Fantasy world, languages and books

Posted by Tuomo Sipola on 11:04 4/2/02

In reply to: (none)

Dear Mark,

I have always been impresed with your world and especially the languages. I have designed languages since I was very young but your site gave me the idea to build a world.

I have built many worlds but since most of them weren't good I thought that I should start all over again. Now I'm having a project that I'm pretty satisfied with. It's a story of two great empires fighting an endless war. As my math (!) teacher says: "Without the nuclear bomb I would have seen two wars within my lifetime" and that must be very true. Actually they are just smaller empires together against the bigger. Plus the nomads on the east and west and north and south.

About my languages: I decided to derive every word by hand. I got fed up with your sound change application (it was great but not for me). Now I can feel the essence of the words and besides I learn them while doing. Do you have any idea how to build a dictionary? I have tons of paper (of words) hanging on my desk waiting to be documented and dictionarized.

Now I decided to draw all my maps by hand. Since the inhabitants of my world don't need identical maps then I don't. My historical atlas will look very hmm... fancy then. I have a huge east-west-continent on the north side of my world. Only god (wait... that's me) knows what's on the southern hemisphere.

I would like to hear your comments about this paper-only method. Or do you have something better in mind?

Then about books: I ordered Guns, Germs and Steel and Historical Linguistics from my local bookstore. Hope they'll be useful. For the geology thing I would recommend high school (? Here in Finland I'm on the 1st grade of 'lukio' and I'm 16 so whatever corresponds) books. Our book covered many of the issues I was interested in (ironically, I didn't read the book but still got 10 (excellent) from the course).

How did you construct those globes you used with your continents? It would be fun to have a globe of Mesar hanging over my bed...

-Tuomo Sipola

Oh and there are some languages at

Mark responds:

The first dictionaries of Verdurian were done by hand. I wouldn't have the patience for that now! A computer document is a lot more manageable; and a word search is a lot faster.

For globes, you can use the sinusoidal projection I described in another post. Each 15-degree segment forms a sort of spear. Cut it all out and you can paste it to a ball. It's probably easier just to draw on the ball!

To make a reply, or see replies, see the index page.