When you’re watching a fantasy or science fiction show, and the characters are speaking a language that does not exist in this world but sounds like it could - that doesn’t happen by accident, or improvisation. A lot - a LOT! - of work goes into inventing new languages that sound real. Conlanger David Peterson talks about how he created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones.Read More
iTUNES • RSS • SOUNDCLOUD • MP3
There’s a language which is said to be the smallest language in the world. It has around 123 words, five vowels, nine consonants, and apparently you can become fluent in it with around 30 hours’ study. It was invented by linguist Sonja Lang in 2001, and it’s called Toki Pona.
And fellow Radiotopian Nate DiMeo, from the Memory Palace, decided we should learn it together.
- tokipona.org is your first stop for Toki Pona information, such as Sonja Lang's book and the Facebook group.
- This is the article that first piqued Nate's and my interest in Toki Pona. I also enjoyed reading about this two-day Toki Pona learning binge.
- A Finnish psychiatrist experimented with getting his patients to record their thoughts in Toki Pona every day.
- Hey, linguistic size queens: here's a piece comparing number of words in different languages, and here are some stats for you.
- I need to read In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent, who appeared in this early episode of 99% Invisible about Esperanto.
- There are a lot more invented languages; here are a few mentioned in this episode: Kēlen, Ithkuil, Blissymbols, Lojban, Klingon, Elvish, Na'vi...
- Here's the transcript of this episode.
At time of publication, there are 20 hours left to join the Radiotopia funding drive and support our thirteen shows (and attend to your own desires for challenge coins and Tshirts and such).
SIMON, LOUISE, ANJALI & MATHEW'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS:
Oxford Games are offering you 15% off their boxes of fun if you use the code ALL15 when you order from the shop at oxfordgames.co.uk. Need ideas about which game to buy? Listen to company founder Leslie Scott in the Word Play episode.
Build yourself a swish website with Squarespace.com, and receive 10% off your first purchase by using the code Allusion.
- Nate DiMeo makes the beautiful podcast The Memory Palace thememorypalace.us.
- PRX are the power behind the Radiotopia throne. They work on many wonderful projects, and their latest is the Esquire Classic podcast, which you can find here.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks to Eleanor McDowall.
- Martin Austwick provided all the music apart from the instrumental version of Survivor's 'Eye of the Tiger'.
- Communicate with me minimalistically at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.
As the fundraiser ends, so does this season of more frequent episodes with my Radiotopian comrades. I hope you enjoyed them! The show resumes its fortnightly schedule, so the next episode should appear on 2nd December 2015.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, which is supported by Mailchimp, the Knight Foundation, and listeners like you.
For years, I've been wondering why a radio station in Finland broadcasts a weekly news bulletin in Latin.
And now, I have found out.
Antti Ijäs from Nuntii Latini - now the Finnish Broadcasting Company's longest-running programme - explains how he invents new Latin words for modern concepts, and why the show is important even though, outside of the Vatican, not many people speak Latin any more. Listen now via iTunes, SoundCloud, your favoured podcast directory, or RSS.
FOR EXTRA CREDIT:
- Examine the vocabularies for Nuntii Latini.
- Explore Vicipaedia, the Latin Wikipedia.
- Sign up for your free monthly Latin puzzle book, Hebdomada Aenigmatum.
- Learn a whole load of interesting stuff from the Reading, Writing, Romans blog
- Try to understand the Papal tweets.
- Have you seen Plebs? It's worth it for the theme tune alone, but I’m particularly amazed that a sitcom has been commissioned that is not only full of jokes aimed at the ever-rarer breed that is Latin students, but targeted specifically at those who had The Cambridge Latin Course textbooks.
- Let's not forget the Latin grammar jokes in Monty Python's Life of Brian:
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
This episode was sponsored by Squarespace.com. Use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off their website-hosting and -building services for a year. That'll be useful when you get around to building your all-Latin version of LinkedIn.
Presented and produced by Helen Zaltzman.
Antti Ijäs has a blog about etymology, which makes me wish I understood Finnish.
Here is Nuntii Latini's website (OK fine, here's an English translation) and the weekly bulletin is available as a podcast from iTunes.