How hard can it be to actually finish a conlang???

The place to discuss your conlangs and conlanging.
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Joined: Sat 28 Jun 2014 6:51 am

How hard can it be to actually finish a conlang???

Postby IXBlackWolfXI » Mon 24 Oct 2016 10:31 pm

I've been trying to make a conlang for almost 10 years now, and even today, I don't have anything to show for it. I've never developed a conlang far enough to make one single sentence in a language of my own creation. Most of my 'conlangs' are just phonologies, sometimes with bits of grammar or design ideas (like making an inflecting language, or a creole-like language, etc...)

Every time I think I've gotten an idea I think I'll stick with, I end up abandoning it. It used to be when I got sick of how the language sounded. Now, its just when I seem to have to create a whole paragraph of rules for each and every possible sentence. I don't know if its because I'm inept and keep trying weird things, or its just because languages are so complex I can't possibly hope to make any progress in one.

I mean, seriously, Zamenhof made a conlang of his own in just what, 3 or 4 years???? I've been at this for nearly 10, and I still have NOTHING to show for it besides folders upon folders of word documents, some dating back to 2007.

I want one of my own, but I honestly I don't have any faith that I will ever succeed. Why does this have to be so fucking hard??? Yeah, I know languages are complex, I've studied linguistics for years now, but its like no matter what I do, I have to write a fucking book just to explain how to say one sentence!!!!

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Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 10:13 am

Re: How hard can it be to actually finish a conlang???

Postby Khunjund » Mon 02 Jan 2017 11:50 am

I'm currently struggling with the same issue.

I believe the answer, in theory, is to accept the fact that what you come up with won't be perfect, but you can make changes in the future. Therefore, even if you're not wholly satisfied with how a particular word sounds, just go with it: nothing will stop you from going back on your decision when you do find the perfect sequence of phones ten years later. If you find a specific section of your grammar sketchy, don't throw it away: build on it, and then you'll be able to see where it really fails and make the appropriate changes.

Actually applying this answer seems to be a challenge in its own right, however.
Native: français.
Fluent: English.
Learning: Deutsch, 日本語, العربية, Ἡ Ἑλληνικὴ φωνή.
Interested in: 한국어, русский, polski, Brezhoneg, 漢語, suomi, isiXhosa, Gaeilge, עברית.

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