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Creating Concultures

Posted: 2015-04-02, 0:04
by ltrout
I have decided to make my newest conlang as real as I could and decided to include a conworld, conrace, conculture, etc. I found these questions called the Dr. Zahir questions, and my question is do I just answer these questions to create the conculture, or should I create a back story kind of thing? This may seem like a stupid question but I just don't understand it.. :oops:

Re: Creating Concultures

Posted: 2015-04-02, 3:47
by Koko
What are the questions?

I personally just make the people and then their god(s) and how they view the world. From there I find all else just comes fluidly.

Re: Creating Concultures

Posted: 2015-04-02, 13:38
by Ashucky
You may want to try and get The Planet Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder then. It covers many aspects of concultures and conreligions and such (basically, anything you need to know about creating your own cultures), and it's pretty useful if you're new to the whole thing.

As a quick reference, you can also use this cultural iceberg picture.

ltrout wrote:I have decided to make my newest conlang as real as I could and decided to include a conworld, conrace, conculture, etc. I found these questions called the Dr. Zahir questions, and my question is do I just answer these questions to create the conculture, or should I create a back story kind of thing? This may seem like a stupid question but I just don't understand it.. :oops:
I'd say you can start by simply answering the questions to get some basic framework, which you can then expand into stories and if you decide to go with an elaborate mythology, lore, history and whatnot.

Re: Creating Concultures

Posted: 2015-04-02, 20:35
by ltrout
Koko wrote:What are the questions?

I personally just make the people and then their god(s) and how they view the world. From there I find all else just comes fluidly.

Simply google Dr. Zahir questions and it's like the second link. Or for lazier people... http://www.frathwiki.com/Dr._Zahir%27s_Ethnographical_Questionnaire

Re: Creating Concultures

Posted: 2018-11-25, 20:45
by elemtilas
ltrout wrote:I have decided to make my newest conlang as real as I could and decided to include a conworld, conrace, conculture, etc. I found these questions called the Dr. Zahir questions, and my question is do I just answer these questions to create the conculture, or should I create a back story kind of thing? This may seem like a stupid question but I just don't understand it.. :oops:


Sorry I'm a bit late to this party...but maybe will still be of help to you or someone else.

It's not a stupid question at all, and I'm afraid I never considered writing any kind of user's manual for the Questionnaire!

The Questionnaire (I compiled it, long ago!) is not really designed to create a culture per se. It is designed to energize your creativity. To help you create a culture. The questions are designed to get you thinking, often about things you take for granted within your own cultural context.

So basically, yes. Just answer the questions! You may not be able to answer every question in order, and that's fine. It's not an exam where you have to answer every question. The key is let your imagination guide the process. A language is a good place to start. Languages communicate not just ideas but also culture and the social ideals of its speakers. I mean, if you say "George Washington" to an American, you'll instantly conjure up ideas of great founder, honesty and integrity. The Questionnaire is designed to help you conjure up such ideas for your invented culture.