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It is amazing how similar our stories are. I have written a little history
of my conlanging endeavors for Fiat Lingua (called *Every Word is a Portal*)
so I will give only a very abbreviated version here.

Very early on I became interested in codes, ciphers and invented scripts.
This quickly grew to interest in natlangs and from an early age I studied
Latin and French. I loved and still love Latin although I was never very
good at it. French became my true love, among natlangs and I eventually got
a university degree in it and had the chance to work in Geneva,
Switzerland. I then started learning Spanish and Romanian on my own. I soon
developed a real fascination with all Romance languages. At university I
studied French, Spanish and Italian.

Before that, at age 16 I discovered Esperanto. I never became much of a
auxlang missionary but I did enjoy the language. Soon after that I became
aware of Tolkien and his languages but I never considered creating
languages of my own. French and Esperanto remained my linguistic focus.

My first real thought of creating a conlang was when the Klingon Dictionary
came out in 1985. By then I was 35 years old. I became enamored of Klingon,
learned it reasonably well and consciously decided to create a relex of it.
That did not go well. I abandoned the idea but I had been bitten by the
conlang bug so to speak. My first independent conlang was Jiran (Ijira) but
it did not progress much beyond a sketch.

In the mid 1990s I acquired the Internet and became aware of the many
conlangs and conlangers out there. One pivotal day in 1996 I became aware
of Tony Harris and his wonderfully, richly developed Alurhsa and I was
blown away. I contacted him, he mentored me, we became close friends, and I
decided, "There is a language inside me and it needs to come out!" I
plunged in at full speed and within a year, the language, then called *Druni
*was ready to make it initial debut. To avoid a copyright dispute with the
author of the "Droon" series, after a number of email exchanges with his
legal department, I renamed the language *Itlani* which was conveniently
another designation of the language within its conworld, so no harm done. I
count Itlani's birthdate as February 8, 1997. It has continued to develop
ever since.

Itlani Jim

On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 7:11 AM, Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Salvete omnes!
>
> On 05/02/2018 01:57, Walter Sperat 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?
>>
>
> There have been similar threads over the years.  I referred in one of my
> recent emails to Sally Caves' 'Lunatic Survey' of 2005.  It's tempting
> to forward all the repliees I saved, but it would be wrong without
> Sally's permission and that of all other folks involved.  Anyway, some
> of the info is certainly now out of date (e.g. my email address and
> website URL are different).
>
> But, not wanting to re-ivent the wheel, I append Section A of that
> survey _with answers updated_:
>
>
> A. PROFESSION, DEMOGRAPHICS, INCLINATION:
>
> 1. Who are you, and what is the name of your invented language or
> languages? Pseudonyms allowed.
>
> Raymond Brown.
>
> Many invented languages of my teens (1950s) - most now forgotten - I
> know one was called Ejl and was an auxlang with a slight Tamil
> influence! One I discovered a few notes on dates from 1953 and was
> called Voldapeko (obviously an auxlang). There was also at least one
> artlang, heavily influenced by Hungarian & Turkish, spoken on Venus - I
> do not recall its name. From late teens and still in 2005, occupied with
> the Briefscript Project which seemed to be coming together in a conlang
> called Bax /pi'aʃi/ but was abandoned in 2009; see:
> http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Briefscript/Index.html
>
> Since 2005 I have worked on TAKE, Outidic and Britainese; see:
> http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Glosso/index.html
>
> (No pseudonyms in any of the above)
>
> 2. Are you new to the Lunatic Survey or have you filled out a version of
> this survey before?
>
> Almost certainly done one before
>
> 3. Do you have a website for you language(s)/world(s)? If so, please
> list the URL address.
>
> http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Glosso/index.html
>
> 4. What is your email address? name at hostsite dot whatever.
>
> ray AT carolandray DOT plus DOT com
>
> 5. What is your age? (vague answers allowed, but it is an important
> demographic)
>
> 79
>
> 6. What is your gender?
>
> Male
>
> 7. What is your nationality?  Where do you live now?
>
> British - in Surrey, England.
>
> 8. What is your native language?
>
> English.
>
> 9. What natural languages foreign to you have you studied or do you speak?
>
> Speak - French, sort of - a bit of Welsh. Can read Latin & French
> fluently, and other Romance langs & ancient Greek fairly readily, and
> many other languages with effort.
> How many languages have I studied? Truly, I do not know - as many as I
> have been able to in the past 60 odd years - and still looking for more
>      :)
>
> 10. What is your level of education? i.e., your highest degree achieved
> or sought?
>
> I have two masters degrees: M.Litt as the result of researching
> pre-Greek languages of Crete; MSC in Computer Science
>
> 11. What is your profession? Are you a professional linguist? If so,
> what also makes you a conlanger?
>
> Retired - was schoolteacher for 27 years & a college lecturer for 14 years.
> Not a professional linguist.
> Avid interest in language since a youngster + creative urge.
>
> 13. If you are a student, what is your major or your area of study?
>
> N/A
>
> 14. How long have you been developing your invented language(s)?
>
> Briefscript project began in my late teens after learning Speedwords and
> becoming dissatisfied with it; it has continued and off over 50 years
> (help!).
> TAKE since 2006; Outidic since 2012; Britainese since 2013.
>
> 15. At what age did you first start inventing a language? Can you
> briefly describe your early efforts?
>
> About 10 years old - as the result of becoming interested in the origins
> of English & discovering a couple of French text books and being
> fascinated by the grammar! Basically a sort of amalgam of French grammar
> (including subjunctives) with Old English based lexicon.
>
> 16. What drew you to start inventing a language and/or constructed
> world?  What was the inspiration?
>
> See answer to 14 + inventiveness.
>
> 17. Did you start inventing before you had heard of the list or after?
> Before you had heard of Esperanto or Tolkien? (I name the two most
> common inspirations)
>
> *Way before the list*. Several years before I had heard of Tolkien - a
> year or two before I discovered Esperanto which then swung my efforts in
> the auxlang direction.
>
> 18. Tolkien calls it a "shy art" and a "secret vice"; but that was
> before the Internet. How secret do you keep it from others outside this
> list for much the same reasons?
>
> I don't speak about it over-much - but it's there on the Internet  :)
>
> 19. Yaguello has called it "pathological," influenced, unfortunately, by
> a lot of psychiatric writings such as _Le Schizo et la langue_. To what
> extent have you encountered such reactions by outsiders you had taken
> into your confidence?
>
> I haven't.
>
> *20. Do you consider it nerdy to be doing this? This is a term that gets
> tossed around a lot. Or actually sophisticated? Do you need to get a
> life, or is this your life? What is a life?
>
> Neither nerdy nor sophisticated - but then, it is not my life; I have
> many other interests.
>
> 21. There has been a connection noted between linguistic and musical
> ability. Are you musically inclined? Do you sing and/or play a musical
> instrument? Do you compose music?
>
> I like music of the classical variety - made a few attempts to compose
> when I was a teenager, but never since - regret very much not having
> learnt to play - told by others that I can't sing   :=(
>
> 22. There has been a connection noted between linguistic and
> mathematical ability. Are you mathematically inclined or inclined
> towards computing in any way?
>
> Yes, to both.
>
> 23. What other passions do you pursue that give you creative pleasure?
> (painting, drawing, sculpting, calligraphy, model-building, novel or
> story-writing, role-playing games, map-making, book-making, poetry,
> web-designing, star-gazing or other?)
>
> I belong to a creative writing group that meets monthly.
> I like cooking (creatively.   :)
> In 2005 I had revamped 1 website, and designed 3 others & maintained of
> of the latter (my wife does the other 0.5).  Since then I've managed to
> have find others to take two of those websites over and now maintain
> only my own and the one for my local Catholic church.
>
> Ray
>