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4 Interesting Conlangs

You may have read that there are more than 7,000 languages around the world, and many are endangered, so why bother creating languages? I am not a big fan of constructed language (conlang) but I have encountered several conlangs that I find interesting.

Personally, I speak a conlang called Esperanto and I have learned 2 other conlangs called Lingua Franca Nova and Jennai. I am also interested in several more conlangs, which I don't learn but only read about them.

In the following list, you can find a brief introduction to the language, my personal experience, and resources to learn the language.

1. Esperanto

Many people that I have asked don't know about Esperanto, but several have heard about it, especially Europeans. It is because Esperanto was created by an ophthalmologist from Białystok, a city located in Poland nowadays and its movement has a long history of development in Europe. The largest organization for Esperanto speakers, Universala Esperanto-Asocio, currently has members in 120 countries. 

The International Language for Russians—the fi...
The International Language for Russians—the first textbook of Esperanto. Esperanto: La Internacia Lingvo por Rusoj – la unua lernolibro de Esperanto. Italiano: La lingua internazionale per russi – ovvero il primo testo didattico di esperanto. Русский: Международный языкъ por Rusoj – первый учебник эсперанто. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find Esperanto grammar very simple, easy to learn and to remember. I have learned more than 10 languages in my life and I have never found any language with similar grammatical structure. Esperanto also has many words similar to those in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and (I believe) in other languages too.

Lernu is the most popular learning website. Recently, Duolingo just launched its Esperanto course and it already has more than 50,000 learners. Esperanto articles are widely available on websites, such as Wikipedia and China Radio International.

2. Interslavic 

Interslavic is not the first attempt to create a common Slavic language or so-called Slavic conlang. It is created as an auxiliary language to bridge all Slavic language speakers. It can be written by using Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. Interslavic can be categorized as semi-artificial because it is basically a continuation of Old Church Slavonic, which was the first Slavic literary language. It was created initially under the name Slovianski.

English: The flag of the language Slovianski.
English: The flag of the language Slovianski. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have never learned Interslavic but I am very interested in Slavic conlang. I have learned some Slavic languages and I know that it is not easy for me. Because of that reason, I would like to learn any Slavic conlang if it really allows me to understand natural Slavic languages.

Unfortunately, there are not many available resources to learn Interslavic apart from what I found from its official website. However, there is a news portal in Interslavic language called Izviestija.

3. Lingua Franca Nova (LFN)

A language created by Dr. C. George Boeree, a professor of Psychology at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, is meant to be simple and easy to learn for everyone. It is based on several Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan. Some of its notable features are regular grammar, phonetically spelled, designed to be "natural" for Romance language speakers, and it can be written in either Latin alphabet or Cyrillic alphabet.

Flag of Lingua Franca Nova Português: Brandeir...
Flag of Lingua Franca Nova Português: Bandeira da língua franca nova (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first time I read a text in Lingua Franca Nova (LFN), I got the impression that LFN is very similar to Spanish. Understanding LFN is quite easy for me because I have known Spanish and other Romance languages, such as Portuguese and French. Although Esperanto has many loanwords from Romance languages, I find LFN to be closer to Romance language than Esperanto.

You can read about the introduction of LFN in several languages on its official website. Besides, there are also an LFN online group, learning resources, and a dictionary. There is a news portal in LFN language named Avenis Nova. You also can send me a message if you want to practice LFN because I am looking for an LFN language partner.

4. Jennai 

This conlang is neither as big nor as popular as the previously mentioned conlangs because Jennai is a new project initiated by a South Korean Esperantisto (Esperanto speaker), who I have acquainted with. It was created as the Esperanto of an Asian language, in this case, East Asian languages, such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese Mandarin. The grammar is similar to that of those languages and many words come from them. 

I joined Jennai Facebook group that the creator has created and we discussed the development of Jennai there. It is a small project initiated by someone who has a big dream of creating an easy Asian language, or probably the first Asian conlang.

Jennai creator has made a Jennai dictionary, which is unfinished at the moment. You can find it in Jennai Words document. Apart from that, a learning book has been created and is available for download. You can read about Jennai grammar and the story behind its creation, all written by its creator.

What do you think about conlang? Are you a conlang fan or a conlang creator? 

Photo credit
mistykari Flickr via Compfight cc

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