone who knows what they're talking about, yet you really don't. It feels like used-car-salesman shtick to me. I'm sorry - auxlang creators generally have very noble goals, but you've got to do more than keep repeating "This language is very simple". It's not. From what I've seen of the phonology (which is just the vowels), Esperanto is simpler because it really does only have five vowels /a e i o u/.
Great points about the vowel sounds. Written books are not the proper vehicle for expressing sounds. That will all be clarified further as I make more and more videos and provide multimedia hyperlinks in forthcoming e-Books. I likely have expressed those sounds in one of the introductory YouTube videos that I have already posted.

My language has many vowels, to maintain consistent pronunciation. Are the five vowels in Esperanto always pronounced the same way, or does it vary? My approach was to have consistent pronunciation so you could even read an advanced book, for contextual learning, even if you didn't understand it.

Esperanto is pretty cool, but if maybe 2 million out of 7.5 billion people speak it, after over 100 years, it likely has no chance of becoming a widely accepted universal language. It might be easy for European speakers, but it's too difficult for the average Joe. Most people don't have the drive or discipline to memorize thousands of nouns anyway.

What makes Sikwenchu™ entirely differently, besides the grammar, is in the way that you can memorize and retain a huge vocabulary in a short period of time, allowing you to express yourself more naturally.

If you don't have a huge vocabulary, you beat around the bush trying to express yourself, always using other words that will eventually get your point across. I made the language easier to learn for English and Chinese speakers, in part because I find Chinese to be very clever, and also because I knew it would make it easier for hundreds millions of people from around the world to learn, because there are a lot of familiar verbs and grammatical expressions, especially from Chinese.

I kinda get the feeling that no one on this board will ever no for sure; I suspect you will all just judge the books by their covers. And anyway, since most everyone here seems to like the purity of language design, which is my guess, my books will probably drive everyone stark raving mad when you find out that I never even mention tenses, like the perfect, imperfect, etc., as I don't want to confuse new students with goofy terminology. We just jump right in and learn it in short order.

Oh well, that's how life usually goes in the entrepreneurial start-up world - constant criticism and disbelief - nothing I haven't heard before for decades. So I'll just keep on publishing away, teaching away to small groups at the local cafes, and on YouTube, but likely no more lessons on this board as everyone had their chance and appears to have chosen to miss the boat (just kidding).

Best of luck to all of you with all of your languages. Let the race begin!

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Salmoneus » 26 Dec 2018 18:08

You say that you include certain grammatical structure so that English speakers can easily express what they would express in English.

But what about Tagalog speakers who want to easily express what they would express in Tagalog? What about Ojibwe speakers who want to easily express what they would express in Ojibwe? What about Iaai speakers who want to easily express what they could express in Iaai?

So what you end up with is a 'language' that looks like just a cipher for English. Which is great, if your audience is just people who only speak English. But it's not great if you want to attract everyone who doesn't already speak English, but instead speaks a language expresses entirely different things in entirely different ways. And the problem with marketing an auxlang at speakers of English is that speakers of English are already speakers of the world's most successful auxlang.

What's more, by not realising how English-dependent your language is, you don't realise how English-dependent your learning materials are. This is what happens when people promote "simplicity". In order to express what people want to express, a language must be complex; if you take out the complexity from one area (like morphology), you just move it to another area (like syntax). The complicated bits of English are actually in the syntax; and if you think you're able to condense the whole of a functional language into a couple of easy-reading grammar guides, that means that you're failing to explain most of the complexity of the syntax - probably because you're naively importing the assumptions of the languages with which you are familiar. Which is great, if you're only teaching this to people who know English. But it makes it very hard for anyone else to learn.

At least, to learn 'fully'. And if you only want people to learn the language well enough to commmunicate in a rough and unnuanced way... well, English is already an extremely easy language to learn. Sure, if someone only spends a few months learning it, they're going to 'fail' to get a lot of irregular verbs 'right' and they may have some unidiomatic expressions in the more complicated bits of the syntax, but they can still make themselves understood.


So compare the advantages of English and your language. On the one hand, you can spend, say, six months actively learning English (for free), giving you access to over a billion speakers, tens of millions of books, years of films and TV shows, and the internet, enabling you to immerse yourself daily in however much English you want, letting you gradually polish your English to fluency over the next few years. In the process, you gain access to many workplaces, immense cultural resources, immediate prestige, and the ability to conduct conversations with people from almost every region on earth. On the other hand, you can spend, say, three months actively learning Sikwenchu, if you pay a fee. Enabling you to talk to the creator of Sikwenchu and a handful of other people. It has no cultural prestige or economic utility, provides no access to culture or knowledge, and only lets you talk to someone else if you badger them into paying a fee to learn it to talk to you. You see why we're skeptical about the business case here? Even if we accept your (inaccurate) claim that your language is dramatically easier to learn, it's also orders of magnitude less useful.



Regarding your friq/fraq/fruq thing: human languages don't generally work like that for a reason. It's called the principle of redundancy. When you're listening to someone across a crowded room, or on a slightly fizzy telephone, or when you're not really paying attention, or they're facing away from you, you don't actually hear everything they say - you hear 50%, 60%, maybe 80% of what they say. (in terms of total acoustic information, not number of words necessarily). Your brain fills in the gaps from a knowledge of what they might be likely to have said. So if someone says "I c_t the _abit", you know that, unless they're speaking in the 1920s, the last word is going to be either 'rabbit' or 'habit', which means that the second word must be either 'cut' or 'caught', which gives you only four possible sentences, which you can narrow to one from context (seamstressing? they cut the habit. provenance of your lunch? they caught the rabbit). [this is also a lot of what gender is for. If 'habit' and 'rabbit' have different genders, you can immediately work out which word was meant as soon as a coreferencing pronoun is used]. If, on the other hand, any word can have its vowels replaced by any other vowel, to produce a word that is of the same part of speech and semantic area, confusions will abound, because critical information will continually be being lost in transmission.

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by elemtilas » 26 Dec 2018 18:36

shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 17:33

Great points about the vowel sounds. Written books are not the proper vehicle for expressing sounds. That will all be clarified further as I make more and more videos and provide multimedia hyperlinks in forthcoming e-Books. I likely have expressed those sounds in one of the introductory YouTube videos that I have already posted.
No, books are perfectly capable of expressing sounds. I understood perfectly and exactly what Imralu said.

Just because you don't know how to express something doesn't mean you should be blaming the medium.

Also, you yourself said to me that books are your go-to resource for learning a language. So which is? Books are the proper vehicle for learning language or books are not the proper vehicle for learning language?
My language has many vowels, to maintain consistent pronunciation. Are the five vowels in Esperanto always pronounced the same way, or does it vary? My approach was to have consistent pronunciation so you could even read an advanced book, for contextual learning, even if you didn't understand it.
You told me there are five vowels.

You snuck in in two more for Imralu when he pointed out "a as in bet" doesn't really work. And now you're telling us that there are many vowels.

Sounds like you need to work more on your product before you try to fob off some shoddy on an unsuspecting public.
Esperanto is pretty cool, but if maybe 2 million out of 7.5 billion people speak it, after over 100 years, it likely has no chance of becoming a widely accepted universal language. It might be easy for European speakers, but it's too difficult for the average Joe. Most people don't have the drive or discipline to memorize thousands of nouns anyway.
Interesting. I always love auxlangers' logic when it comes to statistics. Here's the real numbers:

English speakers: 1.25 to 1.5bn speakers (native and L2)
Esperanto speakers: 2mn speakers (native and L2)
Sikwenchu speakers: 0

You're just trying to pull the wool over our eyes, but in reality many of us have seen the same claims, read the same lofty goals, seen the same manaically grasped at dreams in the posts of countless auxlangers.
What makes Sikwenchu™ entirely differently, besides the grammar, is in the way that you can memorize and retain a huge vocabulary in a short period of time, allowing you to express yourself more naturally.
In reality, what makes Sinkwenchu different is a figment of your imagination. Any language learner can memorise vocabulary. That is a function of the learner and his learning skills, not a function of your language. For example, I've already forgotten that word that we talked about yesterday. Though I do recall it was a near homonym with four others and that was what got you started on the whole Sikwenchu has five vowels, not it has seven, no it has a lot line of discussion.
If you don't have a huge vocabulary, you beat around the bush trying to express yourself, always using other words that will eventually get your point across. I made the language easier to learn for English and Chinese speakers, in part because I find Chinese to be very clever, and also because I knew it would make it easier for hundreds millions of people from around the world to learn, because there are a lot of familiar verbs and grammatical expressions, especially from Chinese.
You told us that S. has 700 words. Sounds like you're going to be beating around every bush, tree, shrub, hedge, plant, bamboo, flower, moss and copse in China!

You keep saying that Chinese is clever. Cut the bull.

Tell us clearly what makes S. so damn clever. So much better than the obviously superior languages you're pitting yourself against.
I kinda get the feeling that no one on this board will ever no for sure; I suspect you will all just judge the books by their covers. And anyway, since most everyone here seems to like the purity of language design, which is my guess, my books will probably drive everyone stark raving mad when you find out that I never even mention tenses, like the perfect, imperfect, etc., as I don't want to confuse new students with goofy terminology. We just jump right in and learn it in short order.
Actually, Imralu has probably read more of your book(s) than anyone else here. And he discovered the truth pretty quickly.

I'd say that folks here are judging your language mostly by the behaviour and attitude of its creator. That frequently happens when some poor self-deluded auxlanger comes around trying to sell his lingo as best god damn thing since sliced bread and the flush toilet. When in reality, what you've got on offer is not only unsliced, but half baked and mostly made from sawdust. And when flushed, will clog the pipes.
Oh well, that's how life usually goes in the entrepreneurial start-up world - constant criticism and disbelief - nothing I haven't heard before for decades. So I'll just keep on publishing away, teaching away to small groups at the local cafes, and on YouTube, but likely no more lessons on this board as everyone had their chance and appears to have chosen to miss the boat (just kidding).
Like I said to you before: your business model sucks. You need to develop your product and make tested & proven, working prototypes before you can really hope to get our interest. Remember: we're the professionals. We're not the ignorant masses yearning to speak free. We're not the people you can easily legerdemain into awed and wondered fandom. If you feel you're being rejected, please don't take it so hard!

You're not the first auxlanger who has fled this place having had his language chopped up, macerated and minutely dissected for him. I've heard the exact same from scores of auxlangers over the last couple decades. And I am certainly you won't be the last.
Best of luck to all of you with all of your languages. Let the race begin!
Spoken like a true auxlanger.

Hint: there is no race here.
Last edited by elemtilas on 26 Dec 2018 23:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Imralu
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Imralu » 26 Dec 2018 18:42

shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 17:33
Great points about the vowel sounds. Written books are not the proper vehicle for expressing sounds.
Well, you can do it much better than you have so far.
That will all be clarified further as I make more and more videos and provide multimedia hyperlinks in forthcoming e-Books. I likely have expressed those sounds in one of the introductory YouTube videos that I have already posted.
Multimedia will of course help.
My language has many vowels, to maintain consistent pronunciation. Are the five vowels in Esperanto always pronounced the same way, or does it vary? My approach was to have consistent pronunciation so you could even read an advanced book, for contextual learning, even if you didn't understand it.
The five vowels in Esperanto are always pronounced the same way. If you have "e" and "u" next to each other in Esperanto, you pronounce an "e" sound and a "u" sound. They don't combine to get another sound that a lot of people won't be able to distinguish from just "u".
Esperanto is pretty cool, but if maybe 2 million out of 7.5 billion people speak it, after over 100 years, it likely has no chance of becoming a widely accepted universal language.
It's the auxlang that's gotten the furthest and it's at the start of the race. Yeah, it has big flaws, most notably the eurocentrism, but the reasons for its only moderate success apply to other auxlangs too. The reality is, most people are not interested in learning another language (even if it is claimed to be very easy) unless it is going to bring direct benefits to them. Arguably, people were more receptive to the idea of an auxlang around the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century than they are now. The critical mass of speakers you'd need for it to take off and be a practical goal that entices new learners would be huge. Yes, English is harder to learn than most proposed auxlangs (of which there are countless ... you are not alone), but it has the critical mass. Learning it already brings people direct, immediate benefits for work etc. The idea that you're going to topple that without, say, running western civilisation into the ground (btw. please don't do that! lol) and paving the way for China to take the lead, is pretty far fetched. And even then, the number of people who currently speak English as a second language around the world would mean English would quite likely hold on as a lingua franca for a long time, even with China as the main global player.
What makes Sikwenchu™ entirely differently, besides the grammar, is in the way that you can memorize and retain a huge vocabulary in a short period of time, allowing you to express yourself more naturally.

If you don't have a huge vocabulary, you beat around the bush trying to express yourself, always using other words that will eventually get your point across.
Millions of people already do that in English!?
I made the language easier to learn for English and Chinese speakers, in part because I find Chinese to be very clever, and also because I knew it would make it easier for hundreds millions of people from around the world to learn, because there are a lot of familiar verbs and grammatical expressions, especially from Chinese.
So, basically, Esperanto is too Eurocentric, so now you're proposing an Anglo-Sinocentric auxlang and think it's going to do better. All right then ...
I kinda get the feeling that no one on this board will ever no for sure; I suspect you will all just judge the books by their covers.
Well, as much as the "look inside" feature shows on Amazon anyway.
And anyway, since most everyone here seems to like the purity of language design,
It's not about purity of language design - more about clarity of description, and also design coming from a point of knowing about how language can work that's not just based on one or two languages.
which is my guess, my books will probably drive everyone stark raving mad when you find out that I never even mention tenses, like the perfect, imperfect, etc., as I don't want to confuse new students with goofy terminology. We just jump right in and learn it in short order.
There's nothing inherently wrong with that approach, but "goofy terminology" explains things better than "like the o in hop". The best thing to do in language teaching books is teach the concepts and explain them carefully ... and then use the correct "goofy terminology" as a shorthand to refer to the concept again and again. Otherwise you're inventing your own terminology as shorthand for these concepts and that's even goofier if people can't turn somewhere else to understand the concept because you've called it something like the "nowish past tense" instead of the "perfect".
Oh well, that's how life usually goes in the entrepreneurial start-up world - constant criticism and disbelief - nothing I haven't heard before for decades. So I'll just keep on publishing away, teaching away to small groups at the local cafes, and on YouTube, but likely no more lessons on this board as everyone had their chance and appears to have chosen to miss the boat (just kidding).
Well, you can't be on every boat, so forgive us if we look at the seaworthiness of your boat and don't leap on board with the oddly enthusiastic captain.
Best of luck to all of you with all of your languages. Let the race begin!
What race? We don't have the same goal as you and we're not racing anywhere. We're nerds and artists and hobbyists, maybe with some pretty modest dreams of writing some fiction. Hats off to you for publishing your book, but trust me, we're not in competition with you. I don't know of a dedicated board for conlangers with serious dreams of their auxlang taking off, probably because they are all in competition with each other to make the best auxlang and either just want to self-promote or keep their secrets from each other (I mean, look at you with your "™" [xD]). Around here, we're mostly a bunch of nerds just geeking out over how cool languages are and then taking "What if a language worked this way" scenarios and running with them for as long as it's fun. It's by and large fantasy, or perhaps the creation of languages for personal use (e.g. writing a secret journal etc.) This lack of competition is how the board functions. That's how we (mostly) manage to stand one another. We're not in a race. We learn from each other, find each other's ideas interesting - or maybe not - and we give each other tips and suggestions.

Every now and then, someone comes blustering in and tells us that their language is The Best Language to Learn™ and has Extremely Easy Vocabulary™ and Useful Applications™, of course we're going to ask questions: (A) because if that actually were true, that'd be interesting as heck, and (B) because "Really? I think I've heard that before!", so if we can see that the person actually doesn't know what they're talking about, of course we're not going to just lap it up. Why would we? Why wouldn't we ask questions? Of course that's going to come across as "constant criticism and disbelief".

Also, interesting that you said "Let the race begin!" ... the race you're running is well under way and started more than 100 years ago. Best of luck to you too!
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Imralu » 26 Dec 2018 18:50

Damn it, Ninjaed so hard!
elemtilas wrote:
26 Dec 2018 18:36
That frequently happens when some poor self-deluded auxlanger comes around trying to sell his lingo as best god damn thing sliced bread and the flush toilet.
What? TFW things take an unexpected turn:
"He just wants to have his cake and ... FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOOOOOIIIIILLLETTTTT!!!"

EDIT: OMG, I that read wrong. "The flush toilet" makes sense. I thought you said "and flush the toilet" ...
Last edited by Imralu on 26 Dec 2018 18:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Frislander » 26 Dec 2018 18:50

shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 05:11
Yep, you guys are way over my head when it comes to all of this linguistic terminology. I barely understand anything in your second paragraph and it probably makes perfect sense to everyone else on the board. It reminds of when I'm speaking computer programming terms to non-programmers.

I am different breed - an artist and an programmer and I like certain elements of math as well. When I conquered (at least in my mind) the puzzle of how to make a language much simpler for the majority of the population who might be able to use it (immigrants, migrants, foreign aid workers, students living abroad, families moving abroad, tourists, business travelers, etc., I just winged the first volume out in about 6 weeks and two of those weeks were dedicated towards the publishing process.

It's the way I work, just like when I write fiction stories; I never define any characters in advance, there is no outline, there is no plot, it is just flying out of my brain and I have to type it up as fast I can remember it. So it's likely there will be considerable misunderstanding between my thought processes and perhaps everyone else on this board.
So essentially you think that you don't need to actually learn any linguistics, the scientific study of language, in order to create a language that's any good for your specific goal?
So I can understand why there will be plenty of constructive and non-constructive criticism. I'm targeting the people in the world who don't have the time or desire to spend years learning a new language. A lot of the material in my books is contextual. Even half-way through the first volume, I begin switching to a light-hearted, contentious romance story as the way to reinforce the grammar and vocabulary. That way the student can forget about the complexities of the language grammar, structures (or whatever the correct terminology might be) and just get immersed into the story, learning the language that way.
So you admit that your language has its own complexity, you're just using a perfectly reasonable didactic technique to overcome it.
The purpose of removing the gender was because I found it hard to try and remember the gender for the particles, adjectives and nouns in French and Spanish. It was always a barrier so I nixed it. But I did leave elements of English in because of how many people already know it so I figured it would make it simpler for them to learn my language.
Well that's very wrong-headed. Firstly a large proportion of the world's population does not speak English, and you have to account for that if you're expecting your auxlang to gain wide-spread popularity. And secondly, as we've mentioned, they are entirely unnecessary; it is no easier to learn your language because it has gender in its pronouns, especially if your native language does not have such a distinction.
I just changed the vowels to be completely consistent in pronunciation to avoid pronouncing the same vowels in a different way, like I pointed out somewhere, either here or on YouTube, with the words "could, shout, trouble and through", all having the same vowels but different sounds.
No, they have different vowel sounds but the same spelling/orthgraphic representation. Vowels is a phonetic term, which to linguists refers to pronunciation, and is a sub-category of sounds. It can have an orthographic meaning when referring solely to orthography, but if you're going to contrast pronunciation and orthography like this then "vowel" can only be used to refer to the phonetic end of things.
Maybe the difference here is that I just want to tell someone to pick up a saw and start cutting a piece of wood, versus, you all might want to first describe the metal characteristics of the blade, the number of teeth, the type of material it cuts, etc, before then showing how to hold the saw properly, use their hips when cutting it, and then have them cut it. That's all very valid as well, but for a mass market approach to reaching billions of people, my approach might be a little more pragmatic. Your approach is likely better suited to academic circles, intellectual types and those who simply love the particulars of language design. Both approaches have their place.
To use your saw analogy, yes, we have good reason to understand some of those issues, because they might have an effect on which saw we pick for different tasks, and showing people how to hold a saw properly is a damn good idea so that they don't cut themself!

But more to the point, we're not just talking about the application of the saw, we're also talking about how the saw itself is designed, since you have designed the saw and claim it is appropriate for the task(s) you intend it to be used for, but appear to have no understanding of even the basics terminology used in saw construction, nor the multitude of possible saw designs that are found outside of some of the major saw brands.
shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 01:39
the primary vowel set of the language: "a, e, i, o, u" (ah, eh, ee, o, u), as in the sounds you hear in "top, bet, keep, so, and true", respectively.
How very American of you, heck this doesn't even work for all American English speakers, let alone speakers of any other variety of English. I'm from the north of England, so I'd pronouns those with something like [ɒ~ɔ], [ɛ], [iː], [oː], [ʊ̯̈u]

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Shemtov » 26 Dec 2018 21:17

Honestly, what is the point of this thread? I feel that the whole premise is violating this rule:
In addition, with the exception of posting book recommendations or links to websites on topics related to languages, linguistics, conlangs and conworlds, commercial advertisements of any kind don't belong here.
Plus the Extraordinary Claims rule.
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Birdlang » 26 Dec 2018 23:32

Shemtov wrote:
26 Dec 2018 21:17
Honestly, what is the point of this thread? I feel that the whole premise is violating this rule:
In addition, with the exception of posting book recommendations or links to websites on topics related to languages, linguistics, conlangs and conworlds, commercial advertisements of any kind don't belong here.
Plus the Extraordinary Claims rule.
I completely agree with you! I think this guy is on here to advertise his copyright and other stuff on his language.
Also I think there should be IPA if this language should still be posted.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna ... c_Alphabet
Because I pronounce those vowels like
/ɑ/ /ɛ/ /iː/ /oʊ/ /uː/ /æ/ /ʊ/. By the seventh he probably means /ɯ/?

P.S.: I agree with Imralu and elemtilas, and the other people other than the OP. All of them are very on point in this thread.
Ꭓꭓ Ʝʝ Ɬɬ Ɦɦ Ɡɡ Ɥɥ Ɫɫ Ɽɽ Ɑɑ Ɱɱ Ɐɐ Ɒɒ Ɓɓ Ɔɔ Ɖɖ Ɗɗ Əə Ɛɛ Ɠɠ Ɣɣ Ɯɯ Ɲɲ Ɵɵ Ʀʀ Ʃʃ Ʈʈ Ʊʊ Ʋʋ Ʒʒ Ꞵꞵ Ʉʉ Ʌʌ Ŋŋ Ɂɂ Ɪɪ Ææ Øø Ð𠌜 Ɜɜ Ǝɘ

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by elemtilas » 26 Dec 2018 23:51

Frislander wrote:
26 Dec 2018 18:50
shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 05:11
Maybe the difference here is that I just want to tell someone to pick up a saw and start cutting a piece of wood, versus, you all might want to first describe the metal characteristics of the blade, the number of teeth, the type of material it cuts, etc, before then showing how to hold the saw properly, use their hips when cutting it, and then have them cut it. That's all very valid as well, but for a mass market approach to reaching billions of people, my approach might be a little more pragmatic. Your approach is likely better suited to academic circles, intellectual types and those who simply love the particulars of language design. Both approaches have their place.
To use your saw analogy, yes, we have good reason to understand some of those issues, because they might have an effect on which saw we pick for different tasks, and showing people how to hold a saw properly is a damn good idea so that they don't cut themself!
This is what happens when you "just tell someone to pick up a saw and start cutting a piece of wood", versus actually teaching them a little about basic carpentry skills first...

Image

How do you say "d'oh!!" in Sikwenchu?

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by sangi39 » 26 Dec 2018 23:55

Shemtov wrote:
26 Dec 2018 21:17
Honestly, what is the point of this thread? I feel that the whole premise is violating this rule:
In addition, with the exception of posting book recommendations or links to websites on topics related to languages, linguistics, conlangs and conworlds, commercial advertisements of any kind don't belong here.
Plus the Extraordinary Claims rule.
I've sort of been leaving that to one side, for the purposes of this thread specifically. Strictly speaking, yes, it does involve advertisement, but the OP has also presented material regarding his language freely when asked, and it does raise into question the issue of whether languages can, or even should be, copyrighted/trademarked/whatever, and whether or not that would be beneficial to the spread of an auxlang. And of course we have been critiquing their auxlang just as we would anything else.

I do definitely agree with you, though, that claims regarding how quickly this auxlang can be learned to a high degree of fluency, and used to communicate effectively, should be backed up by a reasonable amount of data. A sample size of just a handful of people isn't exactly reliable.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
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That they all still believe in you.
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Birdlang » 26 Dec 2018 23:58

elemtilas wrote:
26 Dec 2018 23:51
Frislander wrote:
26 Dec 2018 18:50
shukudai wrote:
26 Dec 2018 05:11
Maybe the difference here is that I just want to tell someone to pick up a saw and start cutting a piece of wood, versus, you all might want to first describe the metal characteristics of the blade, the number of teeth, the type of material it cuts, etc, before then showing how to hold the saw properly, use their hips when cutting it, and then have them cut it. That's all very valid as well, but for a mass market approach to reaching billions of people, my approach might be a little more pragmatic. Your approach is likely better suited to academic circles, intellectual types and those who simply love the particulars of language design. Both approaches have their place.
To use your saw analogy, yes, we have good reason to understand some of those issues, because they might have an effect on which saw we pick for different tasks, and showing people how to hold a saw properly is a damn good idea so that they don't cut themself!
This is what happens when you "just tell someone to pick up a saw and start cutting a piece of wood", versus actually teaching them a little about basic carpentry skills first...

Image

How do you say "d'oh!!" in Sikwenchu?
I totally agree with you.
Ꭓꭓ Ʝʝ Ɬɬ Ɦɦ Ɡɡ Ɥɥ Ɫɫ Ɽɽ Ɑɑ Ɱɱ Ɐɐ Ɒɒ Ɓɓ Ɔɔ Ɖɖ Ɗɗ Əə Ɛɛ Ɠɠ Ɣɣ Ɯɯ Ɲɲ Ɵɵ Ʀʀ Ʃʃ Ʈʈ Ʊʊ Ʋʋ Ʒʒ Ꞵꞵ Ʉʉ Ʌʌ Ŋŋ Ɂɂ Ɪɪ Ææ Øø Ð𠌜 Ɜɜ Ǝɘ

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Shemtov » 27 Dec 2018 01:46

Being as we are keeping this thread open to discuss copyright and conlangs, I will say I have never heard of someone making money off a conlang as a main source of income. For Auxlangs, the only example I can think of is Zamenhof's books on Esperanto. But even then, point 3 of the Declaration of Boulogne says:
Whereas the author of the language Esperanto at the very beginning has declined once and for all personal rights and privileges related to this language, for that reason Esperanto is "no one's property", neither in material matters nor in moral matters.
The primary master of this language is the whole world, and everyone so desiring can publish in or about this language any work which he or she wishes and can use the language for any possible purposes; the spiritual masters of the language shall be those persons who in the world shall be acknowledged to the most talented writers in this language.
While Point 4 stated:
The only single, perpetually obligatory foundation of the language Esperanto for all Esperantists is the work, Fundamento de Esperanto, to which no one has the right to make changes.
It seems that point 3 allowed one independent of Zamenhof to put the content of the Fundamento in their own words, especially if they have methods of learning the language that Zamenhof didn't consider in the Fundamento
As a non-Esperantist, I think, after some research, the UEA is an NPO.

As for artlangs, I have heard of the IP owner giving a language-learning publishing company their linguistic notes to turn into a learning book or having their linguist write a guide themselves. Paramount had M. Okrand write books about the Klingon language, and HBO had David J. Peterson work with Living Language to make a learning guide to Dothraki. However, as I understand it, someone who learnt Dothraki via Living Languages' book may write their own learning guide, as long as it does not focus on the culture constructed by GRR Martin or the Showrunners. They may even write poetry or short stories in it that does not focus on Dothraki culture. The linguist Cameron commissioned to make Na'vi often lets out bits of vocab and grammar, though he is restricted by a NDA.

I am thinking of writing a novel that takes place in my conworld, and features the languages of enemies and friendly non-Fuhean speakers, and has a lot of Fuhean terms that are untranslatable to English (Tolkien-style. In fact, IIRC people have approached his son for a similar deal with his notes to learn Sindarin and/or Quenya, but he has demurred. But the Linguistic consultant for the films has written a grammar of what we can glean from his notes, and was not sued. There was a Norwegian Neo-Nazi Terrorist that had a commercial band with a Black Speech name. The Estate did not add insult to injury by suing him for "using Black Speech" in addition to the criminal conviction brought by Norway.) . If it would be popular, and people would gravitate toward a language, I would make a deal like that happily, but it would only be a small source of profit, and would be focusing on love of the Conworld instead of just the language.

That actually brings up a point: Why some conlangs of an IP take of and others don't. In addition to having Okrand make Klingon, Paramount hired Hartmut Scharfe to make Vulcan. Why do we have a whole subculture of Trekkies saying "Qapla" instead of "Dif-tor heh smusma" "Live long and prosper? Why isn't their a Living Language High Valyrian?
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by sangi39 » 27 Dec 2018 02:17

Urgh, trying to write a response to previous posts, but my laptop has decided to die 4 times tonight so far...

Make that 5 times :mrred:
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by sangi39 » 27 Dec 2018 02:48

Right, since my laptop seems intent on just not working today, I'm going to attempt to summarise on my phone:

1) You learning the International Phonetic Alphabet and some linguistic terminology will greatly improve your ability to convey information about your auxlang in the future. Being specific about what certain sounds are, how they are written, what certain morphological structures mean, how they are formed, and when they are used will enable better translations (for example, note that the English "present" and French "present" do not convey the same information all the time, so when discussing your auxlang in either language, the information you present will have to be tailored for speakers of those languages, which is easiest to do when you have a proper analysis of what's actually going on).

2) Esperanto's vowels do not differ in pronunciation depending on their environment. How do your "many vowels" ensure consistent pronunciation?

3) How exactly is Chinese clever?

4) Why cater to English speakers when you're trying to make a language that is easy for everyone to learn?

5) How is learning a language with 1000 words easier than learning the 1000 most common words from any other language?

6) You're not treading on anyone's toes. We're conlangers, this is what we do. So I don't know why you'd think we're just shooting you down because you're a start up or something. Why not join in the discussion, and take on some advice before rolling on with what you have? Seems like a bad business move...
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Shemtov » 27 Dec 2018 11:19

sangi39 wrote:
27 Dec 2018 02:48




4) Why cater to English speakers when you're trying to make a language that is easy for everyone to learn?

See, just to show how I would do it, if I believed in the Auxlangers' cause, I made Alamipasa. One of the ideas I said, that would have been the "selling point" if I was an actual auxlanger is:
Words are derived from any living/zombie natlang , but most (75-80%) are from Western European Languages, Mandarin, Semitic, Slavic or Indo-Aryan roots.
Let's look at the Vocabulary of the language:
Alami- "World" Semitic
Pasa- "Language" Indo-Aryan
Matel- "Mother" English
Ak- "Brother" Semitic
Fil- "Son" French
Iho- "Daughter" Spanish
Canma- "Birth" Indo-Aryan
Mit- "With" German

Numbers 1-10:
un-Romance
tuy-English
talut-Arabic
se-Indo-Aryan
penta-Latin
lu-Chinese
sefin-English
fusim-Slavic
nufi- French
cin-German

Singular Pronouns:
mi-Various Indo-European
tu- Romance/Hindi
ta-Chinese


I also said that <l> could be /l/ or any "rhotic". So the second syllable of the name would be pronounced [la] by a Chinese speaker, and [ɾa] by a Japanese or Korean speaker, and a French person could go either [la] or [ʁa]; an Arabic or Russian speaker [la] or [ra]; An American English speaker [la] or [ɻa].
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Keenir » 27 Dec 2018 11:33

shukudai wrote:
25 Dec 2018 03:33
Considering auxiliary languages don't have the appeal of a Hollywood movie or
Hang on. If capt.kirk can be in an Esperanto movie, why can't you make an indie film with your lang?
I'm also driven by the frustration of not being able to speak with many foreigners that I've met over the years, and not being able to establish any real communication with them because of a language barrier. I tried the brute force approach, studying French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese, but the sheer volume of vocabulary necessary to learn is simply overwhelming. There needed to be a drastically simpler approach. So that's simply what I did. I used my artistic and computer programming skills to methodically design a new language, over the course of 5 years, so that everyone could learn it quickly and easily.
Ahh, so it's the language of the old joke ..
There are ten kinds of people in the world...those who know binary, and those who don't.
I looked carefully at the details of many languages to simplify in any way possible. Even just limiting many words to single syllables made a huge difference as your brain simple has less to remember.
It's a good thing I learned that poem about stone lions. 😀
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799

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Re: Introduction to Sikwenchu

Post by Keenir » 27 Dec 2018 11:45

shukudai wrote:
25 Dec 2018 23:03
Maybe it shouldn't be considered an auxlang. I never even heard of an auxlang until I saw it used yesterday on this board. Maybe it should be a humanitarian lang, as I'm trying to connect as many people together as possible, through speech.
you sure your name isn't Bliss? :)

In fact, for any one who is a linguist, who I find to be quite intelligent people, I can have them speaking my language in short order. My claim to get one to begin speaking Sikwenchu™ in only 4 to 7 weeks is based on only studying 15 minutes per day. The entire Essential grammar book can be read in less than 4 hours the first time through, 3 hours the 2nd time through and just over 2 hours the third time through.
sooooo...you want people to pay less attention to the lessons each time they read?
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799

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