That is, are there any such languages in use today that are in use for day to day activities, or are formally recognized, etc?

  • 4
    By definition, a constructed language can never be natural. Although, it is an interesting question as to if a conlang became widespread and started to evolve naturally, how would it be classified?
    – RothX
    Feb 7, 2018 at 2:52
  • 2
    As for becoming official, I'm pretty sure no conlangs are recognized by an official government, but Esperanto is pretty widespread, and there may be some communities where it is used in day to day life.
    – RothX
    Feb 7, 2018 at 2:54
  • 2
    I think that Esperanto is the closest that will ever come to happening. As for what to call such a language, I'd just call it a "naturalised invented language". In so far as it got its start as the creation of one man, it is now in the L1 minds of a few hundred and the L2 minds of thousands more. It has regional and temporal variance. It grows and changes the way any natural language does. By definition, yes, E-o did not start out as a natural language, but I see no reason why it can't graduate into one.
    – elemtilas
    Feb 15, 2018 at 0:32
  • 1
    Esperanto is the only artificial language I know of that has any native speakers. Feb 19, 2018 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


For varying definitions of "conlang", yes:

  1. The very most obvious example is Esperanto with a well-documented native speaker community. It has received limited official recognition, the most interesting of which currently seems to be PR of China's El Popola Ĉinio magazine and China Radio International in Esperanto. There are many more.
  2. A less obvious example would be Classical Sanskrit, which was, arguably, constructed by Pāṇini, and is a Scheduled Language of India with some fifty thousand people speaking it in 1991; it is furthermore an official language of the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and reportedly the language of the majority in a village called Mathoor. It is used across all levels of education across India.
  3. A more controversial example would be Modern Hebrew, one of the few successfully revived language in modern times. The page on Wikipedia gives a solid overview of the situation, and is fairly unbiased. Of the three mentioned here, Hebrew is arguably the most successful "graduated" language — if you consider it a conlang to begin with.
  • 1
    There are other successfully revived languages, for varying levels of success. Hebrew is the most widely spoken one of course.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 7, 2018 at 3:15
  • 1
    I'm not sure we can say "successfully" revived until they've healthily passed through at least a generation or two; Cornish and Manx are obvious examples. They've yet to graduate, but I consider them promising in all fairness.
    – Darkgamma
    Feb 7, 2018 at 3:16
  • 1
    Ahh, yeah that's a decent criterion.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 7, 2018 at 3:18
  • 2
    It could be argued that if Modern Hebrew is a conlang, then so is Bahasa Indonesia. There is a very fuzzy line between constructing a language and updating/standardising a group of existing languages/dialects into one language.
    – Pseudonym
    Feb 8, 2018 at 1:51

In addition to the examples given by Darkgamma, Damin, an extinct ritual "register" of Lardil and Yangkaal, which in the traditional mythology of the speakers is considered a conlang, and believed by linguists to have been invented by the elders of one of the tribes, was in addition to ritual contexts also used in day-to-day life between initiated members of the tribe.

  • 2
    How much of a full language Damin is is debatable...
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 15, 2018 at 11:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.