Monthly Archives: May 2004

Launguage Construction Kit

I enjoy languages, and wish that I knew more of them. One of my few disappointments with our time here in the Philippines is the inability to learn more Tagalog. I grew up learning Spanish (favorite phrase: “El carne de burro no es transperiente”), took Spanish in high school and then took it again in college while I took French. I did pick up some Cebuano while living in Mindanao, and that has helped me pick up some Tagalog.

But I never thought about creating my own language. This interests me because whenever I think about the bits and pieces of the languages that I do know I am struck by how interesting each is. Spanish seems very clean and systematic, while Tagalog is messy and complicated. Cebuano, although a more rural language, seems simpler and closer to Spanish than to Tagalog. Tagalog seems to me to be a mess of prefixes, infixes and suffixes that may rearrange the letters of the original word. Can someone single-handedly create a believable language? I find it fascinating. Can a made-up language be useful outside of literature (presumably sci-fi/fantasy)?

…and another move.

Well, I am trying a new blog system. This one (wordpress) is hosted on our own server and can be posted to via the same tools that we were using for blogger. The key thing is that I have control over it, and can access the system in several ways. I do like the new Blogger.com interface, and think that it is a great step, especially in speed. But I like the idea that I am not dependant on their system, and I can use most of the same tools that I use now.