Posts tagged ‘Language’

October 16, 2020


Thieves' cant

Rotwelsch [rut-velsh] (German: ‘beggar’s foreign language’) or Gaunersprache (German: ‘crook’s language’) is a secret language, a cant or thieves’ argot, spoken by groups (primarily marginalized groups) in southern Germany and Switzerland. The language is based primarily on German.

Rotwelsch was formerly common among travelling craftspeople and vagrants. The language is built on a strong substratum of German, but contains numerous words from other languages, notably from various German dialects, including Yiddish, as well as from Romany languages, notably Sintitikes. There are also significant influences from Judeo-Latin, the ancient Jewish language spoken in the Roman Empire.

read more »

December 29, 2012


Ithkuil is a constructed language marked by outstanding grammatical complexity, expressed with a rich phonemic inventory or through an original, graphically structured, system of writing. The language’s author, John Quijada, presents Ithkuil as a cross between an a priori philosophical and a logical language designed to express deeper levels of human cognition overtly and clearly, particularly in regard to human categorization, yet briefly. It also strives to minimize the ambiguities and semantic vagueness found in natural human languages.

The many examples from the original grammar book show that a message, like a meaningful phrase or a sentence, can usually be expressed in Ithkuil with fewer sounds, or lexically distinct speech-elements, than in natural human languages. Quijada deems his creation too complex and strictly regular a language to have developed ‘naturally,’ but nonetheless a language suited for human conversation. No person is hitherto known to be able to speak Ithkuil fluently; Quijada, for one, does not.

read more »

May 3, 2012


alexander gode

Interlingua [in-ter-ling-gwuh] is a planned language using words that are found in most West-European languages. It was made by IALA – a group of people (the most known was Alexander Gode) that worked on it for more than 20 years, and they finished and published the first dictionary in 1951. Interlingua was created on the base of languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.

‘Inter’ means ‘between’ or ‘to each other’; ‘lingua’ means ‘language.’ The goal of the language was to enable people of different countries to talk to each other easily. Because Interlingua was made by people to be easy, it is easier than natural languages to learn. Many thousands of people know Interlingua, and Interlingua speakers say that millions can understand it (read texts in it and listen to someone talk in it) without having to learn it first.

read more »

September 16, 2010



Esperanto [es-puh-rahn-toh] is the most widely spoken constructed language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto, the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887. The word esperanto means ‘one who hopes’ in the language itself. Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy to learn and politically neutral language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding.

Esperanto has approximately one thousand native speakers, i.e. people who learned Esperanto as one of their native languages from their parents. There is controversy over the number of people who are fluent in Esperanto. Estimates range from 10,000 to as high as two million. The users are spread in about 115 countries. Although no country has adopted the language officially, Esperanto was officially recognized by UNESCO in 1954, and is also the language of instruction in one university, the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj in San Marino.