16 March 2016

word: xazma

xazma : rain : not inspired by words in other languages; the first part of xazma is onomatopoeia of a moderate summer rain-shower falling on the tile roofs and cobblestone roads of some subtropical village that exists only in the imagination; I don't know where the -ma ending came from

14 March 2016

word : xarmo

xarmo : automobile, car : a blend of Canadian French char and the mo- from words like English motorcar, Tamil mōṭṭār, Swahili motokaa etc.

12 March 2016

word: xanta

xanta : Monday : a combination of xanda and denta

10 March 2016

word : zonta

zonta : Sunday : a fusion of zonzu and denta, it coincidentally sounds vaguely similar to German Sonntag

08 March 2016

word: vezda

vezda : star : inspired by Czech hvězda, Bulgarian zvezdá,  Russian zvezda, Lithuanian žvaigždė

06 March 2016

word: luxni

luxni : light (visible energy) : inspiured by Spanish luz, Italian luce, Hindi raušnī … another one of the few non-adjectives ending with i

04 March 2016

word: bodru

bodru : tree : synthesized from Dutch boom, Spanish árbol, Albanian dru, Greek dendro

02 March 2016

word: bidza

bidza : pizza : from English pizza /pitsə/, Arabic bitzā

29 February 2016

word: xadra

xadra : chess : inspired by Georgian čadraki, Portugese xadrez, Persian šatranj

27 February 2016

word: steno

steno : shorthand writing, stenography : inspired by English stenography, related to French sténographie, German Stenographie, etc.

25 February 2016

word: dribe

dribe : to drink : from English drink, Dutch drinken, Romanian bea, Spanish beber

23 February 2016

word: manje

manje : eat : Haitian Creole manje, Italian mangiare

21 February 2016

word: valbi

valbi : white : Estonian valge, Finnish valkoinen, Romanian alb, Latin albus … you can use English albino to help you remember the -albi part

19 February 2016

word: grizi

grizi : gray : Maltese griż, French gris, Afrikaans grys

17 February 2016

word: musti

musti : black : derived from Finnish musta, Estonian must

15 February 2016

syntax of the Zango language

Zango is essentially an isolating language.

Known tendencies in Zango syntax:

SOV in formal usage; flexible in poetry and in short, casual statements

• demonstratives, possessives and adjectives come before the nouns they modify

• a name precedes a title or honorific

Likely (but not guaranteed) future developments:

postpositions rather than prepositions

• relative clauses precede the nouns to which they refer

• subordinators appear at the end of subordinate clauses

13 February 2016

word: teksi

teksi : taxi : from the globally widespread word taxi … This is one of the few non-adjectives ending with i … I used e instead of a as the first vowel partly because I did not want to make a written word that would be instantly recognizable.

11 February 2016

word: ne

ne is a sentence-final particle used when the speaker is seeking the listener’s agreement or seeking to soften a statement, similar to English expressions such as “isn’t it” or “wouldn’t you say.” Obviously borrowed from Japanese.

09 February 2016

word: jarna

jarna : day (as opposed to night) : vaguely inspired by Italian giorno, massaged to fit Zango’s sound patterns; the 2nd and 3rd letters in a 5-letter word can be ar but er, ir, or, and ur are avoided. (Doubling the duration of the a rather than pronouncing the r is an acceptable variant pronunciation of ar.)

07 February 2016

word: denta

denta : day (24-hour period, rather than sunlit period) : Bulgarian & Czech den, German Tag

05 February 2016

word: xanda

xanda : the moon : inspired by Pali canda, Urdu čānd, Sanskrit and Hindi chandra

03 February 2016

word: denxu

denxu : diary : fusion of denta (day) + honxu (book)

01 February 2016

word: grafe

grafe : to write : derived from Greek gráfo

31 January 2016

summary of words documented in January

ma (I), man (my), zan (this), ka (sentence-ending interrogative particle)

dobri (good), sleki (bad)

lengo (language), zango (Zango), honxu (book), stilo (pen), kundo (physical exercise)

lindu (bird), libli (butterfly), bambu (bamboo), zonzu (sun), sabro (morning)

possible sentence: zan honxu dobri ka. Is this book good?

30 January 2016

voiced vs. voiceless consonants

For a few years I toyed with the idea of only using voiced consonants in Zango.

Later I considered using voiceless consonants only for harsh or unpleasant concepts. Thus “pizza,” being one of the most pleasant concepts in the universe, became bidza (voiced consonants) in Zango.

I have abandoned the idea of using voicing, or lack thereof, to indicate (un)pleasantness, but a few remnants of that experiment still linger in the lexicon.

28 January 2016

word: kundo

kundo : working out, doing physical exercise : Finnish kuntoilu, Japanese undō

26 January 2016

word: libli

libli : butterfly : inspired by Estonian liblikas, Tamazight iblilli

24 January 2016

word: bambu

bambu : bamboo : inspired by words in a large number of languages such as German Bambus, Russian bambúk, Greek bampoú

22 January 2016

word: stilo

stilo : pen, writing utensil : inspired by Greek styló and Romanian stilou

20 January 2016

word: ka

ka is a sentence-final particle; adding ka turns a declarative sentence into a question; it is obviously borrowed from Japanese. It’s not clear if Zango will adopt any of the other uses of ka which occur in Japanese.

18 January 2016

word: sleki

sleki : bad : derived from Latvian slikts, German schlecht, Dutch slecht

16 January 2016

word: lindu

lindu : bird : from Estonian lind, Finnish lintu

15 January 2016

words: ma, man

ma : I, me : ostensibly from Nepali ma, also inspired by my feeling that using mi as a first person pronoun is too common

man : my

There may be some sort of pattern among zan and man, perhaps demonstratives and possessive pronouns are going to be CVC words ending with n.

14 January 2016

word: zonzu

zonzu : the sun : inspired by Dutch zon, German Sonne, Croatian sunce, Hindi sūrya

12 January 2016

11 January 2016

word: dobri

dobri : good : inspired by Czech dobrý, Polish dobry, Ukrainian dóbryj

10 January 2016

in Esperanto, a brief explanation

Zango estas negrava lingvo konstruata sur bazo de 5-leteraj substantivoj kaj verboj. L’ aŭtoro gvidas l’ evolucion laŭ prefero kaj kaprico. La vortprovizo kaj gramatiko enhavas fragmentojn de multaj lingvoj de l’ mondo.


dobri – bona 
sabro – mateno
sleki – malbona
lengo – lingvo
xanda – luno (x = ŝ)
zonzu – suno
grafe – skribi
stilo – skribilo

09 January 2016

quinqueliteral word structure

The five-letter words in Zango have the vowels and consonants arranged in a CVCCV or CCVCV pattern. This is not the first time I’ve used sonic word-shape as the basis for a vocabulary; Vorlin was based on CVC(VC(VC)) nouns.

08 January 2016

word: sabro

sabro : morning : the first part of sabro is inspired by Japanese asa, Turkish sabah, the latter part by Greek proí, Russian útro

06 January 2016

word: zango

zango : Zango (the name of this language) : a portmanteau of “zan lengo”

04 January 2016


There are patterns among the final letters of the 5-letter words. Most nouns end with a or o, most verbs end with e, most adjectives end with i. There are a few exceptions to these patterns for various reasons.

03 January 2016

word: zan

zan : this, these : not related to equivalent words in other languages

02 January 2016

word: lengo

lengo : language (the system of vocal or written communication used by a particular community or country) : inspired by Papiamentu lenga, Occitan lenga, Japanese gengo

01 January 2016


the alphabet and phonemes of Zango

Latin alphabet, lower-case only, standard alphabetical sorting (a to z).

b, p, d, t, g, k : About what you’d expect. The voiced ones are not aspirated; the voiceless ones can be aspirated or not, it doesn’t matter.

f, v, l, m, n, s, z : Exactly as they should be.

h, w, y : Only occur at the beginning of a syllable. y = IPA [j]

j : ʒ or ʤ
x : ʃ
r : r, ɹ, ʀ – whatever the speaker is comfortable using

a, e, i, o, u : Ideally like IPA [a, e, i, o, u]. But if a speaker uses ɑ for a, ɛ for e, or ɯ for u, no harm is done.

The diphthong ai is used in a few grammatical particles.