Advanced Conlanging…

“Conlanging” is the accepted name for the hobby of inventing new languages. I have been a conlanger since around age 7 – I remember inventing a language for my stuffed animals – specifically, a tribe of stuffed raccoons – at around that age, and though I don’t have my notes, I remember it being fairly sophisticated for something created at that age.

Like many conlangers, it’s only ever been a kind of side hobby, for me – though it dovetails nicely with another hobby I used to have as a child and that I resurrected in my post-cancer years and that has actually become a major avocation: geofiction (which is the whole point of the blog and website!). And of course, like many conlangers, I was, as a young adult, drawn to linguistics, where it eventually became one of my undergrad majors at the Univ of Minnesota. I don’t regret that, at all.

Anyway, this post is about conlanging, not geofiction. For some years now, there have existed some interesting websites and computer applications for inventing languages and storing the data. But I found a site yesterday that takes it to a new level. The site is called I actually rather dislike the name, but I think it’s probably good marketing. Anyway, the site is created by people who clearly are quite knowledgeable on matters linguistic – to a level I’ve never seen before. I went ahead and paid the $25 “lifetime” access – we’ll see how that pans out, as I’ve seen many a website offering those terms that lasts 5-10 years before disappearing or radically altering its business model such that the guarantee doesn’t eventuate. But anyway, how could I resist. Let there be more conlanging, then – at a higher level of quality than ever before.

As an incidental, I haven’t posted much of my conlanging work online, at all, but a very incomplete exemplar can be found in this article about the Mahhalian language, which I created about 6 years ago originally.

Mahhal Contours

I’ve been trying to organize my contour work for the new, smaller Mahhal. I’ve scaled the country back to a size where I think I can actually accomplish contours for the whole place in a finite amount of time, using my current methods. Mahhal is now just the northwesternmost 15% of the original archipelago. The remaining islands will eventually serve some other purpose, I suppose. Hopefully, it will be something very low density (Antarctic tundra and glaciers!).

Just like the Ardisphere, I felt the need to divide the contour work into manageable-sized “chunks”. Since the contour conversion program is based on a division of the planet into “degree squares” (which aren’t exactly square except at the equator, but anyway), I decided to do the same as I’d done in that country. However, because of the much higher latitude, and the fact that they’re all islands, I didn’t opt to try to subdivide each degree square into “bands.”

Currently I have four squares that are active. The 84°E Line splits Tárrases, so I have the two squares that straddle that island. And I have the two to the north, which are the northernmost reaches of the archipelago.

Below is a screenshot of the work, in JOSM. Each square is a different file (layer), so JOSM has four files open. Tárrases is complete, of course. The island directly west of the Duchy, Tteu (ዕሓ ጼዐ), is complete (though I might adjust some of it, later). Now the big island northeast, Kkogyra (ዕሓ ቆግራ) is complete too. That is where the capital and largest city of the Jessitim Kingdom, Piropeta, will be.


The matching view on the OGF standard map is here.

Music to map by: Rural Alberta Advantage, “On The Rocks.”

Testing the leaflet widget on the blog

Here’s a live leaflet of my own tileserver with my own planet (stripped of detail because I want my database small as I test things). Welcome to Rahet. UPDATE, OCTOBER 2019: Being a dynamic window on the map, rather than a snapshot, means that since the “planet” shown is much changed, this view is not the view that existed when this blog post was written.

Here’s a view of Tárrases over at OGF on standard layer.

Here’s a view of Tárrases over at OGF on Topo layer. [UPDATE 20210530: The OGF Topo layer is no longer functioning.]

That’s pretty cool.

Music to map by: Cold, “Bleed.”