Simple Construction: Spoken, Written, & Punctuation

Simple Construction: Spoken, Written, & Punctuation

A Lesson by Donna M. Burr

Wrapping up the simple construction of your language and making it an actual language! Goes over the difference with spoken and written, as well as punctuation and compiling the language into sentences!


Simple Language Construction
Spoken, Written, & Punctuation

Choosing a Base Language
What do I mean by a base language? Well, Tolkein used Finnish and another language for his language, and it is what I call a base language. So, it is now time for you to choose yours. I would recommend finding an English to (Language) Dictionary to help in creating the words, or you can use a language you are fluent in (whether that be English or a secondary language). Here is a good place and has a list of languages which it translates. However, I recommend the ones which don't have to use symbols (such as Chinese, Japanese, etc). Those are harder to incorporate into the language translation system which I utilize. You can also use their Universal Dictionary.

Note: If you are unable to find a language you like here, and find one which they do not list, just send me a message and I can try to locate a dictionary for you. However, if you type in google search "English to (your language) Dictionary", you should come up with some varied results which suit your needs.

Also, if you do not find a word in the language you have chosen, use a thesaurus! Most languages do not use the same words as English and not as diverse and it might take some time finding a word which means the same to get the sentence right. I would recommend making a Dictionary document for you language due to this to better help in creating sentences and such in the future.

For my Part A Language I am going to choose Latvian, and for my Part B Language I am going to choose Basque (Languages chosen at random).

Using the Alphabet & Pronunciation Chart
Let's revisit our Part A chart for the language with less than 20 letters. Pronunciations are going to be very important, so I recommend to make sure you have those done before proceeding.
✖m and n = using m = mi
✖s, z, and (soft) c = using s = se
✖r and l = using l = la
✖h and ch = using h = hu
✖e, y, and i = using y = yo
✖a = using a = ah
✖o, u, and oo = using oo = oo
✖k, g, and c = not going to be used (see s*) = se
✖t, d, and th = using th = thy
✖p, b, v, and f = using v = vi
✖j, and (soft) g = using j = jh
✖w = using w = wa
✖q = not going to be used (see w*) = wa
✖x = not going to be used (see w*) = wa

Now that we have that, we are going to choose a few random words.

We find what they mean in our translator:
✖Mother = Māte
✖Red = Sarkans
✖Dance = Deja
✖Home = Maja

Now we combine the alphabet and pronunciation. I am going to break it down one word at a time so you get the idea.Please know, you can keep any letter which has an accent above the letter if you wish, however, the following still applies: ā is still considered an a, and so on.

✖Vowel pronunciations are void and vowels stay the same.
✖The resulting word can be modified if you think it is too long or for other reasons you may have.
✖If the letters fall under the same pronunciation, use that pronunciation. For Example: if the letters t, d, or th appear in the word, they all get the same pronunciation of Thy.

✖M = Mi
✖A = A
✖T = Thy
✖E = E
✖Resulting word: Miathye

✖S = Se
✖A = A
✖R = La
✖K = void (Se)
✖A = A
✖N = Mi
✖s = Se
✖Resulting word: Sealaseamise (This word is too long. So I am going to void out the k's "Se" area, which leaves me with Sealaamise. I then don't want the double vowels, so I take out an "a" and I get the word Sealamise)
✖Final product: Sealamise

✖D = Thy
✖E = E
✖J = Jh
✖A = A
✖Resulting word: Thyejha

✖M = Mi
✖A = A
✖J = Jh
✖A = A
✖Resulting word: Miahja

Now lets go to the Part B alphabet with more than 20 letters:
✖m = using m = mn
✖n = using n = neh
✖s and (soft) c = using s = sa
✖z = using z = z
✖l = using l = li
✖(soft) r = using r = ura
✖(hard) r = using r = ari
✖h and ch = using h = hax
✖e and i = using i = ih
✖y = using y = ya
✖a = using a = ay
✖o and oo = using o = oh
✖u = using u = oo
✖k and c = using k = ku
✖(hard) g = using g = gu
✖t, d, and th = using t = te
✖p and b = using p = pu
✖v, and f = using v = ves
✖j, and (soft) g = using j = jw
✖w = using w = wi
✖q = using q = kua
✖x = using x = ks

Using the same words:

With different translations:
✖Mother = Ama
✖Red = Gorri
✖Dance = Dantza
✖Home = Etxe

But the same rules:
✖Vowel pronunciations are void and vowels stay the same.
✖The resulting word can be modified if you think it is too long or for other reasons you may have.
✖If the letters fall under the same pronunciation, use that pronunciation. For Example: if the letters t, d, or th appear in the word, they all get the same pronunciation of Thy.

And we get:
✖A = A
✖M = Mn
✖A = A
✖Resulting word: Amna

✖G = Gu
✖O = O
✖R = Ura (hard r)
✖R = Ura (hard r)
✖I = I
✖Resulting word: Guouraurai (You can either leave it or change it. I wanted to change it.)
✖Final product: Gourai

✖D = Te
✖A = A
✖N = Neh
✖T = Te
✖Z = Z
✖A = A
✖Resulting word: Teanehteza (Once again, you can leave it or change it. I am going to change it just a little)
✖Final product: Tanehtza

✖E = E
✖X = Ks
✖T = Te
✖E = E
✖Resulting word: Ekste

Note: If you want to use English as the base language you are more than welcome to do so. Simple use the same method as before. For this sake we are going to use both Part A and B languages.
✖Part A
✖Mother = Miothyhuela
✖Red = Laethy
✖Dance = Thyamise (took off extra "e" at the end, originally Thyamisee)
✖Home = Huomie

✖Part B
✖Mother = Mnotehaxeura
✖Red = Uraete
✖Dance = Teanehsae
✖Home = Haxomne

As you can tell, there is a common pattern, and soon you will have your pronunciation chart memorized. While this method doesn't involve having to differentiate between nouns, adjective, and other word forms, it doesn't make for plurals, punctuation, etc. So, we go to the next section.

Simple Grammar
Now that we have a basis for our words, there isn't alot we have to do for grammar. Depending on how in depth you want to be can be up to you, but I am going to show all possibilities of what you can do with Grammar.

Pluralization: This can be any part of your alphabet. For Part A I am going to designate "a" as the pluralization. So Mothers would be Miathyea (Miathye + a). In Part B, I want k to be the pluralization, so Mothers would be Amnaku (Amna + ku).

Possession: Thus can be as simple as choosing another letter or placing a bit of punctuation. For Part B we are going to choose another letter, however, I am going to be a little more complicated with it. I am going to use "r" for possessiong, but I want soft r to be feminine and hard r to be masculine. So Mother's is going to be Amnari (Amna + ari with tweaking).

Also you can do other grammatical stuff, that I am not really going to go into with my language. You can have any of the following tweaked to your specification for your language and make it unique:
✖sentence Structure
✖Compound & Simple Sentences
✖Compound Words
✖Articles (whether they are used or not, etc)
✖Conjunctions (whether they are used or not, etc)
✖Prefixes & Suffixes

Written Language & Punctuation
This does not mean when you are actually having a character in the book speak the language, this is if you, personally, are writing a letter in the language, or if there are writing on the wall etc. Pronunciation can be just about anything. 

As mentioned before, Possessives could have a certain kind of punctuation. Well, designating the kind of punctuation to use is going to be hard and can look weird to readers if you aren't careful. Honestly, I prefer to stay simple, and sometimes don't even include other-language punctuation in my story. I simple write it as I would having someone saying it. But if I wanted to write a note to my friend in the language, or whatever, I would use my specified punctuation.

These are the punctuations I chose for my languages:
✖Part A Language
✖End of Sentence: -
✖Compound Sentence: --
✖Possessive: " Example: Mother's = Miathye"a (Miathye + " + a)
✖Capitalization: capitalization not used, so . is used to designate new sentences.

✖Part B Language
✖End of Sentence: <
✖Compound Sentence: >

So examples of punctuation for each language:
✖Part A Language
✖Simple Sentence: I love my mother's blanket.
Yo milaethy miamise miathye"a sejha-
✖Complex Sentence: I love my mother's blanket, and I am keeping it.
Yo milaethy miamise Miathye"a sejha--oomi yo jhaviathyomi thyase-

✖Part B Language
✖Simple Sentence: I love my mother's blanket.
Ih mnaitesaoon nehiarie Amnari teaviasei<
✖Complex Sentence: I love my mother's blanket, and I am keeping it.
Ih mnaitesaoon nehiarie Amnari teaviasei>ihtea ih nehaiz haxeliteoolieku haxouri<

New Rule:
✖If a word has a base word, I would use that when getting a translation. Such as keeping. I looked up "keep" instead to be able to get an result and added my own ending for "ing." However, you could also just use the base word and not worry about endings when translating from english.

Spoken Language
Spoken language is quite simple. It is the language with common, English punctuation as is used in your story. If the character is speaking this method is better to utilize.

✖Part A Language
✖Yo milaethy miamise miathye'a sejha.
✖Yo milaethy miamise Miathye'a sejha,oomi yo jhaviathyomi thyase.

✖Part B Language
✖Ih mnaitesaoon nehiarie Amnari teaviasei.
✖Ih mnaitesaoon nehiarie Amnari teaviasei, ihtea ih nehaiz haxeliteoolieku haxouri.

End Result
Well, you should have yourself a wonderful language by now! However, if you have constructed a sentence and it doesn't sound like something you like, you might have to do some tweaking to the pronunciation to get your desired result. It could be the best language on the first time, or it could be the fifth, but either way, it is much simpler than having to go through a complex series of grammatical rules. However, if you prefer to keep to the more complex way, just wait for the second half portion of my lesson "Complex Language Construction."

Happy Creating!
Lamijhse lathyi!
Alitekuo saouriteu!

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Posted 7 Years Ago

YAY thankyou for making this.
it should help me make my own language! :D i have been wanting to for a while now and just didn't know how to! :D

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Posted 7 Years Ago

That was incredible, you made an entirely legitimate language. This is really going to help me, thank you so much!

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Posted 8 Years Ago

This is some really awesome stuff, I always wondered how I could make my own language for a story I'm writing...

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Posted 9 Years Ago

Great tutorial. I always have trouble with making languages and this will be helpful for future stories. Personally, it was a little confusing at first, but after reading it again I think I understand the basic concept. Create a pronounciation chart for, in this case, English, thrn choose another language, preferrably without a character-based alphabet. Translate English words into the other language, then replace each letter with the pronounciation from the chart. Make minor edits to make the word sound better. Great help, thanks. :)

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Posted 11 Years Ago

I'm trying to create a language myself, for a book idea I have. I'm using german language as my base language but... as I am not german, I am having some trouble understanding it.
Nice tutorials btw....
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Donna M. Burr
Donna M. Burr

Banks, AL

Thank you everyone who has reviewed my works, and I am sorry I am unable to thank you each individually due to my chaotic schedule. I just want you all to know I appreciate the constructive criticism,..