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Constructed Languages

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3869 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 1 of 25
13 September 2014 at 2:09pm | IP Logged 
I have a set of new language books for Esperanto thanks to Radioclare and I was seriously considering learning Toki Pona after watching an interesting video on the Polygot Gathering channel on YouTube.

I wondered if anyone on the HTLAL forums had bothered to learn a constructed language, and if so which ones people learned? Toki Pona? Esperanto? Klingon? Lojban? Interlingua? There is a long list of constructed languages but how many serious language learners (by which I mean you lot) have seriously learned them?

Also what is your opinion of constructed languages? Do you think they serve a purpose? Are they a waste of time? Should we encourage people to make them, learn them?

Personally I'm of the opinion they are a hobby and really don't serve much of a purpose, however I've been told people who learn a constructed language like Esperanto find it easier to move on to learning an organic language like French, etc. I've also been told back in the 80's-90's pilots in the "aggressor" squadrons at the red flag combat exercises were taught Esperanto so their communication would sound more "foreign", although that could be an urban myth. Or hospitals having to contract Klingon speakers because some patients refused to speak anything else.

My daughter was thinking about learning Toki Poni with her friends so they could speak without anyone knowing what they were saying.

Any uses you can think of for constructed languages beyond the obvious?

1 person has voted this message useful



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 2777 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 2 of 25
13 September 2014 at 3:10pm | IP Logged 
I personally have zero interest in learning a constructed language. I might learn Esperanto if some people
close to me in real life wanted to study it, but I don't know anyone outside of the inter webs who speaks
Esperanto. So no, I will never learn a constructed language.

(Unless, of course, I change my mind. Ha!)
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3869 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 3 of 25
13 September 2014 at 4:01pm | IP Logged 
Stelle wrote:
I personally have zero interest in learning a constructed language. I might learn Esperanto if some people close to me in real life wanted to study it, but I don't know anyone outside of the inter webs who speaks Esperanto. So no, I will never learn a constructed language.

(Unless, of course, I change my mind. Ha!)


I knew a system administrator where I used to work who spoke Esperanto. He used to read the newsgroups, and get some free places to stay when he travelled by staying with other Esperanto speakers.
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Radioclare
Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
timeofftakeoff.com
Joined 3216 days ago

689 posts - 1119 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Esperanto
Studies: Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian

 
 Message 4 of 25
13 September 2014 at 6:48pm | IP Logged 
I once got (mis!)quoted in the Daily Mail as saying that Esperanto was useful for
talking about people on the bus. This may or may not make me an authority on the
usefulness of constructed languages :D

Esperanto has been usefully for me personally in that it has been a catalyst for me to
travel to places I wouldn't normally have travelled to, meet people I would never
otherwise have met, and in the process have all sorts of new experiences. Also I met
my fiancé through it :)

It is true that Esperanto was used by the US military at one point in training
exercises. I think it was in the early 60s. There is a book called
'Esperan
to - The Aggressor Language'
which is available online and contains all the
wordlists of military vocab etc that they used.

In general I feel the same as Stelle and have zero interest in other constructed
languages. But for anyone who does, I recommend Arika Okrent's book
'In the Land of Invented
Languages'
.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5789 days ago

4228 posts - 8257 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 5 of 25
13 September 2014 at 8:40pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
I have a set of new language books for Esperanto thanks to Radioclare and I was seriously considering learning Toki Pona after watching an interesting video on the Polygot Gathering channel on YouTube.

I wondered if anyone on the HTLAL forums had bothered to learn a constructed language, and if so which ones people learned? Toki Pona? Esperanto? Klingon? Lojban? Interlingua? There is a long list of constructed languages but how many serious language learners (by which I mean you lot) have seriously learned them?

Also what is your opinion of constructed languages? Do you think they serve a purpose? Are they a waste of time? Should we encourage people to make them, learn them?

Personally I'm of the opinion they are a hobby and really don't serve much of a purpose, however I've been told people who learn a constructed language like Esperanto find it easier to move on to learning an organic language like French, etc. I've also been told back in the 80's-90's pilots in the "aggressor" squadrons at the red flag combat exercises were taught Esperanto so their communication would sound more "foreign", although that could be an urban myth. Or hospitals having to contract Klingon speakers because some patients refused to speak anything else.

My daughter was thinking about learning Toki Poni with her friends so they could speak without anyone knowing what they were saying.

Any uses you can think of for constructed languages beyond the obvious?


For me, constructed languages are curiosities and interesting mental exercises. None of my friends know one, so there's no real societal pressure for me to learn one but I don't see the point of holding someone back if he/she genuinely wants to learn one which is no different from my view on someone who genuinely wants to learn a natural language. On the potential benefit of learning Esperanto as the first foreign language, I liken it to encouraging an aspiring programmer who already knows BASIC to learn Turing rather than moving right into Visual Basic or C, even though his/her goal is to learn Visual Basic or C in the first place. There's also the point that applies to learning anything, that if one's heart isn't really into it, then it becomes a chore and a drain.

Anyway I'm somewhat interested in learning about conlangs that lean more to being naturalistic than schematic. Esperanto falls somewhere between these points but I find fascinating conlangs such as Slovianski which are heavily naturalistic although in several respects I still don't see that much value in learning it. It comes off to me as Slovak or even BCMS/SC with a certain Russian influence. There was also a variant of Slovianski that resembled Bulgarian and Macedonian by replacing most of the case endings with combinations of prepositions + nouns without case endings although that variant was abandoned.

See the following for related discussion (the first of which got pretty heated and devolved into pissing matches over Esperanto)
- My English teacher really hates Esperanto
- My Experiences travelling with Esperanto
- Esperanto - Do People Really Use It?
- Native Esperanto as a Test Case (...)
- Dead Language or Constructed Language?
- Learn ’Slovio’ first as help to Russian?
3 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 3340 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 6 of 25
13 September 2014 at 8:44pm | IP Logged 
I can see myself learning Esperanto but not much beside that.
1 person has voted this message useful



rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3869 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 7 of 25
13 September 2014 at 9:05pm | IP Logged 
Some like Toki Pona shouldn't take you long. It only has 120 words. It is a language built to be as small as possible. A good language for s_allard perhaps?

I know one other person who speaks Klingon, although he will not admit it in public, just at treki conventions.

1 person has voted this message useful



iguanamon
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3895 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Creole (French)

 
 Message 8 of 25
13 September 2014 at 10:06pm | IP Logged 
Every once in a while, I get tempted by Interlingua or Slovio. The number of speakers is so small and the amount of associated media is tiny. I don't feel it would be worth my time and effort to learn them. As to Interlingua, I can already read the language quite well, since I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese and am intermediate in Haitian Creole (French based). If I were to invest the time and effort to learn to speak it, I would probably have zero opportunities of randomly running into someone who spoke it. Whereas, I do randomly meet other Romance language speakers periodically.

Slovio tempts me because of the alleged ease of communication for travel aspect through the various Slavic countries, but then I think, why not just learn Russian instead? The payoff would be exponentially bigger for the work I would put into it.

Esperanto doesn't tempt me. Mainly it's because of the same reasons. I know I could go to conventions, read literature (some of it native) and travel, participate in online chats and forums, but these situations would be for me as artificial as the language itself. I having nothing against those who do enjoy using and learning the language at all. Esperanto's just not for me. Well, I'll never say never, :), but I seriously doubt I'll ever want to learn it.

Edited by iguanamon on 13 September 2014 at 11:17pm



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