“How do native speakers of a conlang learn their mother tongue?” 5/5

2015/8/1 seren arbazard


Arka has many words for indefinite quantity such as foni (1-60 seconds), ask (1-5 minutes), liset (5-30 minutes). They means a length of time.
It also has some words for numbers. Such as tiu (1 or 2), fou (2 or 3).

Adults can easily understand how liset is long by consulting dk (diaklel, Arka dictionary).
But children don’t consult the dictionary. They know it’s easier to ask grown-ups than to consult the dictionary.

When Ridia ordered Luxia to wait for a minute saying “vat du ask”, she asked “ak ask et fil?” (How long is “soon”?).
Ridia told her it took 1-5 minutes. Yult, then, said “nou isk vil melk” (I don’t understand the clock). Luxia was so bright that she could easily understand the clock, taught him how to count.

Words such as liset, ask were OK, but kal (a little) was a troublemaker.

Arka has 9 words for indicating degrees such as tin (much, very) and kal (a little).
No one knows how many (much) is kal.
When Ridia said “vat du kal” (Wait a minute), Luxia asked “ak kal et fil?”
Ridia thought for a while, answered “3 via fei” (about three minutes). Luxia always started counting watching the clock.

One day, Luxia asked when they come to Japan.
Ridia answered “xi kal” (after a bit). Then she counted 3 minutes by the clock and started to cry “vi fei ik rak. kor xiit parm!” (3 minutes has past. Let’s go to Japan!).
Ridia explained “tu “kal” eks fou sel e” (This time, kal means a few days).
Luxia got angry and yelled “son ak kal et fil a! tyu rensat kal et 3 fei sete!” (Then how long is kal! You said kal was 3 minutes!)

Ridia couldn’t say anything back and Mel was laughing at Luxia saying “Ouais, t’a raison” (“Yeah, you’re right” in French).

How Far is Japan?

There were at least 2 parks near their home in France.
One day, Luxia said “non kor lan sokl flon” (I want to go to the far park).
Then Yult said “le sokl te flon. parm et flon” (That park isn’t far from our house. Japan is far from our house).

We had taught “Japan is far from France while Turkey is not”
They couldn’t understand why the far park was far while Turkey was near though actually Turkey is farther than the far park.

I told them “xalt kad, parm et flon kont xalt sokl, sokl flon et flon. tea kalt kad, sokl io et frem tisee” (For countries, Japan is far while for parks, the far park is far. If it were for countries, Both parks wouldn’t be far).

Thank You

It’s so natural that parents take care of their children. For children, it’s too natural to say thank you to their parents.
Yult and Luxia had no friends so that they didn’t need to say thank you to anybody.

We decided to have them say thank you.
There was, however, a trouble; Arka had many equals to “thank you”.

If you ask somebody to do something, then you should say “seere”. If you appreciate somebody’s action or behavior, then you should say “sentant”. “sent is the short form of sentant.
If you put “an-” to them, they’ll be more polite: i.e. ansent is more polite than sent.

The twins found it difficult that they distinguished seere from sent.
At first, they learn seere. Babies ask everything to their parents. After taking care of them, we told them “ku seere” (Say thank you).

Luxia hated green peppers while Yult didn’t. He liked to eat.
One day, Luxia didn’t eat some pieces of green pepper. Yult looked at her plate, asked her if she wouldn’t eat them. After her nodding, Yult ate them behalf of her, then she said seere.
Ridia told her she should’ve said sent instead of seere because she didn’t ask him to eat them. Luxia understood the difference between seere and sent.


For Arbans (people in Arbazard or just Arka users), it’s very important to be logical (axma, in Arka).

I heard Luxia said axma.
One day, Ridia bought a loaf of bread and gave it to them, Yult tore it into 2 same-sized pieces, and gave one of two to Luxia. At that time, Luxia stared her piece and said axma.
I thought this axma meant not only logical but also fair.

Another day, Mel gave a piece of cake to them, Yult cut it apart with a spoon, but the 2 pieces weren’t the same in the size.
Luxia looked at them, gave the bigger half to Yult saying “tyu nod non et kai ento tyu xen ax kain fein, axma?” (You’re bigger than me, so you’re gonna eat the bigger half, it’s logical, right?)
Yult accepted her offer saying “axma”.


Luxia hated playing outside because French kids always picked her on.
She loved playing inside watching animes on the Internet. She didn’t have a PC, used Mel’s PC. Mel loved watching BBS, blogs, Youtube, Nico Nico Douga and playing video games. She was always on her PC when not taking care of the twins.
Mel felt Luxia was a nuisance to her when using her own PC, so she asked Ridia to buy a new computer for Luxia.

Ridia agreed with Mel and bought a brand-new computer.
Using her PC, Luxia became very intelligent. She even gave me an E-mail by herself.


A life of children of mixed race is very hard. I, myself, was often asked by a person I met first like “your parent’s a foreigner?”
In Japan, foreigners are a bit rare so people ask me if I’m of a mixed race.

When I was little, I was watching a soccer game on the telly. Of course I rooted for the Japanese team. Then one of my classmates shouted “You don’t have the right to support it cos you’re of mixed race, I mean, not Japanese!”
I was very shocked at his shout, quit rooting for Japanese teams.
Ridia and Mel are of mixed race, too. They were bullied by local children, too when they were little.

Of course Yult and Luxia are of mixed race, too. They don’t look like a Turkish or a French. What was worse, they couldn’t speak Turkish or French at first, so they couldn’t make friends.

One day, Luxia asked me “kad lenan et to?”. Its translation is “What is our country?”, but she wanted to say “Which race do I belong to?”.
“ans et arban de” (We’re Arban), said I.
“arban et to,? freinoa” (What’s Arban, Father?)
“There is a country called Arbazard in Kaldia, another world. There people speak Arka, Tiaren, and Nagili. An Arban is a person of Arbazard”.
“So Yuutxan and I are not a Turkish or a French or a Japanese?”
“No, we’re Arban”
“We cannot go to Arbazard because it is in Kaldia?”
“No, we can’t”
And she just said “haizen. But I am proud of being an Arban”


One day, Luxia asked me who made French. We had already told them Arka was a conlang we made, she thought every language has its creator.

I told them there were natlangs and conlangs in the world and most people grew up with a natlang like French. I was afraid she’d be angry with us crying “Why didn’t you teach me French!? Nobody speaks Arka in the world! It’s so useless!”

Contrary to my expectation, she looked very happy saying “You are great, Father. I respect you who made a language. I am very proud of speaking Arka”.
And she said “That is why nobody speaks Arka on the television or the Internet”.

Around 4, thanks to education by Ridia, Luxia spoke very politely. She even called me “Father”.

Too Useful Ar

Arka has a useful word “ar”. It means “do”, “activate”, “turn on”, “use”, “work” and so on.
Thanks to the word, you don’t have to memorize a bunch of collocations. “To turn on the telly” is “ar teik”. “To smoke” is “ar yas”. “To turn on the light” is “ar pam”. “To do homework” is “ar rafel”.

Ar is so useful that the twins overused the word like “ar erx” (to take a bath). It should be “non erx” (I take a bath).
She said “ar lei” (to read the book) but it should be “non isk lei”.

Yult clang to Mel grabbing her breasts like a koala. And he said “ar mam” (*to breast). It should be “noa bikes mam” (I’m grabbing her breasts).

One day, Luxia was eating lunch.
“What are you doing?” asked I. Then “non aror hat” (“I’m doing the plate”, literally).
Yult was waiting for Luxia who was still eating. When she finished eating, he said to her “ar hat”. I didn’t understand what he was saying because she had already eaten her lunch. There was nothing left on her plate. But Luxia said “ya” (Yeah), took the plate to the kitchen.

A few minutes later, she came back to the webcam. I asked what she was doing in the kitchen. She replied “arat hat” (I did the plate). I was very surprised at her reply. I hadn’t written anything in the collocation between “ar” and “hat”. They, however, made collocations by themselves freely. They, the native speakers made collocations voluntarily!

Moreover, the meaning of ar changed every time according to situations.
“Ar hat” could be “to dig in the plate” or “to wash the plate”.

For grown-ups, overuse of ar wasn’t good. It’s a bit sloppy or untidy.
We told them “ren ku “olx hat” ist “ar hat”” (Please say “to wash the dish” instead of “to do the dish”). And all I got from my second son was the familiar word; “total” (Whatever)!

I’m Proud of My Girl

One day, Luxia told me what happened that day, she was picked on by children in the neighborhood.

She said to me, “Anyway, every word I said back to them was words of Arka which is your language, Father”.
I was very proud of my girl.



メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 * が付いている欄は必須項目です