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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.
Remember when 'viral' used to only mean something bad, IE something that would make you ill or destroy your computer?
How things have changed. Tom Phillips from BuzzFeed UK explains how they choose the language to make their content go viral. Why does Buzzfeed steer clear of round numbers, sarcasm and irony? Will the internet ever reach Peak Hyperbole? What's the curiosity gap and how do you cross it? Find out all by listening to the show via iTunes, SoundCloud, or through your favoured podcast directory. The RSS feed is http://feeds.theallusionist.org/Allusionist.
A bit of additional reading:
- Buzzfeed not only analyses its own language, but also that of White House press secretaries to discover which president's regime is the cagiest.
- Here's BuzzFeed's style guide, for your interest.
- If you can't be bothered to study it, Time has interpreted its linguistic signifance for you.
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, during which you'll be spewing out viral content like nobody's business.
Despite my mild cynicism in this episode about the imperative to share content far and wide, you are of course more than welcome to share this episode - and to say hi at facebook.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow.
Presented and produced by Helen Zaltzman.
'Allusionist Theme' - Martin Austwick
'Chocolate Rain' [instrumental] - Tay Zonday
'Gangnam Style' [instrumental] - PSY