Although I have never completed a fully functioning language, I have worked on conlangs of my own. I have studied Korean, Japanese, Spanish, English, Latin, Mandarin Chinese grammars, and I looked at many conlangs such as Ithkuil and Esperanto.
What I have realized from studying languages and studying conlanging is that conlanging is a very minor and almost esoteric hobby that very few people enjoy. Conlanging requires a lot of time and effort because language is a tool that attempts to cover every aspect of human thinking, which it does quite well (better than any other tool available now). It is rewarding to create a language of your own. Or to create a language so exotic and weird that you yourself have a hard time grasping (like Ithkuil). However, it still remains a hobby for very few people because language does not really work when you have only one or two people interested in learning it.
Language required a community of human users, and conlangers can't usually get a community of speakers. For most of us, language learning is a daunting task and even those who dare to learn a new language usually chooses some "useful" language. One in which you can read interesting books. One in which you can watch a movie, enjoy a song, enjoy a poetry, etc. However, conlangs usually lack culture. Thus, to most people, conlangs are not worth learning. And that is the fundamental hindrance to creating your own language.
As I worked on my conlangs, I wanted a community of speakers of my conlangs. But who would learn a language that nobody uses? As of now, conlanging is like producing bullets when there are no guns around.
As a very futuristic and idealistic solution, I have looked at artificial intelligence.
To have a computer speak a human language we need to make an AI as smart as humans (this means that an English-speaking robot is an AI-complete problem).
But I really wanted a community of beings speaking my conlang. Wouldn't it be fun to watch intelligent agents having conversations in the language of your own creation?
That is why I have decided to become an AI researcher and to do that I gonna be majoring in computer science.
Quite a unique reason to study CS, but I don't think CS is the only way to help develop AI. Neuroscience, scanning technology, computer hardware component research will all have to combine to achieve such a great feat.
So, as of now, my conlanging is on hold as I try to make beings that will speak my conlangs.
대부분의 사람들이 그러하듯이 나 또한 미루는 것을 밥먹듯이 한다. 어쩌면 삼시세끼보다 미루는 것을 더 자주할지도.
미룰 수 있다는 것은 미래가 있다는 것. 이 글을 읽고 있는 당신도, 이 글을 쓰고 있는 나도. 얼마나 긴 미래인지는 모두 다르겠지만 지금 이 순간의 귀찮고 하기 싫은 잃들을 미룰 미래가 있다.
하지만 꼭 하기 싫은 잃들만을 미루는 것은 아니다. 옛날부터 가고 싶었던 여행, 옛날부터 해보고 싶었던 여러가지 일들, 옛날부터 마음 속에 깊이 묻어두었던 하고 싶었던 일들. 그런 것들도 우리는 미룬다.
하지만 지금 이 순간에 미룬다는 것은 얼마나 길지 모를 그 알 수 없는 미래라는 존재에게 자신이 하고자 했던 일들을 미룬다는 것이다.
하고 싶지 않은 일을 미뤄도 되겠지만 하고 싶었던 일들을 어쩌겠는가. 미래를 위해 현재를 희생하는 것도 필요하다. 하지만 미래는 언제나 알 수 없기에, 현재에 그 동안 생각해놓았던 일들을 현재라는 확신성에 맞겨 해보는 것을 어떨까.
Jin Woo Won
An undergrad at Columbia University, studying Computer Science and in particular artificial intelligence.