the eye of the storm

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conlangs

what are conlangs

conlang n, abbr. constructed language, usually either as a proposed auxiliary international language, sometimes called an auxlang (see Esperanto, Ido, Novial, etc) or as a purely creative work, sometimes called an artlang (see Tolkien, Okrand, etc.)

J R R Tolkien may be the most famous creator of imaginary languages, but he is a long way from being the only one. The 'net is crawling with these wild-eyed loons. I am one of them, as it happens -- why else would this section be here? It's the ultimate example of art for its own sake, of no commercial value whatsoever (unless you are Marc Okrand, the creator of Klingon), and all the better for it.

Jeffrey Henning, the inestimable and tireless maintainer of langmaker.com, (see the sidebar), has estimated that there may be as many as 10,000 invented languages. Most of them, of course, probably consist of little more than a few words and a primitive grammar, but there are also a few extraordinarily advanced examples, such as Mark Rosenfelder's Verdurian.

who the hell is janko gorenc?

If you create conlangs yourself, and especially if you have a website dedicated to them, and especially if you contribute to conlang message boards, you will sooner or later receive an email from one Janko Gorenc, who will ask you for a list of the numbers 1-10 in your language(s). If you don't respond he will eventually ask for them again. Even if you do respond he might well ask again. He will probably also send you a link to his website (if you want to stay a jump ahead, you will find it here. It makes... interesting reading).

As far as I can tell, he does not invent languages himself. He generally doesn't contribute to message boards. I don't know whether he would enter into email conversations with anyone who approached him.

Anyway, if you receive an email from him, don't worry about it. Send him your list of numbers, and he will be happy. He doesn't cause trouble for anyone, and I don't believe that he realises that people find his unexpected emails odd or worrying. Cut him some slack.

Latest Update

The above might just have become redundant, as Janko has, er, come out of the closet, so to speak: