Why would one bother to learn a made-up language? Whenever I talk about constructed languages this question seems to come up. The most obvious reason is common to all (non-artistic) constructed languages: they have a smaller vocabulary and a more regular grammar, so they are all faster to learn and easier to use than any natural language. This actually helps you twice: first, because you gain a second language much faster than if you study a language far from your native tongue, and again, because going from language #2 to language #3 is much easier than going from language #1 to language #2. (Someone will substantiate me with that study of people who spent two years studying Spanish versus people who spent one year studying Esperanto and one year studying Spanish, who got further than the all-Spanish control group.)

Now, each of the constructed languages has a particular appeal:

  • Toki Pona has just 120 words. You can literally learn the whole thing in a week to a month.
  • Lojban is radically different from other languages and very precise, despite having a total vocabulary of about 2000 words. You can quickly learn enough to say quite complex things!
  • Interlingua can be comprehended by anyone who speaks a Romance language, even if they do not know Interlingua! It is probably the most actually useful of the languages on the list.
  • Esperanto has the largest community of any constructed language, with its own culture and media. Knowing it gives access to couches to sleep on in many countries across the world.

Learning any language is hard! But these are somewhat less hard.