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Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Constructed World Language

Although no language has succeeded in becoming universal, I still think the goal is possible and worthwhile. Multiple failures does not mean the goal is impossible. There were many unsuccessful attempts to build a flying machine before the Wright brothers.

Additionally, the success of standard Indonesian shows that a planned language can become popular if it is easy to learn.

As an armchair linguist, I decided to take a crack at it. I call my creation Mundobik- worldspeak.

Here are the key principles I used to construct it:

1. A small sound inventory

The vowels are basically the same as in Spanish: a (ah), e (ay), i (ee), o (oh), and u (oo).
The consonants are b, d, k, m, and n.

These sounds occur in all major languages, so there are no new sounds to learn and no need to worry about mispronunciation or accent.

2. Simple grammar

There is no grammatical gender- the pronoun ki can mean "he", "she", or "it". All plurals are regular and are formed by adding the suffix boku, which can also mean "many", "very", or "a lot". Tense and mood are indicated by adverbs. Possession is indicated by the word me. The word ma at the end of a sentence indicates a question and the word imbe indicates a command. The word no is used for negation. The first letter of a sentence and all nouns are capitalized.

3. A small vocabulary drawn from major natural languages

The basic vocabulary is about 300 words with the rest being formed from compounds. Sources include English, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili, Russian, Indonesian, and Hindi. Many of the most basic words have multiple meanings. For example, the word da means "yes", "true", and "correct". The word koku means "nation", "tribe", or "group".

Useful phrases in Mundobik

hello                                      
nanu

goodbye                           
amani

How are you?                   
komo u ma?

good, fine                              
bonu

bad                                   
nobonu

OK                                        
oke

yes                                         
da

no                                           
no

My name is...                         
E me namu....

What's your name?                
Ke u me namu ma?          

please                                     
bida

thanks                                    
denku

sorry, excuse me                    
keda

Do you speak mundobik?      
U bik mundobik ma?

My hovercraft is full of eels. 
A e de kudanaba, kuna boku baninokaboku.
(lit: In my jumpboat, there are many watersnakes)



 

2 comments:

Bill Chapman said...

I'll stick with Esperanto, thank you. 60

ARPEE said...

I like it. It is nice to see more people making small (minimalistic) languages.