All posts by Steve the vagabond

Hi, I created Silly Linguistics. If you like life on the silly side, you have found just the right place

Sometimes Lingua Franca Challenges are really difficult

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There is a group on Facebook called Lingua Franca Challenge which I started with 2 other people: https://www.facebook.com/groups/linguafrancachallenge/

The goal of the challenge is to learn a language together with the other members of the group. In the first challenge, we learned Swedish together and it was really fun and I learned a lot. In the second challenge, we were tasked with learning Russian. That, well, didn’t go so well 🙁 Russian is very difficult!

But at least I learned Cyrillic finally! It is actually not that hard. I just had to get used to it. It is an alphabet, just like the Latin script that we use in English. Some of the letters are even the same as the Latin letters. Cyrillic is really not that hard to learn. If you want to learn a Slavic language that uses the Cyrillic script, I heartily recommend it 🙂

When did you get here?

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I love comics that play around with spelling! There are so many variants of English out there, and some dialects of English have some very funny correnspondences, such as the example here, where in Australian English, “die” and “day” sound almost the same.

In South African English, in certain parts of South Africa (everyone speaks slightly differently), /aɪ/ is monophthonised to /a/ so “I like survivor” comes out like “Ah lahk sevahva”. People in South Africa often like to make fun of the accents of the other cities, but it all in good fun 🙂

Tohan vs Hammen. Which is better? You decide

Atlaans is a language I created in 2014. Since then I have been working to build up the world it is spoken in. Atlaans is the name given to one of the Atlantean languages spoken on Atlantis. The capital of the northern Kingdom of Atlantis is Hammen. The main language spoken in Hammen is Atlaans.

A neighbouring city, Tohan, speaks a different but related language called Tohanian. Tohanians and Hammenders are always making fun of each because of the way each other speaks. In this video, a Tohanian has to make his way to Hammen because it is the only place he can find pineapples. What happens next? You will have to watch to find out 😀


I guess I like naturalistic conlangs better

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There are many different types of conlangs. Auxiliary languages (or auxlangs) are designed to facilitate international communication. They are called auxiliary languages because they are designed to be learned along with other languages. Their aim is to provide a common language to people who don’t have any other language in common.

Naturalistic conlangs on the other hand, are designed to emulate how natural languages work. Dothraki, High Valyrian, Klingon, Na’Vi and my own conlang Atlaans are examples of naturalistic conlangs. Natural languages tend to have irregular conjugation, multiple declensions and inconsistent orthography due to changes in the language that happen over time.

Naturalistic conlangs either come up with their own conjugations, or they come up with some older languages and evolve it in like with linguistics processes to its modern form. This is what David J. Peterson did for both Dothraki and High Valyrian. He came up with an older form, and then created the sound shifts and semantic changes that happened over time to create the modern version of the language

The number two in Indo European languages

This is the development of the number two in all living Indo European languages
This is the development of the number two in all living Indo European languages.

Indo European languages together are the most widespread languages and is by far the largest language family in terms of native speakers. Major Indo European language families include Germanic (which includes English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian), Slavic (which includes Polish, Bulgarian, Russian, Czech and Serbian), Romance (which includes Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French) and even includes languages like Persian, Hindi, Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic.

Indo European descend from a language we now call Proto Indo European which was spoken around 6000 BC. While there are many theories about where Proto Indo European originated, a major theory states that it emerged in the steppes of Russia.

Indo European languages continue to be very important in the world today thanks to languages like English (which is considered by many to be a near global lingua franca), Spanish (a lingua franca of South America) and French (which is a widely spoken language in Africa).