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Post Reply Learning a language is hard but creating is even harder
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Posted 4/19/15 , edited 4/19/15
Creating your own language seems to be a monumental and very time consuming task. I really wouldn't recommend it unless you are an experienced writer, or have extensive knowledge of languages. You could easily simply say they are speaking something in a certain language that the character does not understand.

Anyways, what I would suggest is to first make your own symbols, it would add to the immersion. And since you are making it from scratch, worry less about it making sense ( since it is a made up language) and more about consistency. So, if you used "Yablik" to refer to a slice of bread, keep it that way throughout the novel, taking notes of which symbols mean what would help you keep track. Don't needlessly try to create words if you don't need to. If the word 'pink' never needs to appear in your novel in another language, there is no need to create a translation for it ahead of time. Just make it up as you go along, but keep it consistent basically. Depending on your story setting should determine on how complex the language is. If the language is being spoken by sophisticated and complex people, the language should also follow the same. If it is being spoken by disorganized and tribal people, complexity in the language should not be needed. Just have fun with it really.
Posted 4/19/15
I did that when I was fairly small and i did teach it to the other kids I hanged out with so it was our own secret language

Thinking about it, that was quite cool.
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Posted 4/19/15

jordancharacter wrote:

Creating your own language seems to be a monumental and very time consuming task. I really wouldn't recommend it unless you are an experienced writer, or have extensive knowledge of languages. You could easily simply say they are speaking something in a certain language that the character does not understand.

Anyways, what I would suggest is to first make your own symbols, it would add to the immersion. And since you are making it from scratch, worry less about it making sense ( since it is a made up language) and more about consistency. So, if you used "Yablik" to refer to a slice of bread, keep it that way throughout the novel, taking notes of which symbols mean what would help you keep track. Don't needlessly try to create words if you don't need to. If the word 'pink' never needs to appear in your novel in another language, there is no need to create a translation for it ahead of time. Just make it up as you go along, but keep it consistent basically. Depending on your story setting should determine on how complex the language is. If the language is being spoken by sophisticated and complex people, the language should also follow the same. If it is being spoken by disorganized and tribal people, complexity in the language should not be needed. Just have fun with it really.


Yeah, I'm not that good of a writer, but I willing want to try this. Damn, I hope my patience and nerve can withstand this.
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Posted 4/19/15 , edited 4/19/15

qualeshia3 wrote:


jordancharacter wrote:

Creating your own language seems to be a monumental and very time consuming task. I really wouldn't recommend it unless you are an experienced writer, or have extensive knowledge of languages. You could easily simply say they are speaking something in a certain language that the character does not understand.

Anyways, what I would suggest is to first make your own symbols, it would add to the immersion. And since you are making it from scratch, worry less about it making sense ( since it is a made up language) and more about consistency. So, if you used "Yablik" to refer to a slice of bread, keep it that way throughout the novel, taking notes of which symbols mean what would help you keep track. Don't needlessly try to create words if you don't need to. If the word 'pink' never needs to appear in your novel in another language, there is no need to create a translation for it ahead of time. Just make it up as you go along, but keep it consistent basically. Depending on your story setting should determine on how complex the language is. If the language is being spoken by sophisticated and complex people, the language should also follow the same. If it is being spoken by disorganized and tribal people, complexity in the language should not be needed. Just have fun with it really.


Yeah, I'm not that good of a writer, but I willing want to try this. Damn, I hope my patience and nerve can withstand this.


Doodling might help a bit with creating the symbols. Make some mindless chicken scratches on some paper, and apply the first word you think of to them If the setting takes place on earth or some form of it, roman letters would be ok also. Like so...

Yberkelm- Windowsill
Aler- Sky
Soma- dirt.

It helps too if the associated made up word makes a bit sense to it's english counterpart. Meaning, it "rolls off the tongue"

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Posted 4/19/15 , edited 4/19/15
Look up "sentence tree diagram"

Easiest way would be just to take a sentence tree diagram, reorganize it, and then make a basic list of verbs, nouns, adjectives as is needed. 200 words and your set.

Edit.

On a side note.. making your readers boggle through translating a lot is a turn off to me at least. A simple word for saying "Hello" or "Bye" and then using italicization for communications makes what I read happier.
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Posted 4/19/15




Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! What if I try making a backwards instead? For example I shall use the word 'Monday'.


Yadnom

Now I'll try a sentence.

Yadmon yadot si?


Does that sound boring or stupid?

Diputs ro gnirob dnuos taht seod?


I tried.
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Posted 4/19/15
I like it.
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Posted 4/19/15
I do a lot of writing myself (2 novels plus dozens of short stories) and have even dabbled in language creation, and I agree with you that it's rather difficult. I am also in the process of writhing a computer program that learn languages.

One thing that you need to realize is that languages have 3 major parts: Appearance, Syntax, and Semantics.

Appearance: The look of the language, ie. it's physical written form. This needs to reflect the culture and history of the people this language is meant to represent.

Syntax: The structure of the language. This also includes it's spoken forms/pronunciations. Syntax in simple terms is grammar, conjugations, formal structures, vocabulary, sentence order (SOV vs SVO), etc.

Semantics: This is the interpretation of the language, what it means. You can have the skeleton of a great language built from appearance and syntax, but this is where the language gains it's life. With semantics, you need to have a DEEP understanding of the people who speak it. Are their dialectal differences? How does their culture, location, way of life, and associations determine the words they use or what they mean? For example, if I were to say "The sleeping rock belches excitedly," that sentence uses perfect syntax, but semantically it is a horrid mess. Another example, "rug rat" mean a small child, not a literal rat.

I cannot help you much with Semantics and Appearance, as that is geared heavily towards who you are writing about, but syntax is more general. If you have ever or will ever take a Discrete Structures class, you may go over Languages and Grammars. I suggest you do a little research into it. Interestingly enough, syntax is highly mathematical. Like languages in general, syntax is also built up of 3 parts or sets: associations (called sentences, but not in the sense that you would consider a normal "sentence" although they are included), rules (restrictions on what can be included in the set of sentences), and grammars (how sentences can be linked together).

Warning, I will get a little technical...

Grammar as a Phrase-Structure
A grammar G is made up of 4 parts (V,S,T,P)
V - Vocabulary, or the finite number of symbols (a-z, spaces, puntuation, numbers, etc.) NOT ACTUAL WORDS
S - Start Symbol (not visible, just a marker to show when a grammar can start)
T - Terminal symbol (again, not visible, just a marker to show the end of the grammar)
P - Set of rules for the grammar to associate the vocabulary

Here is a BASIC example to create a simple English sentence structure using this method:

G (V,S,T,P):
V = {Noun, Verb, Adjective, Article} (I am using parts of speech as the symbols)
T = {V, V->Art->N, V->N} (When these patterns are met, the grammar can end ->T)
S = {S}
P = {S->Art, S->N, S->V, Art->N, Art->Adj, Adj->N, N->V, V->N}

Ex.)
G = S->Art->N->V->T (Article, Noun, Verb) "The bird flew."
G = S->N->V->Art->N->T (Noun, Verb, Article, Noun) "I shot the bird"
G = S->N->V->T (Noun, Verb) "I laughed"

All 3 of the example grammars are correct according to the rules described above. Another method for viewing this is to make a tree starting with the Start symbol and drawing arrows connecting all associations in P. This will give a visual interpretation of all possible grammars using your rules.

This is not limited to formal sentence structure alone. Even sub-languages like binary can be defined using this method. Programming syntax for C, Java, Python, etc. can also be defined.

This is probably a LOT more than you were expecting when asking for help, but I found it rather useful, so I'm passing it on. If you have more interest in the subject, I suggest looking up Languages and Grammars. Here is one link, but I would suggest you have a good handle on mathematical notation, because the author uses it heavily (most colleges have it as a 200 level math/CS course). He also starts out by using Binary as an example:
http://www.cs.ucr.edu/~jiang/cs215/tao-new.pdf
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Posted 4/19/15 , edited 4/19/15

qualeshia3 wrote:





Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! What if I try making a backwards instead? For example I shall use the word 'Monday'.


Yadnom

Now I'll try a sentence.

Yadmon yadot si?


Does that sound boring or stupid?

Diputs ro gnirob dnuos taht seod?


I tried.


Looks like it coud work :D. For some words though you may need to switch up the letters so it makes a bit more sense and easier to pronounce. So maybe like...

Diputs ro ginrob dunos aht seod?

The writing backwards will give you a foundation to work from
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Posted 4/19/15

Archmechanite wrote:

I like it.


Like what?!
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Posted 4/19/15


Thank you.
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Posted 4/19/15




Something to use for when I decide to use more languages for my story. I'll try to focus on one for the time being.
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Posted 4/20/15

qualeshia3 wrote:



Thank you.


No problem, happy to help!

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Posted 4/20/15


Posted 4/20/15
Language is just code under a different name. It sounds good to me. There wouldn't be any languages if someone hadn't thought them up, and then had others agree upon it. Had I the patience to do it I'd like to do that *nods*^^
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