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Re: Tell your conlang story!

From:Carsten Becker <carbeck@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 14:54
From: Monica Byrne
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 10:53 PM

> 1) How did you=get in to conlanging? What was your > inspiration?
First of all, I think the reason language has some meaning to me is that my mother studied English and French and my dad also was good at English in school. OK, that was way *before* I was born, but when I was an infant, my parents sometimes talked in English or French instead of German when I shouldn't hear things. I may well say this annoyed me quite a bit. However, I remember myself asking what this-and-that word meant and so I learnt to read before school. Still nothing special. What I do consider a little bit special, though, is that when I was only six years old or so, I often asked just for fun where some word comes from. My dad said "get yourself a dictionary" then. Very informative. In primary school it was not the case that I was better in German than in Maths or so, frankly, I didn't like learning grammar. *Properly* learning to read and write in first grade wasn't a very big problem for me. But I absolutely did not understand why the heck to learn about grammar when you can already speak your native language. My not-understanding went on until the 8th grade or so, after that, I simply learnt the stuff and didn't mutter anymore although I didn't like it. You know, my teacher in 5th and 6th grade dealt *extensively* with German and English grammar, more than with creative tasks or other more fun stuff than learning about grammar ... So, although I have never liked to *learn* grammar, I eventually understood and kept what I've learnt in mind. So far for my first experiences with language learning. As many have already said, I as well have been fascinated by Tolkien's work and the detail that he laid into his languages. So while browsing the web and searching for information on Quenya, I found Helge Fauskanger's "Ardalambion" and got from there somehow to Zompist's. I gave the LCK a try and made my first conlang when I was 16. I don't like this lang anymore today because it's too much like German, but since that flee bit me, I never got rid of it and thus I'm working at my third project now for over two years. Having been reading this list (it'll be already 3 years in summer!!) has helped me a lot regarding learning bits about Linguistics every now and then -- and it was also good for my English ;-)
> 2) What is your pu=pose in creating languages? Is it a > personal art, an anthropological exper=ment, a pasttime > ...?
It is all of that. I have worked on conlangs (in bits of my passtime, every now and then) in order to find out how stuff works. I'm not so much interested in conworlding and conculturing, so the anthropological aspect plays a less important role for me. But it is not unimportant. I would consider the process of language construction as some kind of art because you basically do the same things as an artist does -- that is, deciding on what to do and how to realize it, you only use sounds and research in grammar instead of a canvas, brushes and colours or a musical instrument, paper and harmony theory.
> 3) How have people reacted when you tell them about it?
As the others already have said, some said I were nuts and a geek, some said it's cool and others were indifferent. In my opinion, everyone has some kind of weird obsession. In my case, it's conlanging. The fact that conlanging is thought to be geeky is maybe just because it's rare and -- excuse my self-praise -- mostly it's people having an intellectual background doing it (remember that both my parents have studied at university) ... it's the whole academic, boring, socially unable book-worm guy cliché that makes our kind of art geeky I guess although what is connected with this cliché isn't *necessarily* true.
> 4) D=d conlanging lead you places you never expected it > to take you?
Not yet. Visiting Cologne to meet some guys from the ZBB (another language-related forum) does fit to that question in a way. I've visited Cologne several times before, though. Other than that, well, I'm looking forward to start an apprenticeship in the publishing house business in August, when I'm finished with school. So it's something at least remotely language-related -- I'll be in the book-selling business, and it was partly an interest in language and books that got me there I guess.
> If you have any stories for me in these veins, please let > me k=ow! You can contact me at mbyrne@wunc.o=g, or (919) > 445-9245. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you!
I can't get your station into my radio because I'm about 3,000 miles away from the US. So if the show on conlangs is broadcasted, could you please tell when (in terms of GMT-X)? There's still streaming after all :-) Happy broadcasting, Carsten Becker (Germany) ObOT: Why is it that seemingly all American stations have names like _ABCD_?