World Building Part 3: ConLang anyone?

I have been conlanging recently.

I know, I know, contentious.  Conlangs (constructed languages for those not in the know) are pretty polarising amongst fantasy writers and readers.

Some love them, viewing them as an essential part of fantasy that adds another dimension to the world, following in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Some hate them, viewing them as a waste of time and space that usually results in poorly disguised English gibberish .

I think neither of those things.

I’ve always been interested in language and culture and how the two relate.  I invented a lettering system, numbers, and religious rites in my own little imaginary language when I was quite young an first getting into fantasy.  It was awful, but hey, I was eleven.

To me, conlanging is a helpful part of worldbuilding.  It helps me come up with names for places (something I am awful at as I’ve discussed before), and it gives me so much insight into the cultures of my world.   And it’s fun.

I don’t think much (if any) of my language will make it into my novels, but for me it doesn’t need to.  That’s not why I’m doing it, I’m doing it for my own enjoyment and my own understanding of my world and its depth.

How do you feel about conlangs?  A waste of time, or a good worldbuilding exercise?  Or both!

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3 thoughts on “World Building Part 3: ConLang anyone?

  1. I have thought about this a lot as I developed my conlangs. Some people are just… interested in Conlangs. You cannot define whether who likes it or doesn’t, however it is very hard for me to decide. My conlanging journey has sent me to times when I felt deep pessimism and times I was extremely optimistic about my road to worldbuilding. Language is one of the most important part of a culture, and sadly you can easily fail the culture with a language

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