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August 24, 2007

People who invent their own languages

screenshot of the Klingon language version of Google

There's a fascinating article in today's Los Angeles Times about people who invent their own languages. There are nearly 2,000 deliberately constructed languages (or "conlangs") out there...everything from Esperanto to Klingon(*) to languages known only to their inventors.

There's an amazing diversity in the motives of these language creators. The article profiles one woman who created her own language as a way to come to grips with her depression, others who want to speak a tongue that sounds just exactly right, and still others who make language from scratch as a way to learn more about the evolution of language.

(*)BTW the screenshot above is from the Klingon version of Google. Really, I'm not kidding. Go to the Google preferences page and change the Interface Language.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at August 24, 2007 09:01 AM