How to invent a language
NPR Interview with the author/linguist
I have long held the opinion that system and data base administrators
and other user-facing IT professionals should speak Latin (or anything
the userbase didn't speak) so that the users not steal their jargon and
misuse it, e.g,. "we need to make a table" or "my process is spinning"
etc., etc., post-nauseam (I'm already nauseous, i.e., ad nauseam, but we
keep on going...), and it's infuriating. An artificial language would
be perfect, especially if tailored for sysadmin purposes, much like
"Taxilingua" in the book, Snow Crash. Oh, by the way, there are
provinces of Japan where they deliberately messed with their
dialect/language for that very purpose, i.e., to make it harder for
surrounding regions and the capital to understand them. For extra
security, DBAs and Unix sysadmins could each have their own dialect,
with a lingua franca between the two. How's that for a practical
application? Oh, plus people in different countries could learn the
language(s) and talk work stuff without everybody having to learn
English (well) or the anglos to have to learn Japanese or Chinese (fun,
but not everybody's cup of tea, incredibly enough). Of course, the
language spoken by sea captains and airline pilots is a specific
artificial language derived from a subset of English.
The Oregon Mental Heath Board put out an ad for folks who spoke K'lingon
since there were a number of patients who had withdrawn in some
clinically-understood way and would only speak that language. Strange
situation: yes; no practical application: I don't think so.
Japanese people, however, prefer the original language with the
subtitles. I'm not sure if it's because they like to hear the foreign
languages or if they want to learn -- probably a mix of both. The
French seem to like dubbing. Each language has its own beauty, and much
is lost in trying to translate, and more people should understand that.