I am in the process of creating a language for a science fiction/fantasy novel I’ve been working on and the short stories set in the same universe. It is intended to a modern dialect of Ancient Atlantean, so I’ve taken some elements of scripts and languages from many world cultures and ancient civilizations and mixed it with my own ideas to “back engineer” a sort of world “mother tongue.” Or something like that. I’m not a linguist, so none of this is formal, but I still find this sort of project fun as well as intellectually stimulating. The language is called Kandalinga-na (of Kandalinga, which is the name of the “successor” of Atlantis in the world of the story).
I also try to reflect in the language and its expressions that it is of a culture that is alien to modern Westerners. For example, in the book silver is the most highly valued substance in the world because it is the only element that can’t be made artificially through transmutation, so “silver” is used in expressions related to happiness and value, and is a common name. There are also two words that mean “person”. One, “enna”, refers to an individual person. You would use this when talking about a specific person without saying their name. The other is “kan”, which means a person in general. You might use it when talking about what people do in general, or talking about a nationality of people. Using “kan” when talking about an individual person is highly offensive because it implies they have no identity or soul. The idea of the soul is important in Kandalinga-na. It is believed that the soul is made of a type of “energy” known as “ae”. Because of this, there are two words to indicate possession (of an object or other thing). One is “ki”, which is used to indicate possession of something outside of one’s body. The other, “aeşi”, refers to something “within ae”, within one’s self, such as beliefs or parts of one’s body.
Kandalinga-na has its own script to write it. It is supposed to look like a combination of various scripts used in ancient civilizations, such as Sumerian, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Chinese characters. It is a variant of an abjad, which is a consonant-based script. Most abjads forgo diacritical marks to indicate vowels, but Kandalinga-na uses them consistantly.
Here are some examples of Kandalinga-na:
Romanized: Aeşiti açan di Miya.
Literally: SoulWithin-me name yes/(is equal to) Miya (silver).
Translation: My name is Miya.
Romanized: Di. Eklu be miya.
Literally: Yes/(is equal to). State/(is-will-was)-good being silver.
Translation: All is well, has been well, and will be well (a blessing).
Romanized: Remitnien! Şimikit-imada!
Literally: With increased speed-now-like! Coming-now-enemies!
Translation: Quickly! Enemies are coming!
Romanized: Ekti mit-a.
Literally: ToBe-me future-from.
Translation: I am from the future.
Romanized: Onnoda-ti mişibeusit-kangenda.
Literally: Feet-me move in mouth past-zombies.
Translation: Zombies ate my feet.