I plan on having some ambiguity for stuff like wordplay (and to make the language feel natural). By efficient, I mean the language takes up little space on the document it is conveying information on.

The idea is the language would be "alien" or "magical" as I am planning on using this language I am making in my game for magical symbols. I plan on eventually adding a spoken equivalent of it later, but I am not concerned about that now. It is also going to be part of the lore of my game, so the naturalness of the language helps a lot (so it can have a history to it).

The wordplay can be used to have magical mishaps from using a similar, but wrong word. The last thing I plan on adding is since it is a magic based language, I only need to have one symbol per word.

The idea behind the grammatical structure would convey: Subject, Verb, Action. I would then use adjectives to modify the meaning of the subject, action, or verb. However, I don't know if I am going to include articles in the languages, but that depends on how I make the characters for the subjects, verbs, and actions.

This is not meant to be a romance language as its purpose is for use in spells and potion recipes.

I guess what I am asking for is how to make the language use grammar and structure that can be read and written efficiently. How would I make grammar and language structure that can be read and written efficiently?

  • If by "efficiency" you only mean least characters, then what sort of answer are you looking for other than "invent a logographic writing system"?
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 24, 2019 at 2:55
  • 1
    I assume by "Action" you mean "Object"? An action is usually expressed through the verb. Sep 24, 2019 at 6:40

1 Answer 1


First a in this form brand new fact from natural languages: All natural languages are of approximately the same efficiency despite their quite noticeable differences (some languages are spoken at a rather fast pace in syllables per second, but than the information content of a syllable is lower than in other languages that are spoken more slowly). The reference is Christophe Coupé, Yoon Oh, Dan Dediu, and François Pellegrino, Different languages, similar encoding efficiency: Comparable information rates across the human communicative niche and they give a value of 39 ± 5 bit/s.

So you can expect that a naturalistic constructed language will fall in about the same range; maybe somewhat less efficient, because it is difficult to get things just right by construction that have been optimised by language evolution over a long time.

For completely symbolic languages, look up the term pasigraphy and take a glimpse on some systems that have already been invented.

  • Pasigraphy is perfect for what I need. Looking at the example of Blissymbols for the sentence "I want to go to the cinema.", I can definitely see creating something like that for my language. Now, I just have to figure out how to use ligatures to add modifiers to my characters. :P Sep 25, 2019 at 5:29

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