Growing up in America, you and your friends may have had some fun learning how to speak Pig Latin, or if you grew up in Spain, you may have learned Jeringonza. In fact, many countries have these unique, fun language games for kids. These games are demonstrations of constructed languages.
Most languages come about naturally through processes such as community communication, immigration and isolation. Constructed languages, on the other hand, are intentionally invented for specific purposes. Some may come about for business dealings, and others are developed for stories. These languages can be complex and come with their own sets of grammar rules. Let’s take a look at some constructed languages and how they came to be.
Topping this list is the most commonly used constructed language, Esperanto. Created by L. L. Zamenhof in 1887, the goal of Esperanto was to have a language that was easy to learn for international communication. Somewhere around 100,000 people have learned it as a second language, and about 1,000 people use it as their native language. One of its advantages is that it’s very easy to learn.
Invented by Canadian linguist Sonja Lang with the goal of minimalism, Toki Pona is extremely easy to learn and has little vocabulary — only 120 words to be exact. Lang created the language as a way to organize thoughts and emotions. It’s estimated that a few hundred people have experimented with the language and that 100 may even speak it fluently. Toki Pona has a sign language to accompany it.
Quenya and Sindarin
Fans of fantasy novels may be familiar with these two. Quenya and Sindarin are Elvish Languages invented by J. R. R. Tolkien. Even though these languages exist in Lord of the Rings, Tolkien said that the languages were developed independently of the series. There is no estimate of how many people have attempted to learn these languages. Also, they may not have enough substance to be used as native languages, but social media and websites show that some people definitely try to learn them.
Interlingua is the most common natural-based constructed language. Created between 1937 and 1951 by the American International Auxiliary Language Association, Interlingua is based on characteristics derived from natural languages in western European languages. Interlingua basically uses commonalities between many western European languages, making it very easy for native speakers of all those languages to learn.
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