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I am attempting to locate a dictionary that will allow me to translate words into Aklo, a fictional language used by writers such as Lovecraft. Where could I find such a thing? If a dictionary doesn't exist, are there other resources that can help me?

(Aklo is a fictional language used by multiple authors, which is why I felt it proper to ask this here on Writers.)

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    This might be better suited for Worldbuilding SE. – Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron Jan 16 '17 at 4:35
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    @ThomasMyron while questions about building conlangs are on-topic on Worldbuilding, I'm not sure questions about dictionaries of conlangs are. It's kind of an edge case on both sites, I'd say. – Monica Cellio Mar 8 '17 at 21:52
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    @MonicaCellio I agree this is an edge case, the sort of question that could probably exist on both sites, but I can see an argument for it not belonging on either, too. I think I'd rather err on the side of being permissive. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Mar 9 '17 at 3:13
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    @DenÉnaFaskómilos - A belated welcome to Writers! Since Stack Exchange sites spend a good amount of time determining what's on-topic, it's only natural that questions on the edge will attract some discussion. No worries about getting it wrong, if a question is more appropriate somewhere else we can just send it there. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Mar 9 '17 at 3:17
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    You might even find literature.se is our best fit. – J.G. Oct 17 '18 at 15:07
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The idea of a language called "Aklo" was first put forth by Arthur Machen in his short story "The White People" (1906). All that Machen tells us of Aklo is this:

I must not write down ... the way to make the Aklo letters ...

That is, Machen specifically tells us nothing.

Lovecraft, who loved Machen's story, took up the idea of a "dark language" and used it in his short stories "The Dunwich Horror" (1929) and "The Haunter of the Dark" (1936). In "The Dunwich Horror" Lovecraft tells us about Aklo:

"Today learned the Aklo for the Sabaoth," ... He that came with the Aklo Sabaoth said I may be transfigured ...

and in "The Haunter of the Dark" he tells us:

It was in June that Blake’s diary told of his victory over the cryptogram. The text was, he found, in the dark Aklo language used by certain cults of evil antiquity, and known to him in a halting way through previous researches. The diary is strangely reticent about what Blake deciphered, but he was patently awed and disconcerted by his results.

That is, Lovecraft, like Machen, tells us nothing about Aklo.

Machen and Lovecraft are the authoritative authors when it comes to the worlds they have depicted. Later authors, such as Alan Moore, have inventend additions that are not part of the canon and therefore cannot be used to learn more about the Lovecraftian universe.

Aklo is neither a constructed language nor a language system, contrary to what some sources on the internet claim, because the inventors of that language have not come up with any details beyond the name of the language. Lovecraft and Machen have not constructed a language system. All they have done is invent the name for a language that does not exist. Aklo is a fictional language, unlike Klingon or Tolkien's Elvish, which are real languages. Klingon and Elvish are constructed languages, not natural languages, but they can be spoken and written like English or French.

Ergo, there is no Aklo dictionary, because there cannot be one, because there is no Aklo.

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Unfortunately, I don't think you will find one. I spent a good while trying to do some research. It seems that it is purposely left unknown. Some interesting suggestions in this link though about creating one similar to it.

Here you can find some pictures of the letter chart system which may also help.

below is an section found in my research that may help point you to the right direction in this link

Since the Aklo language is still in use today, certain cultists and sorcerers may have records and codices in this language. One of the best known public records of the Aklo language is the Unaussprechlichen Kulten which contains a key to deciphering the Aklo lettering system and a rudimentary dictionary. The Aklo Tablets (also known as Aklo Writings or the Aklo Book) appear reproduced in the book Remnants of Lost Empires.

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I have this, just in case anyone is interested. A sort of Aklo Dictionary both in English and Spanish:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NseDwMGLa1pZbeLe90IcCBYzDyEf5lkBY0P0JBbnPU8/

As moderators had asked me to do so, I will elaborate: a not so long time ago, some guy with Linguistics education had a blog where he designed not only the Aklo alphabet, but also a sort of dictionary with some structure basis in order to know how to construct phrases. His work was based on Lovecraft's and the rest of his Literature group who enjoyed expanding this Universe writings and Alan Moore's comics based on Lovecraft Universe as there's some Aklo vocabulary in them as well.

This blog, sadly, doesn't exist any longer, but I was fortunate enough to get out the most of it and make this dictionary I'm linking to this question. I'm Spanish, so that's why it is translated in both English and Spanish languages.

I also have some PDF documents about Aklo this guy wrote. Notice that the PDF's documents are not mine, some guy called Cyberangel wrote them. I have uploaded them here and here.1


1 Some users have reported issues accessing these links. If someone can advise me on where I should upload them for sharing that would be appreciated. Currently trying to use MEGA and Google Docs.

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  • Opinions are divided on whether Aklo is the same as Rlyevian -- yog-sothoth.com/forums/topic/32533-is-aklo-rlyehian/…. Sadly, that dictionary is copy-protected, and the other links are down. Do you have fresh links you could share? – James Broadhead May 12 '19 at 17:28
  • Emivi, please don't create new accounts, but use your existing one. I believe you can ask a moderator to merge them for you. Flag the post, specify the problem, they'll get back to you. – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Jul 1 '19 at 19:56
  • A moderator cannot merge accounts. However, the "contact" link in the page footer can be used to contact Stack Exchange. For this, select the "I need to merge user profiles" contact reason, fill out the required details, and someone from SE will be in touch to help. // cc @Galastel – user Jul 2 '19 at 5:34
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Personal Lexicon is geared towards students of a language. However, it can be used both as a repository of words (organised in any type of categories you wish) and as a repository of grammar rules. There are languages that are already built in and which you can simply download, or you can create a file for a new language, whether its a real human language or an invented one.

There are more programmes out there so, if I come across any more, I'll add to this answer.

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    Sara, while it is interesting that such tools exist, this does not address the question, which is a request of a dictionary of a particular language. – user16226 Mar 8 '17 at 22:21
  • @MarkBaker: You're right. But since the question asked for a resourse that allowed to translate words and the software I mentioned is supposed to allow a student to create their own dictionary with translation of words, I thought it might be worth a shot. At least the OP can organise what little they may know of the language. – SC for reinstatement of Monica Mar 9 '17 at 1:41

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