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Words and meanings (creating vocab)

From:Jonathan North Washington <lists@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 21:44
 >> And speaking of this, how does everyone else make their vocabularies? I
 >> usually do it by translation, since it's fun, if tedious, and the words
 >> are instantly useful, or at least used.
 >> Chris Wright

That's the way I find most efficient.  Sometimes I end up with words
that I can connect to a word I know in another language.  My first
conlang, Deviasew (1997), was a compilation of these words.  I remember
some words like carta (map), devina (word), istari (wizards)....  They
were words that just made sense to me as what they are.
If any of you have ever read Eva Hoffman's auto-biographical Lost in
Translation, you know just what I'm talking about.  In her immigration
experience, she found that the words she learned in English didn't cary
the meaning.  They felt flimsy and were just words, whereas in her
native Polish vocabulary, words were what they meant.  An X was that
thing, not just a word for it.  Maintaining this connection when
learning other languages and creating languages can be an interesting
experience, that I'm afraid many people who learn a language beyond
their native aren't able to do (or just don't).

Jonathan North Washington


Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...>