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?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Next page: Fantasy Islands

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?