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885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't been posting much here--or doing much of anything other than writing. I'm putting a lot of "extras" into my next novel--20 full-page character illustrations, lots of full-color maps done with Campaign Cartographer 3, and the biggest extra: A fully functional conlang with 7800-word vocabulary and intricate verb conjugations and noun declensions (including maybe over-the-top elements like high and low vocative declensions). Some of the extras will appear in the novel, many will appear in an "illustrated" version, but I will have a couple hundred pages of extras to be published as The Culture of Deneb.

Deneb is epic sci-fi and I will be opening the novel with a conlang poem, offered in both the original Tasfit and translated into English. Here's a sample:

The Epic of Enu Oktnam
From the Runes of Lord Mammoth Lake

Invocation of the Gods
Gods of Earth and Sky,
Whose greatness exceeds
The wisdom of women
The hearts of men
The joy of children,
Hear now this humble cry:
A prayer for discernment
An appeal for compassion
A plea for rapture and wonder
and anguish to grow.
Hear this fervent petition:
Bring wisdom to my words
Bring passion to this tale
of greatness and darkness
and misery and woe,
That these words be proof, that all might hear,
Of the Wolf of Truth and the Wolf of Fear.

Of Times Past
In days of old, in times long past,
Our fathers fought terrors
Of four-claw and fang,
Our mothers sought wisdom
Truths chanted and sang,
Victorious in battle,
Keen, thoughtful and pure,
Our fathers found courage,
Our mothers won grace.
But courage needs wisdom, brave sages to sleuth,
And chanters beg cunning, heroic in cheer,
For the terrible seer, the Wolf of dread Truth,
And the bringer of woe, the Wolf of deep Fear.

Of the Ancient Ones
The Ancient Ones arrived
In warships tall, with weapons fierce,
The Proud Mariners
Of noble deed and heroes' grace.
Science they taught, Wisdom they lacked,
French culture and baked goods,
Their language and law,
They brought with their wheels,
Their knives and their books.
But no courage for use, nor insight so dear,
Against the Wolf of Truth or the Wolf of Fear.

The Noble Verdos
Great nation of strong men and warriors wise,
The leaders wear purple, the seers have eyes,
Noble in bearing, as like unto a god,
Their greatness surpasses, their enemies, awed.
But feeble the courage of Verdos in sooth,
Too weak is the wisdom of red tog and spear,
For deep run the terrors of the Wolf of Truth,
Too evil the knowledge of the Wolf of Fear.

Sacred Nation Tasfit
No kings, no chiefs,
Neither peasant nor slave,
The greatest are the lowest,
The holy ones are brave.
Noble Tasfit with muscle bedecked,
Gallant Tasfit with warrior skill.
One-Eyes run in cowardice,
The One-Arms tremble with fears,
From the man who sees,
The woman who hears,
From warriors' knives and Tasfit spears.
But Two-Eyes see not the Wolf of Truth,
Two-Arms dread,
and flee the Wolf of Fear.

The Visions of Terror
Tasfit and Verdos together in peace,
Woman and man, together as one,
Nations united, all enmity cease.
Comes now the sky sled
With smiles and good cheer,
They call themselves honest, their causes all just,
But woe, do not help them, nor give them your trust!
Bring they fever and furor, their animal lust.
The sky sled unholy, Tasfit to defy,
The evil among them, the Man of One Eye.
Not alone is he, though, this man to abhor,
The One-Eye who readies the vile Road to War,
With him an evil peerless, depraved, unmatched in level,
A warrior invincible, the fearsome She-Devil.
Bring they wisdom of claw, of fang, of tooth?
Bring they war with knife, with arrow, with spear?
Or bring they the vision, the Wolf of Truth,
The horror and terror, the Wolf of Fear?

Tekval Kan Enu Oktnam
Egot-Teknan Tishkan Morklat

Mukleno Viknam
Viknuth Egan bae Suban,
Ku trasnos flichat
Troglason masham,
Lugthom dosnam,
Pastnon shenam,
Neistuv tivo lagko maklon:
Kublot nustish
Gonklot taspish
Kulno pistnish bae tubnish
bae vashnish miklan.
Neistuv ta klaggo trokbeon:
Kenubuv troglason mogit
Kenubuv pistnon tekmogit
Kertsan bae nugnan
bae miklan bae trosbean.
Kos moknoth if trikno, kos neistif tushgo,
Mor Oktnan ku trivgo, bae Oktnan mulshgo.

Tabnam Tsotvo
Miko Tabnit, Blansit Tsotvo,
Sal Tarth tikvalato mulshom,
Tetshtan bae Voni-peshtam,
Sal Marth bashtato troglasan,
Trivnath margafo margo,
Vegtesgo vekit vikan,
Troglako truggo bae pusgo,
Sal Tarth satbafo vegkon,
Sal Marth vegsafo vimton,
Bon vegkno bustat troglas, veghisgo trokath bashtig,
Bae margnath kablaf matshno, vusgo pistko muklelig,
Molko Blatan, Oktno Trivan molsto ku do etig,
Bae Kin'pan Trosbean, Oktno Mulshan tibgo telig.

Ku Mikutam
Tuklamafo Mikutath
Viktusnit statgo, baet goshtam molko,
Tushkath emvigo
Lonan puvko bae Vimtot vusgo.
Sroglon thrukafo, Troglason brukafo,
Figlon fransego bae tamon panstafo
Blishon bae frunoston ku kinupafo
Bae ghinom
Bae nitom
Bae tektom.
Bon bitig ki vegkon, ku pitig ki trogpon,
Bist Oktnan ku Trivan, bae Oktnan ku Mulshan.

Kertsu Dostno Verdos
Kertsu Dostno Verdam bae Vesnam troglako
Trakath toglaf trogis, blatath bitaf beith,
Puvko tognan, bast ku viknu,
Kertsus ankussat, blatshnath mulshaf.
Bavgo to Vegkno Verdos ku Trivnis,
Bivgo Troglas togan verggo, goshan,
Tisko nushaf mulshoth Oktnan Trivan,
Molo-tso trokskal Oktnan ku Mulshan.

Vimfit Tasfit
Ki trokath ki trakath,
Ki simko ki nusko,
Kertsuth fislaf pingo,
Vimkuth tu veghisgo.
Puvko Tasfit vegbatis togafo,
Vusgo Tasfit trokskis vesnan,
Eno-Beith nushaf mipnis,
Eno-Psith peshlaf mulshis,
Bito tashan ku nostit, mashan ku neistit,
Bito nitam Vesnam bae gosham Tasfit.
Bon Eni-Beith ki nostaf Oktnon Trivan,
Eni-Psith milshaf bae rubtaf Oktnon Mulshan.

Nostnoth Mulshan
Tasfit bae Verdos, tassaf havtis,
Mashu bae Tashu, tassaf enis,
Dostnath tassaf, kibat vikan.
Tuklamat Subno-Koshdo pastgo, tubgo,
Pa mogaf, 'Su losvo, listo, tovo losno.'
Bon trosben, ki pan akdeik, ki pan ku hosteik!
Pa kinupaf plason bae zagon, pal pistom negtan.
Subno-Koshdo kivimkgo, Tasfit tazat,
Mulson dibat, Tashan Eno-Beidan.
Ki To enoko, To Tashon kasig,
Eno-Beid ko lorsat mobon nuggo vikish,
Baet ton mulsot-tso, molko, pingo bae mosgo,
Vesnu kitazgo, mulshgo Molmo.
Pa kinupaf troglason peshtan, teshan, tetshtan?
Pa kinupaf vikon nitis, ghetshis, goshis?
Buk pa kinupaf blatson, Oktnon Trivan,
Mulshon bae biston, Oktnon Mulshan?

1,758 Posts
I thought of doing them when I was much younger after reading The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion.

Then I discovered how much work it was - and that not being a trained linguist didn't help matters either.  I ended up giving it a miss.  A lot of 'conlangs' included in fnatasy books have been poorly designed and can be offputting.  They aren't Tolkine nad shouldn't try to copy him.

But for those who can (like you by the looks) then it really helps flesh out the world.

885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·


Designing a language is not something you can do without a lot of thought.  I wanted it to fit well into two different cultures, in addition to having authentic grammar and orthography.  I made several concepts integral to the language, things that we don't concern ourselves with in English--concepts such as proximity, cultural hierarchy, attitudes toward association and number.  All of these are at the core of my conlang, called Tasfit.  I was able to integrate the language into everyday life, religion, warfare, and even timekeeping and counting.  The Tasfit use duodecimal (Base 12) rather than decimal mathematics, for instance, and that is reflected in the language to the point that 12 is a "sacred" number.  Ten is "a dozen less two," for example.  Even mathematics has a backstory that readers will delve into.  I won't explain it, but they will understand that Tasfit math is based on threes.  One is bad, two is good, three is holy.  Six is holy, seven is very, very bad, to the point that when Tasfit count, they say "four, five, six, second six, eight," and so on.  The seventh month of the year has only seven days (Yikes!).  I had a lot of fun with this, and I hope readers will, too.  It is a world very different from our own, but I think I made it rich enough that it will serve as sturdy foundation for many books in the series.

3,500 Posts
A. S. Warwick said:
I thought of doing them when I was much younger after reading The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion.

Then I discovered how much work it was - and that not being a trained linguist didn't help matters either. I ended up giving it a miss. A lot of 'conlangs' included in fnatasy books have been poorly designed and can be offputting. They aren't Tolkine nad shouldn't try to copy him.
Mi estas iom respektegis la penado vi metis en tiun, sed kial ne simple uzi Esperanton, kiel Harry Harrison? Vi ŝparus multe da penoj, tiu vojo.

--George, ne, mi ne parolas aŭ legas Esperanton, mi nur uzas Google...
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