Normian Language? Which One?

March 22, 2018

In my youth my friend helped me draw up outlines of several languages for our science fiction universe (here called the Koplushian Alliance.) (He helped me a lot, actually.)

I’m not much of a linguist.  I don’t pretend to be.  I don’t play one on television or radio.  I also don’t know all the techie terms about things like cases, genders, modes, etc. What I do is to have fun with language creating.

So the planet Norm is where the Koplushians are from, and when they first escaped the oppression on their home world they spoke what we originally developed as Old Koplushian.  Old Kop was developed initially as a completely separate language with very little or nothing in common with modern Koplushian. As it turns out, this doesn’t really work.  When the Koplushians left they likely spoke a hodge podge of several languages, so I’ve ret-conned Old Koplushian as what was then called Mornerthian. I still call it Old Koplushian though.

On Norm there were three super powers, the republics of Mornerth and Defyoo, and the Dizhen Empire.  So Old Koplushian is now Mornerthian (Mornerthiset) and I’ve continued to develop it using mostly roots from Koplushian.  Some of the words differ because…

The language we previously called Old Koplushian, I took and made into a separate language called Defyooan (Defyanth).  Some of its roots have survived into Old Koplushian, but I treat it as a separate, almost archaic language.

Normian, which I have renamed Dizheth, was always separate and I have kept it so.  Dizheth is fun because it was the product of an oppressive society, thus I can put in all kinds of non-PC items, like the word for ‘woman’ and ‘wife’ resembling the word for property and ‘beautiful’ resembling ‘ripe’. I figure Dizheth is still fairly irregular because it hasn’t had any willing changes or simplifications from imigration or such. The powers that be on that planet probably keep the status quo pretty well.

Koplushian and Mornerthian are a very egalitarian languages, but Modern Koplushian contains a few artifacts from its past such as formal/informal cases on some of its plurals (much like the difference between ‘greetings’ and just ‘hello’.)

So really there is no one Normian language.  I’m sure in reality there are at least dozens, though how many have survived to modern times no one knows.


Pandla Basics 1 – Phrases

March 12, 2018

vritian empireI’ve just  put up the second TinyCards deck for Pandla. This one has some phrases in it.  The deck is here. [link]

I’d like to mention something about the pronunciation here.  The vowels are the pure ‘operatic’ vowels, like in Esperanto, but there are a few exceptions like ‘ou’ sounding like ‘ow’. Each vowel is sounded as well, so a word like ‘kaele’ is pronounced kah-eh-leh, not, for example, kayleh.  Any preceeding ‘m’ is usually prounounced alone, not blended, so ‘mkui’ is spoken as M-koo-ee.

Soon I’ll probably create a deck of short phrases like hello and good-bye.  Later I may start translating what Mugbie Elo said in my short story Terra Incognita.  He was likely speaking Koplushian at the time, but, well…


Inhabitants of Karpla III

March 10, 2018


My apologies to Arthur Dent. He's the most typical Terran I can think of.

Arthur Dent, a common Karplan.

Karplans are normal looking humans with distinct racial groups. They more or less represent racial types found in the Alliance.


Karpla is a planet fully capable of maintaining a human population. Its surface is about three quarters covered with water. Karpla’s axial tilt is sufficient for seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Karpla has one large natural satellite capable of creating tides in it’s oceans.


The cultures of Karpla are varied and distinct. With no worldwide governing body, Karpla consists of roughly 200 semi-independant nation states. Conflicts frequently erupt over division of resources and political boundaries. Their technology is slowly improving, but remains far below that of the Alliance.


Karpla was discovered by Captain Dagrith Karpla while on a deep space mission into the ‘Unknown Sector.’ There he discovered primitive humans living on the third planet around a G-class star. Contact was attempted, but the inhabitants were not in a state of high civilization. It was decided by the Alliance Council to place planet Karpla under protected status. The Eruithairkans, an advanced xenophobic race, control the area around the Karplan system and monitor the communication transmissions which began emanating from the planet some 100 years ago.

Thus far no Karplans have left their world for interstellar space, nor have any space settlements been founded.



Karpla is the third in a system of eight planets.


Karpla has no World language. There are several with large speaking populations which are also used in various places on their world. Several attempts have been made on Karpla to introduce auxiliary languages for neutral planetwide communication, but to date their use has been limited in scope. Below is an example text from several of Karpla’s ‘national’ languages .




Written in Pinyin (Romanized) Chinese, without tone marks.

  1. Na shi, tianxia ren de kouyin yanyu, doushi yiyang.
  2. Tamen wang dongbian qianyi de shihou, zai Shina di yujian yi pian pingyuan, jiu zhu zai nali.
  3. Tamen bici shangliang shuo: “lai ba, women yao zuo zhuan, ba zhuan shao tou le.” Tamen jiu na zhuan dang shitou, you na shiqi dang huini.
  4. Tamen shuo: “lai ba, women yao jianzao yi zuo cheng he yi zuo ta, ta ding tong tian, wei yao chuanyang women de ming, miande women fensan zai quan di shang.”
  5. Yehehua jiang lin, yao kan kan shiren suo jianzao de cheng he ta.
  6. Yehehua shuo: “kan na, tamen chengwei yiyang de renmin, doushi yiyang de yanyu, rujin ji zuo qi zhe shi lai, yihou tamen suo yao zuo de shi jiu meiyou bu cheng de le.
  7. Women xiaqu, zai nali bian luan tamen de kouyin, shi tamen de yanyu bici bu tong.”
  8. Yushi, Yehehua shi tamen cong nali fensan zai quan di shang. Tamen jiu ting gong, bu zao na cheng le.
  9. Yinwei Yehehua zai nali bian luan tianxia ren de yanyu, shi zhongren fensan zai quan di shang, suoyi na cheng ming jiao “Babie” ((jiushi “bian luan” de yisi)).

From the Chinese Union Version, a translation of the Bible in the Mandarin vernacular. First published in 1919. Still the most popular translation among Chinese protestant churches. Submitted by Felix Wan.




  1. En aquel tiempo toda la tierra hablaba el mismo idioma.
  2. Cuando emigraron de la región oriental, encontraron una llanura en la región de Sinar y alli se quedaron a vivir.
  3. Un día se dijeron unos a otros: “Vamos a hacer ladrillos y a cocerlos en el fuego” Así, usaron ladrillos enlugar de piedras y asfalto natural en lugar de mezcla.
  4. Después dijeron: “Vengan, vamos a construir una ciudad y una torre que llegue hasta el cielo. De este modonos haremos famosos y no tendremos que dispersarnos por toda la tierra”.
  5. Pero el Señor bajó a ver la ciudad y la torre que los hombres estaban construyendo,
  6. y pensó: “Ellos son un solo pueblo y hablan un solo idioma; por eso han comenzado este trabajo y por nada del mundo van a dejar de hacerlo.
  7. Es mejor que bajemos a confundir su idioma, para que no se entiendan entre ellos.”
  8. Así fue como el Señor los dispersó por toda la tierra, y ellos dejaron de construir la ciudad.
  9. En ese lugar el Señor confundió el idioma de todos los habitantes de la tierra, y de allí los dispersó por todo el mundo. Por eso la ciudad se llamó Babel.

Genesis, 11: 1-9, La Biblia – Versión Popular, Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 1979
Typed in by Carlos D. Montenegro.


Modern English


  1. Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
  2. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
  3. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead ofstone, and tar for mortar.
  4. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
  5. But the Lord camedown to see the city and the tower that the men were building.
  6. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
  7. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
  8. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
  9. That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.


Pandla, the language of the Vritian Empire

March 7, 2018
vritian empire

Logo I created for the TinyCards deck. The twin-arm galaxy swirl is the Vritians reminder that they once ‘owned’ the entire galaxy while the green hexagon shows their place among the six ‘human planets’ and the Koplushian Alliance.

Lately I’ve been in the mood to develop another one of the languages one might meet in the Koplushian Alliance. This one belongs to the group of humans who at one time, according to them, used to span the Milky Way galaxy from arm to arm.  I’ve got the basic grammar worked out, but I’m also adding in some inconsistancies along the way.  The Vritian Empire was around for thousands of years before it fell into ruins due to their dependance on robot ‘servitors’. When my friend, Jim introduced the idea for their past into our universe, it was partly to give a reason why there were so many ‘human variants’ in the galaxy. I always felt this was a good idea.  Jim is also the one who suggested that I base the Vritian language on a combination of Swahili and Latin.  This simply means that I put samplings of those languages into his ‘word generator’ and multisyllabic re-hashings got spit out for me to either use, reject, or alter to my liking.

So I’ve created the first TinyCard deck of some Vritian words and a few sentences here: [link]. More will follow with time.  In the meantime, here are a few simple sentences that I translated to help nail down some of the grammar.

A tree is tall – berum kama kuwa.

The green tree fell – uwo mbita berum hapani.

The tall tree fell quickly – uwo kuwa berum nomenzi hapani.

I see a tree – siga indus berum.

Do you see the green tree? – kanom uwo mbita berum indus?

Look at the tree! – induswa uwo berum!

The two trees were green. – uwo dum berum kwi mbita.

The tree will fall. – uwo berum hapanba.

I am not a tree. – siga apum kama berum.

You gave food to me – kanom mwovi sinewo siga

Do you speak Pandla/Vritian? –  KAnum PANdla dagarMENgwe?

I am a little and yellow bird. – Siga kama iako vasa kwei ulako.

Major Tom (Coming Home) in Esperanto

March 6, 2018

Sometimes I’m just moved to translate something.  This song has spent some time in my notebook, so I’m presenting it here.  I’m pretty sure the syllables work. Enjoy.

Standing there alone,
The ship is waiting.
“All systems are ‘Go.’”
“Are you sure?”
Control is not convinced,
But the computer
Has the evidence.
No need to abort.
The countdown starts.

Watching in a trance,
The crew is certain.
Nothing left to chance,
All is working.
Trying to relax
Up in the capsule.
“Send me up a drink,”
Jokes Major Tom.
The count goes on.

Four, three, two, one
Earth below us
Drifting, falling.
Floating weightless
Coming, coming home.

Second stage is cut.
We’re now in orbit.
Stabilizers up,
Running perfect.
Starting to collect
Requested data.
“What will it affect
When all is done?”
Thinks Major Tom.

Back at ground control
There is a problem.
Go to rockets full
Not responding.
“Hello Major Tom,
Are you recieving?
Turn the thrusters on.
We’re standing by.”
There’s no reply.


Across the stratosphere
a final message
“Give my wife my love.”
Then nothing more.

Far beneath the ship
The world is mourning.
They don’t realize
He’s alive.
No one understands
But Major Tom sees.
“Now the last command.
This is my fault
I’m coming home.”

Refrain 2x

Sole starante,
La ŝip’ atendas.
“Ĉio en ordo.”
“Vere ĉu?”
Ne certas direktor’,
Sed komputilo
Montras datumojn.
Ne nuligende.

Trance spektante
Ŝipanoj certas
neniom da risk’,
Penante malstreĉi
En kosmoŝipo
“Donu al mi drinki,”
Ŝercas Major’ Tom.
Kalkul’ daŭradas.

Kvar, tri, du, unu
Tero sub ni
Drive, fale.
Venas ni hejmen.

Dua etap’ finis.
Ni nun orbitas.
Stabiligiloj nun
Komencu kolekti
La datumaron.
“Kio ŝanĝiĝos
Post fina far’?”
Pensas Major’ Tom.

Ĉe la komandcentro
Nova problemo.
Eku la raketojn
Ne respondas
“Saluton Major’ Tom,
Ĉu vi ricevas?
Raketojn ŝaltu nun!
Ni atendas vin.”
Ne respondas li.


Trans la stratosfero
Fina mesaĝo,
“Amon al edzin’.”
Nenion plu.

Sub la kosmoŝip’
La mond’ funebras
Ili ne scias
Li vivas!
Neniu komprenas
sed Tom nun diras,
“Jen finordono,
Mi ja kulpas,

Rekanto dufoje


RWHS #3 Pioneer 10 Launched to Jupiter

March 2, 2018

This day in 1973 Pioneer 10, the world’s first outer-planetary probe, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet. In December 1973, after successfully negotiating the asteroid belt and a distance of 620 million miles, Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter and sent back to Earth the first close-up images of the spectacular gas giant.  In June 1983, the NASA spacecraft left the solar system and the next day radioed back the first scientific data on interstellar space. NASA officially ended the Pioneer 10 project on March 31, 1997, with the spacecraft having traveled a distance of some six billion miles. Headed in the direction of the Taurus constellation, Pioneer 10 will pass within three light years of another star–Ross 246–in the year 34,600 A.D. Bolted to the probe’s exterior wall is a gold-anodized plaque, 6 by 9 inches in area, that displays a drawing of a human man and woman, a star map marked with the location of the sun, and another map showing the flight path of Pioneer 10. The plaque, intended for intelligent life forms elsewhere in the galaxy, was designed by astronomer Carl Sagan.

Koplushian Language, Etc.

February 25, 2018


I recently decided to ressurect a language project that I first created about 35 years ago. It’s the Koplushian language.  I feel the need to work on it because it influenced some aspects of he Breehah language, especially where high technology comes into play. GThe problem is that over time my tweakings of Koplushian have altered the language to the point where some older texts may not be legible.  Hmm. Talk about real world philology in conlangs. Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.

RWHS-2: The Alamo

February 24, 2018

My This Day in HIstory email alerted me to this today, so I felt it was appropriate. This Real World Harper Song is sung by Frankie Avalon.


On this day in 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issues a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army.A native of Alabama, Travis moved to the Mexican state of Texas in 1831. He soon became a leader of the growing movement to overthrow the Mexican government and establish an independent Texan republic. When the Texas revolution began in 1835, Travis became a lieutenant-colonel in the revolutionary army and was given command of troops in the recently captured city of San Antonio de Bexar (now San Antonio). On February 23, 1836, a large Mexican force commanded by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana arrived suddenly in San Antonio. Travis and his troops took shelter in the Alamo, where they were soon joined by a volunteer force led by Colonel James Bowie.

Though Santa Ana’s 5,000 troops heavily outnumbered the several hundred Texans, Travis and his men determined not to give up. On February 24, they answered Santa Ana’s call for surrender with a bold shot from the Alamo’s cannon. Furious, the Mexican general ordered his forces to launch a siege. Travis immediately recognized his disadvantage and sent out several messages via couriers asking for reinforcements. Addressing one of the pleas to “The People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” Travis signed off with the now-famous phrase “Victory or Death.”

Only 32 men from the nearby town of Gonzales responded to Travis’ call for help, and beginning at 5:30 a.m. on March 6, Mexican forces stormed the Alamo through a gap in the fort’s outer wall, killing Travis, Bowie and 190 of their men. Despite the loss of the fort, the Texan troops managed to inflict huge losses on their enemy, killing at least 600 of Santa Ana’s men.

The brave defense of the Alamo became a powerful symbol for the Texas revolution, helping the rebels turn the tide in their favor. At the crucial Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 910 Texan soldiers commanded by Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana’s army of 1,250 men, spurred on by cries of “Remember the Alamo!” The next day, after Texan forces captured Santa Ana himself, the general issued orders for all Mexican troops to pull back behind the Rio Grande River. On May 14, 1836, Texas officially became an independent republic.

RWHS-1: Gutenberg

February 22, 2018

A few years ago I posted about Real World Harper Songs [link] that I’ve begun compiling into playlists on YouTube. I’ve decided to occasionally feature one on this blog, keeping to the ones of better quality. I’ll try not to repeat myself.

The first one is from Amy Burvall and is about that German innovator, Johannes Gutenberg.

Brass F-hole cleat clamps

February 12, 2018

Who doesn’t love clamps? I made these 5 light duty clamps so that I wouldn’t have to buy them. You can get the comercial variety for $16-$20 each plus shipping. Mine came in at about $5 each.

I made them from 5/32” brass rod, 10-24 threaded rod, nuts, a 6mm t coupling for air lines, and some JB Weld to put it all together. Read the rest of this entry »