pie languages

A children’s game (It’s not child’s play): “Erbsensprache” or Pea language, lingua do i and other language games

In part one of this series, I introduced you to constructed languages (conlang) and in part two, planned languages. Now I’ll conclude with languages games, also called ludling in English: In a playful way, children, but also adults change an existing language according to predefined rules. The result is a kind of secret language that…

Why not totally different – GPA from the perspective of a student – 2

We’ve seen that GPA has big advantages. Again and again I read about new insights of language learning experts for language school teaching that are fully or nearly identical with GPA thoughts (see here: https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/can-we-learn-second-language-we-learned-our-first). But, there are some things that make learning with the GPA method more complicated. Or better said, some assumptions and…

A single universal language for everyone? Artificial Languages, Part 2

In the first part of this short series on artistic languages we focussed on constructed languages (conlangs). Planned languages, previously also called international auxiliary languages, represent another large section. Their history goes back to the seventeenth century when scholars and philosophers, such as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, developed so-called a priori languages. These were strictly logical…

Artificial Languages and Planned Languages

Part 1: Extra-terrestrial and indigenous peoples All languages that are not natural languages – in other words, they have not developed historically and are spoken (or expressed in gestures) by people – are known in linguistics as artificial languages or constructed languages. This includes planned languages such as Esperanto, fictional languages such as Klingon from…

Why every word counts

Language learners often complain about learning “useless” words: Why should I learn how to say “scarecrow”? I’ll never use that word! Why not learn more important words like “watermelon,” “study” and “bathroom”? People often think that some of the basic, tangible words that a 4-year old knows aren’t very important to learn. I’m going to…

How many words do I need?

“How many words do I need to know in order to learn this language?” As a language coach, I’ve been (pleasantly) surprised that I haven’t heard his question more often. But people do sometimes wonder what level of vocabulary they’ll need in order to function. The first question you need to ask in order to…