Quotations Concerning Specific Conlangs


"Translating carbon paper," he announced breathlessly, pointing to several piles of brightly colored metallic film. "I call it Rosettionery...Write something on the first sheet. Anything you want."

Mycroft nodded so I wrote: Have you seen my dodo?...I lifted off the top carbon and there written in my own handwriting, were the words: ¿Ha visto mi dodo?

"But that's amazing!"...

"I'm working on hieroglyphics and demotic," Mycroft explained as I peeled off the German translation to read: Haben Sie mein Dodo gesehen? "The Mayan Codex version was tricker but I can't manage Esperanto at all. Can't think why."

~ Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (Chapter 9)


"...he discussed the plan to declare Esperanto the official world language of Freemasonry."

"Several Berghof residents studied Esperanto and had learned enough to converse in the artificial lingo at meals."

~ Thomas Mann (John Edwin Woods, trans.), The Magic Mountain

(Mann's Der Zauberberg was first published in November 1924 making it possibly the first mention of Esperanto in a fiction work.)


-- Li ne dormis.

-- S! Malbone dormas.

-- Kia li krias nikte.

-- Parolas infanetes. S!

~ James Joyce, Finnegan's Wake


[Klingon is] really kind of a guttural sounding language like German married with Hebrew with somebody with a really bad head cold. If you're not spitting on the person you are sitting next to, you're not doing it right.

~ Kristy Carey (a self-proclaimed Trek Lady, a senior at Truman State University) (Source)


Klingon is a type of puzzle that appeals to a type of person. It is difficult, but not impossible, formed from the stuff of real languages, just strange enough, just believable enough, just small enough that you can know every word, the entire canon, but also flexible enough to lend itself to the challenge of translation. The boundaries are set and the game is on. How far can we take this? is the collective call of the Klingon community...What are Klingon speakers doing? They are engaging in intellectually stimulating language play. They are enjoying themselves. They are doing language for language's sake, art for art's sake. And like all committed artists, they will do their thing, critics be damned.

~ Arika Okrent, "Among the Klingons," Tin House (Vol. 8, No. 4)


[The Lord of the Rings]was an effort to create a situation in which a common greeting would be elen si-'la lu-'menn omentielmo ['A star shines on the hour of our meeting'], and that the phrase long antedated the book.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter to his son Christopher, Feb. 21, 1958

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