Which are the conlangs (constructed languages) that are currently featured on italki? I found Esperanto, Ido, Toki Pona, Klingon and Dothraki in the list - did I miss any?
Do any of you take an interest in conlangs? What criteria do you look for in a conlang? After some searching, I've chosen Kotava as my preferred conlang - it's a pity that italki doesn't have it yet. If anyone is interested, I could discuss my criteria for that selection.
This kind of thing can't be replicated. Besides, learning a language allows me to talk to people and make friends, but I am not really interested in traveling to another galaxy or alternative reality for now.
Nonetheless, I would love to understand the motivation of people who actually dedicate their time to those languages.
The only conlang that I'd learn is Esperanto because there is a substantial amount of speakers of Esperanto and my parents speak Esperanto. My brother was a native speaker of Esperanto as a kid but stopped speaking it. Otherwise, I'd be interested to learn more about the heptapod logograms from the movie arrival but this isn't a fully constructed conlang. I think it's interesting to analyze conlangs from a linguistic point of view but I'm really more interested in learning the natural languages that come with a long culture.
Can you tell us more about Kotava? I never heard of that language. Why do you want to learn it?
My main interest in conlangs is to find and promote a good international auxiliary language (IAL). An IAL, as Wikipedia describes it, is a language meant for communication between people from different nations who do not share a common first language.
In today's world, English is the language that functions as a bridge language for most people. This is due to Britain's history as the largest colonial empire and USA's significance in today's world economy and media. English is a language of many exceptions and quite difficult to learn, hence ill-suited for being an IAL in my opinion. But setting aside the demerits of English, I don't think a language that is spoken as a mother tongue in any culture should be an IAL, since that would give one group of people an advantage over the rest.
Conlangs can be designed to avoid ambiguities, exceptions and other difficulties that are inherent in natural languages.
For me, an IAL of choice would have pass the following elimination tests:
* Must be designed to be easy to learn
- Rules out Klingon, Dothraki and other fictional languages
* Must not be biased towards any existing natural language
- Rules out Romance language based conlangs e.g. Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua
- Rules out languages which draw sounds from existing large languages, e.g. Lojban
* Must be able to convey nuanced ideas and complex ideas comparable to natural languages
- Rules out minimalist languages e.g. Toki Pona, Sona
That's how I arrived at Kotava.