Let’s Talk About Language (Part 3)

It has been a couple months since I last posted, and I’ve been procrastinating pretty hard when it comes to my language, and, well, my book in general. I’d love to write about the culture and history of my book and it’s world, but I get so bogged down by the want to make my book perfect. So, instead of doing any writing, I usually just do work or play a game. But lately, mostly due to a linguistics class I am taking, I’ve been thinking about my dear old language quite a bit.

So, let me start by airing out a problem I ran into. Nìmar is supposed to be a very old language, like ancient Greek or Latin to us. The reason it is still spoken in my book is because of an empire (sort of like ancient Greece or Rome) that spread the language world wide. Also, the language has some magic to it, which is what kept it alive well past the empire’s destruction. People usually use it as a formal, or intermediary language, since nearly everyone speaks it.

Herein lies my problem: I try to make it simple, but constantly want to make it more complicated. I either want to add clicks or complicated grammar. This is driving me to branch into other languages. Which in itself is obnoxious, because making languages is so flippin’ hard. Perhaps you see my dilemma.

Okay, regardless of my rants, I do want to talk about language a bit. English is quite annoying in it’s multiple pronunciations for practically every letter. (Don’t get me wrong, all languages have pronunciation quirks, English is just the worst.) If you put two ‘o’s together, they make different sounds in different words without much of a pattern. (Hook/foot, root/spook). But this does open a kind of fun door for making a language. It means I have that much more to play around with, and I can stay in the security of writing a phonetic language, and avoiding as many pronunciation quirks as I can.

I apologize for this rambling post. I’ll leave you with two fun little things about pronunciation:

Technically, the sounds /j/ and /ch/ as in “joy” and “chop”, are actually a combination of /d/ and /zh/, and /t/ and /sh/, respectively. Don’t believe me? Try making a /t/ sound and immediately switching to a /sh/, then stopping, all in one beat. Or, pronounce this: Fetsh

Most people in the US will pronounce this sentence:
“Betty bought a bit of bitter butter.”
With absolutely no /t/ sounds. Many add a softer “tap” sound, kind of like a quick /d/.


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