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I mean something like Klingon or Quenya when I say fictional languages. Are questions about these languages on-topic for this site?

  • Could you expand on how you will use such learned language? Most people learn languages to gain some level of functional usage (speech communication/writing/reading) in our daily lives. Of course in the end it depends on what the question is. – user3169 Apr 26 '16 at 2:29
  • I won't personally be using it, but I imagine it could be helpful for anyone attending some sort of convention or writing a person a poem or story in the fictional language. – fi12 Apr 26 '16 at 2:30
  • Well I am wondering if this is more of an entertainment/literature related topic, unless someone is actually going to communicate with others using such languages. – user3169 Apr 26 '16 at 2:37
  • Duolingo considers Klingon a language, why shouldn't we? – OldBunny2800 Apr 26 '16 at 21:31
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I say yes. Fictional or not, they are still languages right?

Though these languages are purely fictional, questions can still be about the learning of these languages. I would expect some differences in the questions asked as they are not actually used in real life but can be learned by eager fans. Instead of the languages people actually use, I think we are flexible enough to introduce an interesting and exciting new topic to our site: fictional languages.

Now if this happens, we must make some restrictions on these languages as these questions are new and we just entered public beta, thus the need for borders and rules to all of our different types of questions.

7

Fictional languages are pretty similar to real languages, with the main difference being that there may not be a population or country that speaks the language. It's still gonna have grammar structures, vocabulary and maybe even a character set.

The only situation that I could see leading to trouble is if one of these languages is incomplete; how are you going to learn a language that hasn't been fully designed? However, this might not be even be a problem, it may even make to be an interesting question.

We could always use the tag if we need to, but I suppose the use case for that would be pretty limited.

  • It was just an example tag, but thanks @Gwenn, I'll edit it into the question :) – Quill Apr 26 '16 at 9:53
3

I believe the answer to this question is the same as the answer to this question:

Our site is "Language Learning", it's about the learning a language, so if language specific questions are about learning the language, it would be on-topic.

Questions shouldn't be about the language's spelling/syntax/semantics/etc., they should be about learning it.

Some examples of off-topic questions (feel free to edit more in):

  • What does <insert quote from a book> mean?
  • What is the origin of <insert idiom here>?
  • When do you pronounce <insert letter here> in <insert language here>?
    That said, questions which apply to the process of learning a specific language, should somehow apply to a broader range of "similar" language. I'm not saying that all questions falling under this should be left open, if it has some other flaw such as being primarily-opinion based, it should be closed.

In other words, the on-topicness of the question is not based on the language, but on the question.

If the question is about learning, your target language can be Spanish, Esperanto, American Sign Language, or Klingon. It doesn't matter.

There will be very few (if any--I can't think of one now) questions that are unique to learning fictional/created languages. If such a question exists, though, it ought to be permitted, granted it is about learning.

  • @ANeves: Updated. Next time, feel free to edit yourself :) – Flimzy Apr 29 '16 at 15:18
  • I can't, the edit button is disabled for me: Suggested edits are not allowed on non-tag-wiki posts on meta sites. – ANeves Apr 29 '16 at 16:58
  • Also, in your edit: idom should be idiom. – ANeves Apr 29 '16 at 16:59
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Gee I hope so. I study toki pona and Esperanto, most of what I get out of the experience is learning how to learn a language using an exemplar with a level of difficulty way less than Spanish or Dutch.

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    Esperanto is a constructed language, not a fictional (to me meaning derived from a work of fiction) language. – user3169 Apr 27 '16 at 4:36
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    I'm going to assume that the OP is asking in the most broad manner possible about non-natural languages. The hobbists that care about this have an extensive taxonomy for varieties of non-natural languages. I can't imagine the answer would be different for Lojban, Esperanto and Tolkien's Elvish, or the numerous derivatives of all three. – MatthewMartin Apr 27 '16 at 15:34
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    No, I'm referring to fictional languages - languages created for fiction. Esperanto is a constructed (or auxiliary) language, as is Lojban. A fictional language is something created for a book, movie, etc. – fi12 Apr 28 '16 at 0:08
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    @fi12 You should edit your question so that the distinction is clear. – user3169 Apr 28 '16 at 2:03
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It's hard to understand what you mean by a "fictional language." If a language exists, it exists. If people speak it or write it, it is real. Perhaps you mean natural (occurring naturally in the culture of a people) vs. synthetic (invented for a book or a movie or for fun or other purposes). Any way you slice it, languages are languages and should be fair game on this site (assuming they're meant for communication between humans and humans and not between humans and microchips).

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