forum What features would make planning languages on more fruitful?
Started by @andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

people_alt 16 followers

@andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

I've been worldbuilding for years and years, but conlanging is something I've only just scratched the surface of. I'd like to cast the net out to the professionals out there and ask what kinds of features/fields would be most useful to augment language building here on Any and all suggestions are very welcome!

One idea I've been toying with is to build a vocabulary-storage (so you can store "this translates to this" word pairs, and vice versa). Providing a full-on translator in the style of Google Translate to go to/from your language would be a bit harder since words don't swap out in-place (they can be reordered, or need synonyms when you don't have translations, etc), but that's also something I think would be super cool. For the actual conlangers out there: would that actually be helpful? Or would you prefer some other way to interact with the languages you build?


I'm not premium so I don't know what features are already there in the languages section, heheh…

A way to keep track of individual phrases and their English translation/equivalent would be great. My fictional language isn't very developed, but I do have greetings, honorifics, and one curse word, so keep track of those and what they mean/what context they're used in would be nice.

A way of keeping track of or even building grammar/syntax rules would be awesome as well. I know this site that has this really awesome guide ( ) to creating languages, but I have no way of keeping track of and organizing the information I get out of it. So something like that would be great.


I just added this in the suggestions forum, but I'll copy paste it here since these are my ideas about the Languages section. If I shouldn't copy paste like this, please, mods, tell me so, because I don't intentionally wish to clutter up the forums.

Master in Linguistics insight: The languages tab is… very bare and uninviting. As a dream, I'd love for Phonology to bring up an interactive IPA chart (click on a phoneme and it gets highlighted and used in the final phonology) plus a notes field for phonotactics etc. But that is just… asking too much, I'm entirely aware. However, it remains really rather hard to get a table of any sort into the text field, and tables are essential to grammars relying on conjugation or multiple registers. Entities has just numbers and qualifiers? Like, there's nothing here other than a text box for dumping a complete grammar, because the other sub sections are less than helpful. Not all languages have conjugations, but a few subheadings under Grammar for things such as Sentence Order, Register (move it here), Verbs» Tense Aspect Mood Negative Questions Agreement, Nouns» Case Number Person Pronouns Noun-Clauses, Adjectives/Adverbs» Placement Agreement Conjugation… would be nice and probably helpful. Typology separate from phonology is super unhelpful because it's unwieldy to have to go to a separate section to learn the orthography of the sound system you've just read.

I once did not have a master in linguistics insight: For people who are real newbies at language, I think it would be really super helpful to expand the "Entities" tag to include just some basic vocabulary groups. Most people making languages just need to know the phonology and a basic themed lexicon for character and map naming! So it's helpful to have some basic lexical entry groups such as: Numbers (already here), Colours, Community Members, Common Plants, Common Animals, Landscape Features (river, mountain, field, town, road), Heroic Attributes (big, little, brave, shining, beautiful), Tools & Occupations (hunter, smith, singer, sword, hammer, lyre), and Traditional Names (Moses, Brittany, Megatron, Apollo). This well covers naming places and even people as long as the beginner is reminded to have rules about adjective order in their language: a language could put adjectives after nouns as in "forest-green" but not "green-forest" or "for-green-est."

Elle F. Wade

I just bought purchased premium because I was hoping for a one-stop-shop to keep all of my story notes online, in a pre-made structure (unlike other note software). I agree with @obfuscobble, I was disappointed that the language tab was pretty bare, and the suggestions for additions for newbies is on-point.

I personally am looking for a system that can keep track of: what "letters" I'm using (at this point, I predominately use the standard English alphabet for ease of reading) and associated sounds; root words, prefixes, and suffixes and their meanings; notes on whether the language is gendered and how words may/may not be conjugated; notes on sentence structure; and some keywords or phrases that I plan to use often and are critical to the story.

I want enough that I can build a small, solid foundation that allows me to add more as I write and keep track of what I've already done.

Elle F. Wade

I love, love, love the "add custom category" feature! (I think this is new??? If it's not, then I just noticed it.) I'm using it for my languages right now, but I'll probably expand into other pages.

In Languages, I've added an "Alphabet" category with the fields "Consonants," "Vowels," and "Consonant blends". I have my pronunciation/sounds information in Phonology, but the ability to have add and customize an Alphabet category will help me keep track of what letters I'm "allowing". E.g., one of my languages doesn't have any stops, so cutting p, t, k, b, d, g will help me remember and make it easier for the reader. It will also stop me from using "ph" instead of "f" when writing.

Thank you so much!

Sarshles ChesscakeLi

I'm not sure if this already exists, as I'm not a premium member. But maybe there should be a "slang" or crutch word tab. For example, the English word "like" is a staple of relaxed or casual conversation. Or common not-really-words-words used in the langauge, such as "gonna" or "gotcha" in English. Perhaps there can be a "common grammatical mistakes" that provide insight into the more difficult parts of the language. Once again, I have no idea if this already exists.

Maybe there can be a pictionary-based-language system. From what I can tell, most people are developing languages similar to English, with conjugations or verb tenses and all that. Many languages have more complex characters that are based on a system that is way more broad than an alphabet.

I know some languages don't have systems such as conjugations but they do have tones, or they use one word in drastically different places. For example, the Chinese character "就" can be used as "just about to" when combined with "要", but becomes "it's just" when combined with "是". And when you think that it means "just", it suddenly becomes a substitute for the word "so", then casually flips back to "and then". Languages like these I find interesting, and I would love to be able to keep track of a word and its different uses.


I definitely agree that a slang tab would be useful, or maybe a section to organise borrowed words by the language of origin?