157

Immutability A language is dead if it is no longer in current use. One of the effects of nobody using the language anymore is that it doesn't change. Consider latin, for example. A tersorium is a collective hygiene device. There are no more romans around, so you can be sure that unless there is a revival, one hundred years from now a tersorium will still ...


118

They don't actually need names. Names aren't used that often in everyday communication. Body language is very effective for indicating which person in a group you're talking to. And to get somebody's attention, simply call out "brother!" in their direction, and look at the person you're referring to. The only other situations where you use names are when ...


96

If your group renounces their personal identity in favor of their work, the obvious thing to call them by is profession. If a particular brother is responsible for the monastery gardens, he's Brother Gardner. If he's responsible for their walls, he's Brother Mason. If he's responsible for their horseshoes and swords, he's Brother Smith. You'll note that ...


93

It’s not only possible, it exists as you describe. Italian, French (Provençal, really), Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese (and many local dialects thereof) merge continuously into each other, and everyone can understand their near neighbours in both directions, even across international borders where the language nominally changes, but Sicilians and Portuguese ...


86

There's practically no correlation between the complexity of a given language and the complexity of the writing system used to represent it. Japanese and Korean are both very complex languages, able to convey a wide range of meaning and context. Yet, Japanese uses thousands of characters to represent it in writing, and Korean uses 24. Also, when talking ...


83

When the Roman conquered Greece, they were so fascinated from their civilization that they put a straw in that land and started avidly sucking their culture. It was common practice for students to go to Greece for studying in Greece. This didn't reach that far to replace Latin with Greek, but it gives you an hint of what could be a solution to your problem:...


80

Your Dead Language is a Programming Language The speech of modern folk is merely meant to communicate with one another, but the ancient tongue is a programming language that directly shapes reality. An accidental slip of the tongue could be catastrophic for both the utterer and those nearby. Therefore even in the days when it was well known, it was seldom ...


64

The Russians did it: the Russian Empire, and its successors the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation established Russian as the language for official and inter-ethnic communication. It worked. Georgians, Armenians, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Azeris and so on learned Russian in school and used it as the language of culture, learning, justice, trade and official ...


59

Because they're the original spells and no translation could ever get it right. As an example of a holy book, the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) is written in Hebrew and will always be written in Hebrew. The same ancient version of Hebrew it was first written in thousands of years ago. When you create a new Torah scroll, you copy each letter ...


51

can a number of letters in alphabet suggest how advance the civilization is? There is no correlation between the technological advancement of a civilization and the number of symbols in its alphabet. Do you want some counterexamples? The Roman Empire (and the shepherd founding it) used the same alphabet we use today, yet we are way more advanced then them ...


46

Quite obviously, if they don't have language they will not acquire language from books. The gap between not having and having language is simply too great. Therefore I will assume that they already have language, and I will concentrate on the possibility of learning a foreign language from books. Second, simply learning a foreign language from books is well-...


44

You will likely have an easier time if you pick a Slavic language that uses a Roman alphabet. Like Czech or Slovak (which are very similar to each other). Then you don't have to deal with the unknown alphabet and words that are more removed from Latin/etc. Take Slovakia. It's got some pretty straight-forward place name conventions. I do a lot of genealogy ...


42

The tone of the voice covers an estimated of 38-40% of our communication (depending on research), this is a common problem sending E-Mails in corporation since the mind and state of the receiver compensate with their own state and voice, given that a friendly E-mail sent to a person in an less than optimal state can receive it the wrong way. I would assume ...


41

You don't use dead languages in casual conversation. That's what makes them dead, after all. Sure, you might casually drop a smidge of Latin into your diction, but usually only a little and in distinct fixed phrases. We can talk about an ad hoc solution or the like, but we don't inflect or twist these phrases in our day-to-day lives the way that a native ...


40

It may be 2-dimensional as well as 1-dimensional Speech, sign languages and such transmit a single sign at a time, thus forcing the writing, which is secondary, to also form a sequence of signs that can be read one at a time. A language made by different species that originates in a written form directly doesn't have to follow this restriction. It's likely ...


38

No. An inverse relation is more likely. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs: around 1000 symbols. Modern English: 26 symbols + 10 digits + punctuation. Communication between artificial intelligences: not yet known, but probably will be 2. According to the science of semiotics, signs used in the language are arbitrary. They are only loosely related to their ...


34

We are a good halfway to that. You just need to increase the communication rate, so that language mutation happens more often. Also give a generous spread of technological advancement. Take a simple sentence as example: Lol, I have been pwned. Ping me on WhatsApp. I get it, you get it. Should my grandparents be alive and should I tell them that ...


33

Generate a constant stream of scandals that make common expressions politically incorrect. Add aggressive prosecution of people using oldspeak because you want to avoid offending the party that phrase now insults and you have a built in way to root out spies.


31

English will work fine, but then any language will work fine, as other answers have explained. The fact that English is closer than anything else, with Mandarin as the only real competition, means you might as well start there. But I think your real problem is that you're thinking too much of enforcement: … enforced a single global language for: ...


27

Counter-intuitively, the way I would go about that would be to construct your own simplistic conlang with Slavic flavour. First, Slavic isn't a single language, there are three major subgroups inside of it, and multiple languages, with phonetical and grammatical nuances of their own. Translating stuff to one language through Google Translate will give you ...


24

You don't need to understand music to appreciate it. I listen to japanese music without translation because I hear it from the openings on shows. I listen to vocaloid styled music without knowing the base language. The pacing of lyrics and the instrumentals mean more to me than the actual words. Technically, Pop music already works this way. I can't have ...


24

"Earth has abut 4,500 languages spoken commonly": Actually there are only about 100 languages spoken natively by more than 0.1% of the population of Earth. Out of those 4500 languages, 4000 have minuscule numbers of speakers. "Some parts of Scotland needs to be subtitled on British television" . . . . . . which is hardly unexpected given than (a) Scots and ...


24

I believe you have two options here 1) make up something generally Slavic sounding 2) get a native speaker to help you out. As a Czech I see way to much weirdness already in the suggestions here on this page only (e.g. Novyruska or Novyruskia absolutely cannot work, Russia is feminine and novy is masculine, you need nová/novaya/depends on specific language,...


23

Precise Pseudo-Pronouns In addition to developing a system along the lines of Cadence's answer, they seem to be a good candidate for developing a pseudo-pronoun system based on deeds or locations known to the residents of the monastery. E.g. Resident of the Second Kitchen-Adjacent Cell, One Who Fell Into the Well Once, Late Night Copier etc. These are '...


22

To communicate information which is not personal or individual. The businesses and organisations in this world don't want to employ someone to constantly communicate telepathically that you should 'push' rather than 'pull' the door to enter the building. The same goes for prices of items one may wish to purchase; advertising communications; media ...


22

Old Norse and Old English It's basically how languages spread in pre-modern times. Have you seen "Vikings"? There is a scene in the first season when Ragnar lands in England and meets a local landlord and his soldiers on the beach. They're not able to communicate immediately. The vikings speak Old Norse, the English - well, Old English. It's exactly the ...


21

The fact that your aliens need to build a device proves that they do not possess a natural inborn ability for telepathy without technical support. Therefore, in their whole evolutionary development and before technically advancing for enough to develop such device they had to communicate by means of speech and writing. This makes speaking and writing the ...


21

It's almost like Slavic languages, though the reason has more to do with history of literacy, political changes and assimilation. Slovak is mutually intelligible with modern heavily Slovakized Rusyn, which is mutually intelligible with Rusyn as spoken in Transcarpathia, which is almost mutually intelligible with standard Ukrainian, which is mutually ...


20

Dilution. Summary: LC are the primitives, the conquered; their language is complex but it becomes the language used. BC are the advanced, the conquerors, but their language is lost and LC becomes the language used. There are many, many more of the LC people. The conquering BC people are from a geographically constrained accidental colony. They have ...


19

It's important to note that the incidence of left-handedness in middle-eastern countries is roughly the same as those in western countries, and if anything, left-handedness is even more discouraged in those countries because of a cultural belief that left hands are less clean (or intended for less clean work) than right hands. From that perspective, the ...


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