Wednesday, September 5, 2007


While contemplating the conlanging ruckus over at Omniglot, The Blog, I paused for a moment to reflect on La Verda Stelo’s older sister, Volapük. I have been browsing the non-anglophone versions of Wikipedia, and was delighted to find the Vükiped, which is in the same category as Czech, Slovak, or Esperanto: i.e., over 10K entries. And not just little one liners, e.g., have a look-see at the entry on Mata Hari. Somebody seemingly went to some trouble to translate the English entry. (Though I am pretty sure that Volakrig Balid means World War One.) The entry on Esperanto is pointedly short. I have a poor xerox of a Volapük grammar somewhere in the garage, but who needs that with the Web at one’s fingertips? What always struck me about this language, was how utterly foreign it looks. Esperanto seems like a Welcome to Side Six kind of friendly mishmash of Romance with some odd Germanic or Slavic roots thrown in for good measure. (On further inspection, most articles seem to be the work of one person.)



Blogger Conrad H. Roth said...

Funny, I have a printout of the Volapük grammar myself. Just for fun, mind. Goes well with the rest of my Utopian language books.

September 7, 2007 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger me said...

I hope you don't my asking here, but I don't want to start a flamewar at the Omniglot site you linked to. That page had a comment that mentioned "native speakers" of Esperanto. I've always been a bit befuddled by this claim. How is "native speaker" defined for a conlang like Esperanto or Volapük?

September 8, 2007 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger zmjezhd said...

Stuart. I'm guessing that some misguided couple raised their kid in a weirdly environment speaking only some kind of Esperanto. From the dim memories of my conlanging days, I seem to remember that one or two Klingonists were vying to raise their newborns in a speak-Klingon-only environment. Same goes for Lojban and Volapük, too.

September 8, 2007 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger me said...

"I seem to remember that one or two Klingonists were vying to raise their newborns in a speak-Klingon-only environment."

Poor kids! Really, though, why stop there? Why not go all the way, and raise them trilingual - Klingon, Esperanto, and Quenya? That would guarantee them a hellish school life , na?

September 8, 2007 at 6:53 PM  

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