Monday, October 03, 2005

I can eat glass!


Notes from

Why Make Up Languages?

Lots of reasons! Here are only a few:

  1. Linguistic research
  2. Artificial intelligence
  3. International Communciation
  4. Psychiatry
  5. Secret Languages
  6. Fiction and Art

Ergane 8.0

What is Ergane?

Ergane is a multilingual translation dictionary for Windows that uses the artificial language Esperanto to translate words and short expressions from one natural language to another. Ergane is a product of Majstro AplikańĶoj.

Ergane's user interface and manual are available in three languages: English, Esperanto and Dutch. The user interface alone is also available in Spanish.

Some years ago, one Ethan Mollick created the I Can Eat Glass Project, which he described thus:

The Project is based on the idea that people in a foreign country have an irresistable urge to try to say something in the indigenous tongue. In most cases, however, the best a person can do is "Where is the bathroom?" a phrase that marks them as a tourist. But, if one says "I can eat glass, it doesn't hurt me," you will be viewed as an insane native, and treated with dignity and respect.

Getting started with Klingon:

tlhIngan Hol




Hello (literally, what do you want?)


Goodbye (literally, Success!)


Hunh? (literally, what did you say?)


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