Teaching my conlang

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Pasie
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Teaching my conlang

Postby Pasie » 2015-08-21, 18:00

Would it be bad to teach my future kids my conlang? Would it cause any communication issues? Would it have any advantages? Has anyone tried this?

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Irkan
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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Irkan » 2015-08-21, 18:15

Okay, I am by far not an expert in the topic, but I can say a couple of things about it. I know how appealing it is to pass down your conlang (i have thought about it quite a bunch of times). First of all, the big difference between conlangs and natlangs is 1) natlangs have been around for quite a while and 2) there's at least a small community that speaks a natlang. Because of this, natlangs have been pushed and proved and it is for sure that you can say anything in a natlang in a set way. For conlangs, though, you just don't know what blind spots there might be because you haven't tested it. That's probably why there can have been native speakers of Esperanto, because there is a community that uses it and makes sure it can be used also most of esperantos rules are the same as most european languges but that's none of my business. If you ever tried to teach your conlang to a child you might just end up having to make up things on the spot, and let's be honest, you can't spend all day writing down every new thing you say to keep track of it (especially when you're take care of a baby) so your kid might just be like "you've said the same thing three times using three different cases, how am I supposed to analyse that?" or simply brainfarting.

So this is my bit of oppinion on passing down conlangs. Now, if you are 100% sure your conlang works and you feel it is somehow morally correct to teach your child a conlang instead of a natlang, go ahead!

If any of this sounded rude, know that I am very sorry.

PS: Or maybe I am just really wrong and your child might take the input as a "con-pigin" and just make a creole out of it, which would be pretty darn cool.

Edit: Adding a PS.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Levike » 2015-08-21, 18:31

Pasie wrote:Would it be bad to teach my future kids my conlang? Would it cause any communication issues? Would it have any advantages? Has anyone tried this?

I think it would be really pointless. Nothing bad about it, it's just weird and useless.
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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby linguoboy » 2015-08-21, 18:58

Levike wrote:
Pasie wrote:Would it be bad to teach my future kids my conlang? Would it cause any communication issues? Would it have any advantages? Has anyone tried this?

I think it would be really pointless. Nothing bad about it, it's just weird and useless.

It also wouldn't work in the longer run. It's very hard to get kids to learn any language they know they can do without. You might be successful initially, but once they figure out that (a) no one but you speaks this language and (b) you also speak the language(s) of the wider community, it's almost a certainty that they will refuse to speak it with you.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Koko » 2015-08-21, 19:42

I have sadly come to the realization of what linguoboy says (if ever I decide to have kids).

However, you could be hopeful that they enjoy the fact they could say something only you will understand… I mean, I this is of course a thing that many people find intriguing of learning a new language with others. The best thing of a native speaker of your conlang would be that only you and your child(ren) understand it.

If you really wanted to make this work, you could get your closest friends to learn it to some extant too and then you have yourself a small community. (how well this will work?… doubtfully well)

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-08-21, 23:21

A while back, I was on a conlang/conworld forum (don't remember what it was) and a guy claimed that he and his wife taught their kids the conlang and they all spoke it. I don't know if this is true or not, obviously on the internet anyone can say anything without proof.

To be honest, I feel like the only reason to teach your children your own conlang is so you can talk to them without anyone else understanding you. Not sure how I feel about that.

Everyone else here brought up a lot of good points. What linguoboy said even applies to any language: despite the large number of Spanish speakers here, I know plenty of Spanish-speakers whose kids won't speak Spanish, because their parents speak English as well, like all their friends in school etc. so why should they use Spanish at all? Usually a kid will keep a language better if at least one parent, grandparent they see or talk to often, etc. doesn't speak English (or the main language of the area they live in). So they have to use it to talk to them.

That, and sometimes kids have a better time learning a language with an actual culture tied to it... not a made-up conworld that they can't actually participate in.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Koko » 2015-08-22, 0:45

WallOfStuff wrote:A while back, I was on a conlang/conworld forum (don't remember what it was) and a guy claimed that he and his wife taught their kids the conlang and they all spoke it. I don't know if this is true or not, obviously on the internet anyone can say anything without proof.

As much as I want to believe that is true, I feel it's false. At best, they at least got their child to know some words and whatnot.

To be honest, I feel like the only reason to teach your children your own conlang is so you can talk to them without anyone else understanding you. Not sure how I feel about that.

I personally think it's a great concept. Then you could talk to them in stores and other public places and not worry about people judging for what your saying. I doubt they would notice it's not a natlang if the conlang was properly made.
(this would be great for yentas who want to pass on their yenta-ing)

That, and sometimes kids have a better time learning a language with an actual culture tied to it... not a made-up conworld that they can't actually participate in.

This is true. Luckily for Isyan though, I could easily adopt its culture because it's so realistic and relative to me. I could even dress like an Isyan…

Anyways, it would take a lot of effort to raise a child with your conlang.

I'dalso like to mention that this topic's been discussed before. I'll find the previous thread… Here is.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-08-30, 21:28

Koko wrote:I'd also like to mention that this topic's been discussed before. I'll find the previous thread… Here is.
You guys seem a bit obsessed with whether a topic has been done before and keeping it in one thread, even if the thread was 10 years old.

On another forum I go to, you're not allowed to post in a topic that hasn't had a reply in over a month. I know that's a bit too strict, but still.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Koko » 2015-08-30, 21:36

*shrug* It's nice to not have a cluttered forum isn't it? I think that unless the last post is over two or something years and it doesn't take a search exceeding five to six pages, it's better if you keep that same thread. And I also brought that thread up because most of Pasie's questions had been answered there ;) And if the question only takes a few people to answer, it probably doesn't deserve it's own thread, and so it's better to find an existing thread (if possible) that best suits the question.

All of this is in the forum policy too. (Though it also says no background moderating, but… :para: )

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Vlürch » 2015-09-03, 3:19

WallOfStuff wrote:A while back, I was on a conlang/conworld forum (don't remember what it was) and a guy claimed that he and his wife taught their kids the conlang and they all spoke it. I don't know if this is true or not, obviously on the internet anyone can say anything without proof.

I wouldn't doubt it. I mean, there are tons of people in the world doing weirder things than that all day long; take the thousands of parents teaching their kids that the world was going to end in 2012, for example. There was some documentary about them on TV a while back, and while the kids turned out just fine when the world didn't end, the parents certainly didn't. IIRC, the parents of one of the kids committed suicide or something, although I'm not sure if they succeeded or if it was just a failed attempt or a publicity stunt they pulled off knowing that they were being included in a documentary or whatever, or maybe it was just something they threatened they'd do if the world didn't end, I don't know, it was a while back.

Anyway, the point is that if there are parents who dedicate their entire parenting time to teach their kids that they're going to have to move to an underground bunker where they'll have to protect their supplies against intruders by setting up deadly traps all over their backyard, there absolutely can be parents who teach their kids to speak a useless made up language. Actually, I'm pretty sure it's happened countless times in the past in the sense that parents taught their kids a conlang and about a conculture without ever telling them that the language and culture weren't real, and then the kids grew up to learn that all the shit they were taught was bullshit... or didn't, since there are genuinely people out there who think that they're the last speaker of a language nobody has ever even heard of, and then they pull out all the discrimination cards in the deck when someone dares suggest that maybe their parents were just messing with them or that they're just messing with us. Well, at least I've come across some people like that online, but then again, like you said, it's not exactly uncommon for people to lie on the internet, and on some parts trolling is elevated to an artform. :P And I mean, it's not like I haven't myself ever presented shitty half-assed conlangs made up on the spot to "serious business!" linguists as genuine languages and then, if they take the bait, been like "TROLOLOLOL XDDDD"... go ahead, tell me that's childish. I don't care.

As for the actual topic, I personally think it's a fun idea even though it could be harmful if done wrong if the kids took it to mean that they're somehow special. Kids tend to have a need to buff themselves up over other kids even if they have nothing to set them apart from them, so if they actually did have something to set them apart from them, they'd probably let it get in their head way too much, especially considering the thing that sets them apart from the rest is something that anyone could just come up with. Lying to your kids wouldn't be good, as in teaching them a conlang without telling them it's a conlang, but on the other hand telling them that it's a conlang could lead to more trouble as they'd tell their friends about it; if they liked the conlang and the idea of conlangs in general, they'd beg you to teach it to their friends too and/or teach them how to come up with a conlang, and if they didn't like it, they'd tell their friends about how you're insane and then their friends would tell their parents and you'd get locked up in a mental institute or at the very least have your kids taken away from you by child protective services since you're not fit to parent. :P

So, in that sense, if you absolutely had to teach it to your kids, it might be a good idea to not tell them it's a conlang at first, and only tell them when they've already got some of the basics down and are mature enough to understand, for example when they're like 5-7 or something. Then again, not telling them would be morally wrong to most people as it'd constitute a lie (even if you didn't directly make up shit about your ancestors or whatever, although in that case it would technically not be lying...) and it could mess them up if they took it the wrong way when you tell them, and there'd absolutely be an irresistible temptation to never tell them the truth if they were really into it.

I wonder if that's how Basque started...

:mrgreen:

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Koko » 2015-09-03, 21:52

Vlürch wrote:And I mean, it's not like I haven't myself ever presented shitty half-assed conlangs made up on the spot to "serious business!" linguists as genuine languages and then, if they take the bait, been like "TROLOLOLOL XDDDD"... go ahead, tell me that's childish. I don't care.

Lol. What were some reactions?

Then again, not telling them would be morally wrong to most people as it'd constitute a lie

What makes it morally wrong? There's no lying taking place, as long as you do not say the opposite (that is a natlang). Keeping the truth is not lying ;)

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-06, 20:42

Honestly, I still stand by saying to find a natlang with a relatively small number of speakers or not spoken in your area. One that actually has resources for learning or you can travel and learn it where it is spoken. Do this for a few years (or longer most likely) then teach the kids this. Eventually they will realize it's useless, but it is a real language.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby linguoboy » 2015-09-07, 2:22

WallOfStuff wrote:Honestly, I still stand by saying to find a natlang with a relatively small number of speakers or not spoken in your area. One that actually has resources for learning or you can travel and learn it where it is spoken. Do this for a few years (or longer most likely) then teach the kids this. Eventually they will realize it's useless, but it is a real language.

I think it's moot because either way you're doomed to failure. Only someone who's never raised kids would think it's not a big deal to get them to put so much time and effort into mastering skills they have no use for and don't want to practice. Talk to some parents who have taught their children to play musical instruments, for instance, and ask them how that went.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-09, 20:37

linguoboy wrote:
WallOfStuff wrote:Honestly, I still stand by saying to find a natlang with a relatively small number of speakers or not spoken in your area. One that actually has resources for learning or you can travel and learn it where it is spoken. Do this for a few years (or longer most likely) then teach the kids this. Eventually they will realize it's useless, but it is a real language.

I think it's moot because either way you're doomed to failure. Only someone who's never raised kids would think it's not a big deal to get them to put so much time and effort into mastering skills they have no use for and don't want to practice. Talk to some parents who have taught their children to play musical instruments, for instance, and ask them how that went.
It works occasionally, but, you're right. The kid has to love doing it. Some kids do learn instruments, languages, other things young, because they naturally end up liking them or naturally have the urge to learn them. You can't force somebody to like something. And if you try to force them to learn it, they'll stop as soon as you stop forcing them to learn.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby ~jakip » 2015-10-10, 10:50

Personally I would never teach my conlang to none of my (future) children. Perhaps I'll tell them I have created it but I won't make them learn it. This will be their choice.

However, I managed to form a group with some mates of mine to share our points of view about my (and from now our) conlang and we're thinking about speaking it at each other instead of Italian. We are meeting this afternoon for the first time. I'm really satisfied :yep:
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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Koko » 2015-10-10, 19:21

~jakip wrote:However, I managed to form a group with some mates of mine to share our points of view about my (and from now our) conlang and we're thinking about speaking it at each other instead of Italian. We are meeting this afternoon for the first time. I'm really satisfied :yep:

Ii naa! :partyhat: Wish I could have some friends like that :doggy: For any language I'm learning really, but especially for Isyan.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Irkan » 2015-10-10, 21:08

~jakip wrote:However, I managed to form a group with some mates of mine to share our points of view about my (and from now our) conlang and we're thinking about speaking it at each other instead of Italian. We are meeting this afternoon for the first time. I'm really satisfied :yep:

I'm teaching my conlang to my friends without them noticing through exposition. Right now, whenever I'm around they always refer to dogs as ppisu and to cats as xari and I am planning to slowly but surely keep exposing them to my conlang until they find themselves speaking it half-fluently when I'm around :twisted:

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Koko » 2015-10-10, 21:43

*gasp* Voket! That's a great idea! Mind if I do as thee?… what I could do is create a new language, and that be the one I try to get them to learn :twisted: Then it's our own and Isyan is still my own, my love, my prrrecious.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby Vlürch » 2015-10-18, 9:30

Irkan wrote:
~jakip wrote:However, I managed to form a group with some mates of mine to share our points of view about my (and from now our) conlang and we're thinking about speaking it at each other instead of Italian. We are meeting this afternoon for the first time. I'm really satisfied :yep:

I'm teaching my conlang to my friends without them noticing through exposition. Right now, whenever I'm around they always refer to dogs as ppisu and to cats as xari and I am planning to slowly but surely keep exposing them to my conlang until they find themselves speaking it half-fluently when I'm around :twisted:

Koko wrote:*gasp* Voket! That's a great idea! Mind if I do as thee?… what I could do is create a new language, and that be the one I try to get them to learn :twisted: Then it's our own and Isyan is still my own, my love, my prrrecious.

Heh, I tried to do that once with one friend (not in person, though, but skype (in text, because I don't have a webcam and can't be arsed to get one (usually when I first tell someone this, they'll either think I'm trying to catfish them or that I'm a spy-paranoid conspiracy theorist...))), avoiding the subject of what the language is called and such under the pretense that "I'll tell you if you guess right" and it went just fine for like a week but then he guessed/realised that it's a conlang and got mad at me for wasting his time that he could've spent on learning Swedish because he'd just moved to Sweden. :P After that, we didn't speak to each other in like a year, although that was only half because he got mad at me for wasting his time; the other half is that I literally only log on skype like every day for a week and then not even once for the rest of the year... I've lost many friends because of that and it makes me sad whenever I think about it, but I don't know, I just procrastinate talking to anyone about anything or any other kind of social stuff "in real time" because I feel like I'll end up wasting their time (that they could've spent doing whatever they feel like doing otherwise at the moment...) or they'll end up wasting my time (that I could've spent making music, writing, reading, learning languages, conlanging or trying to do shitty art...)... but well.

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Re: Teaching my conlang

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-10-31, 1:10

People in my family are always talking about me teaching Mountain Lion along with various other languages to my kids and/or niece, but given that my brother and sister-in-law speak English around her all the time, I doubt they're really all that serious. :lol:


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