In a way I started to conlang as I was learning to speak Since I was a
Swedish-German bilingual I was always aware that there were different
languages which had different words for things. I would make up my own
words on the fly if I didn't know the word for something. I remember when I
was five or so and realized that my dad and his Spanish friend were each
speaking a different language to each other (Spanish and French
respectively) and interpreted that as each of them having his own personal
language. I promptly made up some gibberish and claimed that that was my
personal language!

I started my first real conlang when I was eleven. A friend had a present
album with Tarzan comics which contained a Mangani-Swedish word list, and I
realized that you actually could make up a language for fictional purposes.
I already had my own fantasy world, because since I was physically disabled
I played inside my head a lot. I soon had two or three conlangs going. They
were really just naming languages but each of them had its own phonotactic
profile (although I hadn't freed my self of a Swedish/German phoneme

About a year later my teacher read The Hobbit aloud to my class and when I
told a friend of my parents about it she lent me The Lord of the Rings and
soon also dispelled my first impression that the Sindarin names were from a
natlang. I briskly went on conlanging and worldbuilding for a couple of
years before my parents decided that it took to much of my time and energy
and put a ban on these activities and on fantastic literature. I complied
because I had gathered that they feared that it wasn't quite sane, and that
fear was transplanted on myself.

I managed to be allowed to take a languages-oriented secondary school
program and got an Esperantist as French and Latin teacher, who also taught
a class called "international vocabulary study" — you can imagine what he
used it for! Since I showed an interest he revealed not only that there was
also Interlingua, but also his own auxlang, and his French spelling reform
scheme. So I started auxlanging and developed an interest in historical
linguistics, which for better or worse influenced my choices when starting
university. In the mid nineties I got internet access at my university and
one of the first things I did was entering "Elvish" and "artificial
languages" in the search engine of the day. Thus I found this list and have
stayed around ever since. Back then the auxlang list had not split off yet
but luckily I rediscovered artlanging and eventually gave up auxlanging. I
used to produce a couple of more or less developed conlang sketches every
year, but nowadays my tempo has slowed down considerably, not least because
I've grown more and more self critical and raised my demands on naturalism
over the years.

Den 5 feb 2018 11:02 skrev "Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets" <
[log in to unmask]>:

> I think I mentioned my story various times in the past. There's nothing
> particularly special about it, in fact, as many people have mentioned in
> their stories already, it pretty much started in a fit of teenage arrogance
> of the "if ... could do it, I can probably do it better" :).
> In my case, it started during Latin classes when I was about 13 years old.
> I really enjoyed Latin, whose structure was unlike any language I'd known
> about until then (at that time, I'd only been exposed to French, English
> and Spanish. The idea that you could change the ending of words to show
> function in the sentence was completely novel to me, as was the idea that
> the order of words wasn't set in stone). I loved reading through my Latin
> grammar book (even the stuff we'd not studied in class yet) and I was quite
> good at the exercises we got in class. The result was that I got bored
> easily during Latin classes, as the stuff we were going through was all
> stuff I already knew, and we were given far too much time to do the
> exercises than what I needed. So I had a lot of free times on my hands.
> One day, I somehow got wind that someone had created a language. Not sure
> where I got that information. Might be on TV, might be something I'd read,
> but basically I came to know about Esperanto. *About*, as apart from the
> name of the language, its goal, and the fact that it had been invented by a
> single person, I knew absolutely nothing about it. I just knew it existed.
> While I was pondering that during one of my Latin classes, I suddenly
> thought that if someone could create a language for international
> communication, I could probably do it myself as well, and better at that.
> Also, Latin was such a great language, it was obvious that I should base
> that language on Latin grammar. However, clearly I couldn't keep the Latin
> words as they were. First, Latin grammar was great but still full of
> idiosyncrasies and irregularities (the fact that the declensions and the
> genders didn't match definitely couldn't do in an IAL). Second, using Latin
> words would give an undue advantage to speakers of Romance languages when
> learning the language. So I needed to regularise Latin grammar, and replace
> all the words with a priori creations, so that they would be equally easy
> (or hard, whatever you want to call it) to learn for everyone!
> And that's how I went out to create my first language, right there during
> Latin class. The first draft was quickly replaced by a second draft, then a
> third, then I started learning about different languages and take
> inspiration from them, while I quickly left the pretence that my languages
> were meant for international communication. I started conlanging for
> conlanging's sake (although i didn't know that word at the time).
> When I was 16, I started working on Moten, one of the languages I still
> keep developing nowadays (25 years later!), but I've never stopped created
> new languages (although they rarely move away from the draft stage.
> Haotyétpi is the only recent exception, Narbonese is an older one. Maggel
> is infamous on the list, but really it still only exists as a draft as I
> keep getting back and to try and make it worse than it was :P).
> When I was 22, back in 1998, I got on the Internet for the first time. I
> first looked up Esperanto, and actually learned the language via a free
> online course available at that time (still got that certificate somewhere
> I'd expect), but after a while I started looking up information about other
> invented languages, and discovered both the word "conlang", and the fact
> that I was not the only one interested in creating languages! And finally,
> via Sally Caves's Teonaht page, I discovered the Conlang Mailing List, and
> the rest is history, in that it can be found in the archives of the list
> :P.
> On 5 February 2018 at 02:57, Walter Sperat <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Hey everyone!
> > Due to a recent thread on which several people listed their ages, and
> > having recently watched Conlanging: The Art of crafting Tongues, I got
> > curious about the individual stories of the people on this list, i.e. how
> > did you get into conlanging?
> > I'll go first: at about thirteen while writing a sci fi story, I needed a
> > humanoid species of aliens to speak in a different language, so I thought
> > "if Tolkien could do it, why can't I?"... The approach was very chaotic
> and
> > erratic: I wrote the dialogues and made words up as I needed them. In
> terms
> > of phonotactics it was basically my dialect of Spanish, (no distinction
> > between s and z) though I distinguished /v/ and /b/ (we pronounce them
> both
> > as β). I remember that I wanted to be a transgressor: the plural was
> marked
> > by -j (with the Spanish pronunciation /x/). HA! TAKE THAT, TOLKIEN! The
> one
> > thing I consider interesting about it nowadays is that it was SOV (I
> didn't
> > know that languages could have otherword orders). It probably sounded
> more
> > alien to my young ears.
> > The language was called /vanex/... still not sure what that final /x/
> > marked exactly.
> > Several years later I found out that Klingon was a thing, and fell in
> love
> > with Lojban (quickly fell out of love with it) then I found a youtube
> video
> > of one of the Language Creation Conferences by Sai Emrys, in which he
> > guided the audience through the creation of a strange-sounding language.
> > Damn was that cool. That's what got me surfing the internet looking for
> > stuff on conlanging... and then I found John Quijada's Ithkuil, my
> favorite
> > language of all time; subsequently discovering David Peterson's Web Thing
> > (which guided me to this list), and Trent Pehrson's Idrani webpage.
> > And well, here we are.
> > Hope to read some interesting stories.
> > Respectfully,
> > W.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > <
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> >
> --
> Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
> President of the Language Creation Society (
> Personal Website:
> Personal Tumblr: