Filling Out the Languages

The language my characters speak has a lot of words for “husband.”

Well, it will, after I get around to filling in all the little gaps I’ve left for the word. (Yes, I have gaps. They’re all marked with the letters tk(for to come, but searchable)no space and a general description of the word I plan to put there.

I don’t intend to make a list, but I know the words exist in  the language, and probably less than five show up in my actual manuscript.

It’s a mostly-English manuscript with minimal nonce-words.

I probably wouldn’t remember the words I make up/borrow/steal from start to finish, so I’ll add them in at the end.

Any thoughts on language? How deep do you go into language building?

 

7 Comments

  1. Reply

    In my first novel, I invented a new pronoun for referring to a sentient energy, in a somewhat Germanic language spoken by my POV character; I tried not to overdo it, because my feeling is that invented languages, like interesting names, make better pepper than gravy.

  2. Reply

    If you’re going to do research, talk to a native speaker. I’ve had people laugh out loud at choices I’ve plucked off of the Internet. “Nobody says that.”

    • Reply

      I would, but I generally stick to classical languages. I won’t get much lip off the Tocharians, regardless.

  3. Reply

    I make up a smattering of words to describe concepts that don’t have exact parallels in our world. I guess my betas will tell me if I make up too many…

      • Reply

        It’s either fantasy or very, very soft sci-fi, but I don’t think the comment sounded silly at all. I do drag in words from various real-world languages, and I know there are plenty of fantasy writers who use **horrors** modern languages, so, talking to someone who really speaks them is definitely a good idea. Seems that fits right in, regardless.

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