Jörg Rhiemeier's Conlang Pages

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What is a conlang?

Conlang is an abbreviation for constructed language. Another frequently used word is artificial language. A conlang is thus a language for human (or other sapient) beings that was designed by a single individual or a work group, rather than being the product of centuries of cultural evolution as "natural" languages (natlangs) are. The art of making conlangs is called conlanging, or, in a more sophisticated way, glossopoeia (Greek for 'making of tongues', often attributed to J. R. R. Tolkien, but that does not seem to be correct). Programming languages and similar systems, though undoubtedly constructed, are usually not considered conlangs, because they aren't languages in a stricter sense of the word.

You probably already heard of Esperanto, or of Quenya. These two languages are the most famous representatives of the two main branches of conlanging. Esperanto is an international auxiliary language, or IAL or auxlang in short; it is meant as a tool for international communication. Quenya is an artistic language, or artlang in short; it is a piece of art. While you can learn and use it, it is not meant as a tool for international communication, but exists for the sake of itself. In the case of Quenya, it is the national language of a fictional nation (the High Elves of Middle-earth); this is often the case with artlangs, hence such languages are sometimes referred to as fictional languages.

The line between auxlangs and artlangs is not always as clear as one may think. There are languages that lie somewhere in between. And there is indeed a third pole on the continuum. These are the engineered languages or engelangs: languages designed to meet objectively testable criteria (while the design criteria of artlangs are more subjective notions).

Auxlangers and artlangers tend to dislike each other. Artlangers are for the most part put off by the proselytizing characteristic of the auxlang movement and the constant debate which of the various proposals is best. Auxlangers, on the other hand, consider artlanging a geekish waste of useful resources - they say that instead of desiging languages nobody would ever speak, the artlangers should help promoting an international auxiliary language.

My own interest lies primarily in artlangs, especially naturalistic ones (i.e., ones that resemble natural languages in their richness and complexity). In my opinion, the race between the auxlangs is already as good as decided - and English is the winner.

Essays and resources

The art of conlanging



My conlangs

See also this list.

Languages of Atla

Atla is the framework in which most of my conlangs exist. The name is Old Albic for 'world'; think of it as a set of fictional languages in the real world.

Hesperic languages

Hesperic is my main conlang family. The Hesperic family is an early divergent branch of Indo-European even more archaic than Anatolian.

Razaric languages

Krelian languages

Languages of Akana

Akana is a collaborative conworld to which I have contributed three languages.

Obsolete conlangs

Within my life, I made several conlangs which I later discontinued because I was disaffected with the language, the world setting or both.

League of Lost Languages

The League of Lost Languages (LLL) was a collaborative framework for fictional languages in a world otherwise the same as the real world. It is now defunct. Some of the languages I made for it are now part of Atla, but the languages listed here are not.



Note: I am not responsible for the contents of the sites listed here.

General resources



Selected conlangs




© 2007-2023 Jörg Rhiemeier
Last update: 2023-07-01