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Re: How did you find out that there were other conlangers?

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 10:40
Sai Emrys skrev:
 > How did you find out that there were other conlangers?
 > How did you find out that it was called "conlanging", or
 > find any of the online resources in general?
 > How could that be made easier - so that conlangers who
 > think they're The Only Ones (didn't the majority of us
 > start out that way?) can easily be connected to the rest
 > of us, have more resources at their disposal, etc.
 > Basically, I'd like to improve the reaching-out that we
 > do, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Even using the
 > term 'conlanger' is something that's community-internal.
 > Once you know a few resources, the rest are relatively
 > easy to find - it's that initial step of realizing that
 > there might even *be* something out there, and finding it,
 > that is difficult.
 > Stories? Ideas?
 > - Sai

I really must learn not to hit Save when I mean Send!

The short answer is that I had an auxlanging Latin teacher
in the _gymnasium_ (approx. == High School -- tenth to
twelfth school year in my case).

The first conlang I came across was actually not Tolkien's
but the ape language in Tarzan comic books when I was about
nine years old. There was a wordlist in a gift album my best
friend had and we even used the lang a bit for stealth
purposes. I remember wanting to buy that book from him when
he moved to another town. He refused, but had his dad
photocopy the wordlist for me. I still wonder if he'd caught
the conlang bug himself or if he had the collector bug.

I soon came across Tolkien too, but the realization that his
Dwarf names were from Old Norse and the absence of the
appendices in the Swedish translation held off the
realization that his other names represented a conlang.
Anyhow I caught the language bug for real and tried to learn
Old Norse and Gothic no my own, so I guess Tolkien smiled
from the Other Side he just had passed to.

My literary tastes were also set in the fantasy direction
and I soon began conworlding and with that creating naming
languages. If they had any grammar at all it was of the
isolating inflexionless kind. There may have been some
plural ending(s) but there were practically no verbs. I had
a Good Guys' lang and an Evil Guys' lang and some words in
the two langs were each others' palindroms.

When I was fifteen my parents confiscated all the fantasy
books and papers in an attempt to make me put some effort
into getting good grades my last year in compulsory school.
It may have worked but the humanities _gymnasium_ with six
hours of foreign languages a week and an Esperantist Latin
teacher teaching a subject called 'general linguistics'
which was about international vocabulary and traditional
grammatical theory inevitably set me on the auxlang path,
improving on Esperanto and all that. I also came across the
German translation of "The Loom of Language" with its
comparative word lists of basic vocabulary in Romance and
Germanic languages.

When I started university and studied linguistics and
comparative philology conlanging came on the back burner,
but when I got access to the internet at the university
library "artificial languages" was one of the first terms I
entered into the search engine (the other one was
"Buddhism") and came across a lot of Esperanto stuff but
also Rick Harrisons pages and eventually Conlang and Auxlang
(this was shortly after the split, and Conlang was still
quite infested with Auxiety, as was I FWIW. I've been here
ever since. What a ride! This list has long been my main
outlet for glottomania, and what a relief it's been for my
real-life network!

I think it is quite easy to find the community today,
judging by the hits when you search
languages" on Google. As someone pointed out we should be
more conscientious about tagging our pages with such terms,
especially "made up language" which may be a youngster's
first search term, but the last we'd use in the body of our
pages. Here is the tag for all of you to put in the heads of
your pages:

<meta name="keywords" content="constructed languages,
artficial languages, invented languages, artistic languages,
fictional languages, made up languages">

BTW how does one add meta tags to the page heads in

One neglected area is non-English language relevant info.
I'm trying to mend things a little at <>. Getting
out general info on the net is clearly an area where
conlangers from different natlang areas could cooperate to
avoid duplicating efforts.

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
   "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
   à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
   ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
   c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)


Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>