55 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Let me start with a disclaimer: some languages are naturally more tolerant of long names (and long words) than others. In Finnish, you've got names like Väinämöinen. In Hebrew, if something has more ...
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27 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

We are good at pattern recognition and if you keep the bizarre names to a minimum you should be OK. Long is fine, so long as they can be scanned and not confused with one another. I rather like Tey-...
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  • 23.2k
23 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

There are no pros. The cons are people will not read them more than once, so your story becomes confusing, and they will stop reading altogether. They may sound exotic to begin or appearing once or ...
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  • 91k
20 votes
Accepted

How to handle translation of a language in a comic, while preserving a sense that the language is significant?

This has been handled a few ways in comics: Have the text in word balloons be a translation of the original, with a footnote indicating "translated from other-language-name". You can graphically ...
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17 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Pros Appeals to linguaphiles (especially if names are rich with internally-consistent historical or cultural meaning) Can add a sense of realism/immersion It is difficult to represent unfamiliar ...
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  • 656
16 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

You've already got a lot of pros and cons here but I'll add one more: You'll make an audiobook almost impossible to produce. Do you want to get this book published? If you don't, if you're writing ...
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  • 9,893
13 votes
Accepted

Should I include an appendix to reference words of an in-universe language for a fantasy novel?

A "dictionary" for your fantasy language should never be needed by the reader. If the reader has to learn a language, or flip back and forth to a dictionary, the flow of the reading is broken every ...
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12 votes
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Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

A few ideas: You could have a character who doesn't speak that language ask how the name is pronounced, or mispronounce it and receive a correction. Obviously it would look contrived for this to keep ...
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  • 2,911
11 votes
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Should I create my own ConLang for my story?

It's vanishingly rare to need a constructed language in written fiction. Orson Scott Card sums this up in How To Write Science Fiction And Fantasy: Invented languages are a lot more fun to make up ...
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  • 28k
10 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

A compromise might be that you have a long and complicated name, but also have a common short abbreviation of that, which normally is used. For example, using your name: The city had the almost ...
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  • 4,007
9 votes
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Does it make sense to (partially) create a conlang that you don't intend to actually use in the story?

I think instead of creating the language, you can save a lot of time by just doing as you did in the question: Decide on features of the language that will make a psychological difference in the ...
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  • 91k
8 votes
Accepted

How can I keep my dialogue nuanced and informal without breaking the illusion that the story is a translation (from a fictional language)?

Basically, you want your choices to call as little attention to themselves as possible. The best way to do that, under the circumstances, is probably just to "dial it back." In other words, write ...
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8 votes

Should I include an appendix to reference words of an in-universe language for a fantasy novel?

The best appendix is one the reader never needs to use. The same thing applies to footnotes. They're there for people who want the exact reference. They shouldn't have material that you need to ...
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8 votes

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

If the purpose of the cipher is encryption, use the substitution cipher. Have some character study it, know it is encrypted and that E is the most commonly used letter in English. Ah, E has been ...
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  • 12.4k
7 votes

Can I use an existing fictional language?

In the United States, a language, generally, is described as a "specification"; that is, as a set of facts. For a language, these facts would be a series of statements along the lines of "X is a word ...
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  • 783
7 votes

Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

If you don't want to use an apostrophe, then consider a diaeresis. It used to be common in English to mark vowels that come after vowels, but need to be pronounced separately, with a diaeresis for ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Constructed Language - spelled like it sounds?

Your question is based on a faulty connection between "English" letters and Elvish letters and between English sounds and English letters. We use the Latin alphabet to write English words, by a series ...
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7 votes

How can I keep my dialogue nuanced and informal without breaking the illusion that the story is a translation (from a fictional language)?

When writing fantasy or any form of fiction that exists in a world vastly different from ours, try to imagine the text you're writing as a translation. Yes, even for your own main character. Remember ...
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  • 1,638
7 votes
Accepted

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Disclaimer This answer was created by pulling together pros and cons from the other answers on the page (at time of writing) I am not claiming credit for the contents of this answer, credit goes ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

For most people this would be either annoying or far too simple to be interesting. Many people will know a little bit about substitution ciphers and leet speak. Those are quite often taught in ...
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  • 5,586
6 votes

Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

Do people using the constructed language use a Latin-based alphabet similar to English, or do they have an entirely different writing system? Spelling it "oddly" would make sense if the people ...
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  • 213
6 votes

How to handle translation of a language in a comic, while preserving a sense that the language is significant?

You have two choices that I can see, and which one you use will likely be dependent on the amount of foreign-language copy you have versus the amount of space you have in the panel to display it: 1) ...
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5 votes

How to Explain the Pronunciation of a Conlang Within the Text of the Novel

If you're stuck with characters that all know how to spell/speak the language, this could be done when words are being transcribed. For example, if Gahinohi is a name, he could be making reservations ...
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  • 411
5 votes
Accepted

How to Explain the Pronunciation of a Conlang Within the Text of the Novel

If you don't have a non-native or non-fluent cabbagehead character (and they're awfully useful; I don't know why you're hobbling yourself like that), then another reasonable course of action is to ...
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5 votes

Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

You could have an appendix (such as appears in the best-selling Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan) that explains pronunciations. However even that is subject to pismronunciation. Of course there ...
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5 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

You may rely on the Monty Pythons' wisdom : "Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Panties...I'm sorry...Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Bach. Names that will live for ever. But there is ...
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5 votes

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

If you wish to depict encrypted text, use an actual encryption. Something that could be decrypted by hand, but would require some effort. That would be a fun for a puzzle-minded reader to figure out, ...
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