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The Dictionary of Made-Up Languages: From…

The Dictionary of Made-Up Languages: From Elvish to Klingon, The Anwa,…

by Stephen D. Rogers

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A good, quick overview to many invented languages. Not a lot of info on each one, but you get the gist of each: its intended use, who invented it, etc. ( )
  akswede | Oct 14, 2013 |
Despite the title, this is not a dictionary of any language, let alone of all the artificial languages collected therein. It is, rather, a brief overview of a number of invented languages, some quite complete (i.e. Esperanto), others extremely fragmentary. There is also a short section about concepts to consider if you want to construct an artificial language. It has its uses as a reference work, but the title is misleading. ( )
  stardreamer | Jul 21, 2013 |
It just didn't work for me. There is a number of short sections on particular languages, both real (actually having an existing vocabulary and grammar) and those vaguely referred in fictional works. The descriptions give a handful of vocabulary and often point out trivial features, like when one language is represented in the fictional source, it's written as all caps; since it's alien, likely the Latin script is not its native script. Deeper issues and any real feel for the language is left out. The bibliographic references are generally unhelpful; every single one of Tolkien's languages mentions basically everything he wrote, in a verbatim repeated block, instead of pointing to the relevant texts on the language at hand. Klingon mentions every series and movie by name, instead of calling out the episodes and movies that actually use the language. That's nicer then Kryptonian; searching the Superman comic books, movies and TV series for details is a daunting task, made no easier by the author pointing out that they all exist. Give me some real linguistic information here and some decent pointers for more information (and not the obvious Wikipedia links), not plot summaries and unrelated information like "Before the Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan wrote Conan the Barbarian novels."

The section on Construct Your Own Language I found to be rather shallow and obsessed with superficial, particularly visual, differences from English. On my Kindle this is coming out to 320 pages for the first part, the language-by-language section, and 17 pages for constructing your own language, and accepting that as an existing limitation, that doesn't give much space, but a quick run at basic phonology and grammar for conlangers would have been nice.

I suffered through the the language games, which had nothing to do with the book and could have been compressed into a tenth the space. But then we would have had to loose some of the author's humor, for which I would have been happy.

Mayhap I wasn't the audience for this book, but the redundancy was strictly unnecessary, and there's a distinct lack of linguistic insight. ( )
1 vote prosfilaes | May 3, 2013 |
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"Filled with fun facts, thoughtful quotes and trivia, this is an excellent resource for the fanciful polyglot in your life."
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Can you converse in Klingon? Ask an Elf the time of day? Greet a speaker of Esperanto? These are among the more than 100 constructed languages you'll find in this book. For each one, author Stephen D. Rogers provides vocabulary, grammatical features, background information on the language and its inventor, and fascinating facts. What's more, easy-to-follow guidelines show you how to construct your own made-up language--everything from building vocabulary to making up a grammar. So pick up this dictionary! In no time, you'll be telling your friends, "Tsun oe nga-hu ni-Na'vi pangkxo a f-'u oe-ru prrte' lu." ("It's a pleasure to be able to chat with you in Navi.")… (more)

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