Sep. 24th, 2011 09:32 am
zianuray: (??)
[personal profile] zianuray
The other day someone asserted that languages such as Quenya and Klingon "aren't real languages because they're made up."

I countered with "But all languages are made up -- either by the people who grow up speaking them such as German, English, and Mandarin or by those who think them up, like Esperanto, COBOL, or Klingon."  


Date: 2011-09-24 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey, at least that time I had a reply ready!

Date: 2011-09-24 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's always a bonus!

Date: 2011-09-24 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
All languages are made up!

Remember Esperanto?

Date: 2011-09-24 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Like I mentioned in my response? *grin*

Date: 2011-09-24 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hum- I think the difference is that nobody grows up speaking Esperanto daily. But then again, no one grows up speaking Latin any more and I don't think anyone would consider Latin not a 'real' language.

There are organic languages that grow from people communicating and making up words to express new concepts or shades of concepts and then there are constructed languages- for either a story or a new and possibly better way of communicating.

Constructed languages tend to have fewer rules and fewer exceptions to the rules- and often are less complicated than organic languages. This makes them simpler and possibly easier to learn but in my opinion it does not make them not real languages.

Date: 2011-09-24 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, some families do use Esperanto as their "first language" -- especially if the couple met at a convention and the is the common language between them. I would say "very few" rather than "nobody" in this case.

Date: 2011-09-24 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I always tease people about my weird typos, that I type in "Mare-ese".
Most people can translate it into proper English.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Twain: "I don't give a damn for a man who can spell a word only one way."

Same goes for speaking.

But then again, I come from both a very Northern way of speaking (my mother and her family) and Southern (my father comes from stock who settled in Florida long, long ago, which includes my Seminole grandmother's family)...I have both Northern and Southern pronunciations for words in a single sentence, because of the way I grew up listening to them both...and heck, I even say Northern words for things that make my local Southerners go WHAZZAT? ...a Scrapple WHAT?
I hear tell that me saying Scrapple or peh-cahn in a Southern accent sounds funny by my New Yawkah guy.

Words are fun!


Date: 2011-09-24 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And there are a few people around who can translate my gibberish into something understandable to the masses also -- I remember losing my words almost entirely while setting up at a con and from "box - five - place" my tablemate knew I was saying "The Office Depot on the next block has a box of 100 plastic bags for $5." She didn't even have to take time to figure it out.

Date: 2011-10-30 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Man. These sound like the people who are probably also insisting the English language is in decline because unlike when they were kids (pfft, yeah, right) the kids today are corrupting it with slang and misspellings, verbing nouns, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Some days I really wish I could refind the post a linguist made about getting calls from people on a book tour asking her for professional advice on how to stop the decline of English. Because she had a great part in it where she talked about finally giving up on trying to convince them change was inevitable and instead going for confusion, "No no no, it's worse than you think. Even the English you grew up with is hopelessly corrupted. We must undo the Great Vowel Shift!" And how rather than admit ignorance of what the Great Vowel Shift was the people would just shut up.


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