LangTime Chat, Episode 12: Creating Fanlangs

This episode focuses on how to create fanlangs, or conlangs created for existing fantasy worlds. The episode provides advice for conlanging within an existing framework and things to think about as you work, such as remembering that fanlangs don’t have to be true to every aspect of the canon, especially where the canon has incongruities.

If you’d like some examples of fanlangs for inspiration, you should check out Nina-Kristine Johnson’s Va Eheniv (, a language for the Gerudo in Legends of Zelda (you can also find her on Twitter: @GerudosEheniv). Other fanlangs include the Mando’a language (for Star Warsuniverse), which was started by Karen Traviss but has since been taken over by fans (, and languages created for Andrew Smith’s Brithenig universe, such as Jan van Steenbergen’s Wenedyk. Perhaps less classically considered “fanlangs,” there are also spin-offs of the Toki Pona conlang.

We hope you enjoy the episode, and stay grammar!


LangTime Chat, Episode 11: Conlang Pedagogy

In this episode, we talk about teaching and conlanging (otherwise known as conlang pedagogy)!

After recording this episode, David let me know that my terminology may not be universally known, specifically my use of “made” in a sentence like “The course made.” For me, that means the minimum number of students enrolled in the course to allow it to run—every university has a minimum standard for enrollment that will allow a course to run, and for Stephen F. Austin State University (where I teach), the minimum is 10 students. So when I say the courses made, it means I have at least 10 students in the course. And that’s exciting! 🙂

We hope you enjoy this episode!


LangTime Chat, Episode 10: Jessie’s Conlangs

Neither David nor I can believe we have already reached episode 10 of our podcast! That fact will become pretty evident in the opening 15 seconds when we try to remember how long we’ve been recording these episodes. This episode is titled “Jessie’s Conlangs.” 

In this episode, I introduce five of my conlangs, which are all at different stages in how developed they are, but they all have enough structure that I can translate sentences into the conlang. I briefly introduce each conlang, providing a bit about the speakers and the language’s typological information, and then I send David a sentence or two in IPA, putting him on the spot to serve as the reader.

Here are the IPA transcriptions David reads in the episode; acute accents mark primary stress, and any grave accents mark secondary stress. Otherwise, these sentences are written in standard IPA. Where I had the interlinear glosses handy, I have provided those, too.

Conlang #1: Hiutsath

luxɑkɑθíto tɑɸíhɑ θesúsu luletotóɑʃ letɑɸíhɑhomɑ ɸɑleámo.

‘may your tree grow and have four branches’

Conlang #2: Xyrab

ɣe by ger

(question marker) you understand

‘Do you understand?’ / ‘Understand?’ / ‘See?’

ɣe wə βwɑ Jessie gwe eβ

(question marker) I find Jessie where please

‘Where can I find Jessie?’

Conlang #3: Gnomá

jadúgra bijanns twai gumannim gibmut dzabíjann wasjaka ja waiθaika jadwa bainn.

wizard seed-PL-ACC two man-PL-DAT give-GEN.PAST PROX-seed-PL grow-FUT and become-FUT magical tree-PL

‘A wizard gave two men seeds that would grow into magical trees.’

Conlang #4: gineso

tʃe jibók’ado ata anlúfeje ómwati hédi tajománad.

3sg,hum,nom c4,pl-berry-acc dem c3,sg-tree-loc tall-att near 3sg-3pl-past-find

‘She/He found berries near that tall tree’

Conlang #5: woxtjanato

wúakladɛn àllelát ʀet. fáidɛn itové jiféɛn swa adzé tomúgwe iùɲolenáox íkside dézu adzé totjávi.

‘A tree grows in a field. She believes that she herself possesses strength because of this: her branches are near to the sky goddesses.’

Along with these conlangs, I have created some conlang sketches, but they are so woefully incomplete that they are really more of playthings than something sharable. And I have created one other fully developed conlang, but that work was done for a project that is not my own. While I can’t really share the details of the language or project right now, someday I hope to be able to share that one with you, too.

Thank you to everyone who has shown interest in my conlangs in the livestream comments, and I hope you enjoy this episode!


LangTime Chat, Episode 7: Conlang Game (David’s Conlangs)

Not to build up too much hype, but this episode will be an instant classic! It features a “conlang” game that David had no idea was coming.

As resources for the episode, here is a link to the Wiki mentioned:

And here is a photo of the cards used during the game:

We hope you enjoy the episode as much as we did!


LangTime Chat, Episode 5: Dictionaries

This episode’s focus is dictionaries–a favorite topic of mine! Throughout the episode, we talk about several resources, including…

The ConWorkShop:


David’s Language Creation template (Pages):

David’s Language Creation template (PDF):

And an image from the self-published grammar of my first conlang (Hiutsath), which provides a dictionary in a spreadsheet format:

We hope you enjoy listening and pondering the many wonders of dictionaries!


LangTime Chat, Episode 4: Basic Vocabulary in Conlangs

This episode is a wild ride beginning with a story about a vent and ending with a story about raunchy pizza. In between those two points, we discuss children’s language use and basic vocabulary in conlangs. There are several resources to accompany, including some photos and PDF documents.

One discussion takes us into the territory of snow-covered gloves. In case you are like David and have no experience with snow sticking to your gloves as you play outside, here is a photo of a very young Will in the snow. If you look closely at his gloves, you’ll see how snow sticks right to them.

The discussion veers into Meridian’s “permanent hat,” and you all need a photo to see that darling hat!

The final photo is a screenshot of a chart I drew about basic vocabulary as we talked about words in conlangs. If you follow us on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll recognize this photo!

Attached to this post are two PDF documents: the Swadesh List and the Leipzig-Jakarta List, both of which are discussed in the podcast.

And, finally, here is the transcript. Enjoy!


LangTime Chat, Episode 3: Inspiration

This episode’s theme was “inspiration,” and David and I were so inspired that we managed to abandon all plans I had made for the podcast and talked about everything from music to breviloquence, from airport mishaps to our initial enemy-ship. It’s a wild ride!

This episode also comes with resources: there are two pictures discussed in the podcast that we decided you just had to see, so you can see for yourself the psychology behind our first-ever photo together.



See? Even enemies can become friends.

As an additional bonus, I created a transcript for this episode! I hope this is something we can regularly offer, but I can’t make promises because it relies on technology… And we all know how that can go. 


LangTime Chat, Episode 2: Conlang Communities

For this month’s episode of our podcast, David and I discussed conlang communities, focusing on online communities that offer conlangers the ability to connect from afar. Since David is much better educated than I am on this particular topic, he gave me a bit of a history lesson before diving into what’s available now. Along the way, we also managed to fit in discussions on everything from Brooklyn 99 to Men of a Certain Age. It all connects–I promise!

These resources/images are mentioned in the podcast; here they are so you can check them out for yourself!


LangTime Chat, Episode 1: A Bunch of Beginnings

After finishing our first live stream video, David and I sat down (actually, we continued sitting down) to record our very first podcast episode. This first episode includes discussions on how we became interested in linguistics and conlangs, what lessons we learned from our first conlangs, and how we almost could have met ten years before we actually met. Oh, and balloons. You never know where discussions will go in LangTime Chat!