Feeds

Speak geek: The world of made-up language

Pointy ears, bumpy foreheads and obscure tongues

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The language of unity

While Bliss was busy creating his symbols, Esperanto was already establishing itself as a globally recognised conlang. Although exact figures are much cause for debate, late psychology professor and longtime Esperantist Sidney Culbert conducted research that suggests by 1988, the number of speakers worldwide ranged from one to two million.

L. L. Zamenhof

L. L. Zamenmhof

Created toward the end of the 19th century by the philologist L. L. Zamenhof, the concept was, unsurprisingly for the time, an attempt to foster peace and unify the way we communicate. Through much hard work, the language gathered support and after years of specialist periodicals and correspondence, Esperantists held their first world congress in 1905.

Esperantists faced persecution through WWII after the language was falsely perceived to be a secret Jewish plot - A belief of Hitler, publicised in his book Mein Kampf. Despite this, the language survived and was officially recognised by UNESCO in 1954. Its popularity continues to grow today and in 2009, the senate of Brazil passed a bill to make Esperanto an optional part of the curriculum in public schools. That bill would still need to be passed by the Chamber of Deputies, but for a language that few people natively speak worldwide, let alone Brazil, the recognition is monumental.

George Soros

Esperanto was George Soros's first language

Often described as a good foundation to understand other languages, Esperanto is touted as easy to learn and blossoming with practicality.

These “practical” languages are spoken fluently by few, but are globally accepted and generally respected, so why are those connected with fictional works attributed to the over-zealous or plain nuts and how have they survived the cut?

People once thought that language was a barrier and possibly a cause of regular war and disagreement. The obsession of creating a universal language for peace was lost in translation – literally.

As Okrent puts it, the golden era of conglangers has come to an end.

What next?

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Next page: Fantasy Islands

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.