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Some questions: Fluency in Conlang

From:John L. Leland <lelandconlang@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 11:49
Whether I am fluent in Rihana-ye depends on the definition of fluency.
If the question is, can I compose fluently in Rihana-ye in writing without
access to my dictionary and grammar rules, the answer is yes, though I would
occasionally have to generate a word without being sure whether a word for it
already existed.
My custom is to carry 3 X 5 cards and blue and red pens with me at all times,
and when
I have odd free moments,  I write bits of Rihana-ye text in blue, followed by
English interlinear in red. When I have time, I transcribe them into larger
texts (originally on paper, now on the computer). While transcribing, I enter
any new words I created into the dictionary. I also do sight translations of
the vocabulary exercises and then check them with the dictionary before
submitting them. So if "fluency" means "being able to write in Rihana-ye at close to
the speed I can write in English, without using a dictionary,"  the answer is
As there are no other Rihana-ye speakers, I have not had occasion to achieve
fluency, though a few times I have improvised Rihana-ye songs orally in the
shower and written them afterward (if I could recall them.)
On the other hand, if fluency is defined as keeping up with a hypothetical
native speaker speaking orally, I doubt I could do it beyond very simple
If the hypothetical native speaker wrote notes instead of speaking, I think I
could figure them out eventually (assuming the vocabulary was all from the
material I have invented),
but I suspect I would find the native speaker's syntax was free of the
unconscious Americanisms I often perpetrate (through thinking in English word order
rather than
the hypothetical Rihana-ye word order, which is closer to Korean). The native
speaker would probably say I spoke fluent but ungrammatical Rihana-ye.
I am not now fluent in any of my other languages, though at different times I
had fluency in Natece and Phos Tir Yob roughly equal to my present fluency in
Rihana-ye, and just now I am gaining some fluency in Sawelenedere.
John Leland