Vulgar generates a totally unique language every time you click Generate New Language. You’ll never generate the same language as anyone else! A great deal of research has gone into ensuring these languages are realistic, and that they mimic the ways real language work.
The Pro version of Vulgar generates 4000 unique words and matches them to English’s 4000 most common words. However, the list of English words has been slightly modified for a more fantasy fiction flavor, so most technological terms have been removed (‘internet’, ‘e-mail’).
Vulgar also simulates related words. For example, if the word for ‘investigate’ is kalar, then the word for ‘investigation’ will use kalar as a base and add an affix to it. So it could be something like kalarat.
Words in other languages rarely cover the exact same meaning as in English. A single word in one language may translate to multiple words in English. Vulgar simulates this too. For example, in every language:
- there is a 60% chance the word for ‘white’ is also the word for ‘blank’
- there is a 50% chance the word for ‘tongue’ also means ‘language’
- there is a 10% chance the word for ‘air’ is also the word for ‘wind’
- and hundreds of other possibilities!
Both the 2000 and 4000 word versions of Vulgar give you enough vocabulary to be able to talk about just about anything, and if the vocab doesn’t have a word that you need, you can add it in the custom settings!
Vulgar allows you to choose the phonemes (sounds) for your language, or it can choose them for you. The generator always chooses realistic phoneme inventories. For example, consonants like m, p, t, k and n are common across all languages, so they are more likely to be chosen than certain other sounds. And of course, the generator might choose sounds that don’t exist in English!
Next the generator makes rules about where consonants are allowed to appear. Perhaps it decides that ng cannot appear at the beginning of a word, like in English. Or perhaps it can, like in Vietnamese!
Phonemes never occur evenly throughout a language. Luckily, Vulgar accounts for this. The phonemes that are more common across languages, like the aforementioned m, p, t, k and n, also appear more frequently within the language, compared to rarer sounds like z or ng.
The grammar output of Vulgar draws on statistics from real world languages. Example: about 70% of world languages put the adjective after the noun, so Vulgar chooses this option 70% of the time. Much of this data comes the excellent research at World Atlas of Language Structures.
Wrapping your head around all the technical linguistic terms can be a little bit confusing, but learning about how languages can work is half the fun! Check out our glossary of linguistic terms if you need anything explained.
Vulgar doesn’t yet generate all the possible kinds of things that can occur in real languages, as the possibilities are extremely vast. However we are improving with every update!