Some examples of loan words:
- Human names like "Paul" or "Bhavya".
- Proper nouns like "White House" or "United States".
- Using any word at all from the other language ("which" from English, "the", etc., even if the conlang doesn't have these words). Basically this might be like how we use
syntax highlighting(<- like that) to designate "code" when doing software documentation.
What I am wondering is what are the different ways you can "safely" import these words into another lang? Say you have the word
bin in your conlang, which is a taboo/swear word for example. Then when you import/use an Arabic name like
Aktham bin Sayfi, technically that might make an impression of the swear word, even though it would be used out of context. Then in English, we have the word "bin" (container), which when used in a conlang sentence like "I closed the bin" (
mea closa tha bin), where those first 3 words are theoretical conlang words and the bin is English, like saying "Give me back my perro" and we know that it is being used (Spanish perro).
What I was thinking of doing is wrapping each foreign/import word in an opening and closing sound, like
i-<word>-o or something. Then it would be like
i-barak-obama-o, but that seems like it would be a lot if you used multiple loan words one after the next.
Then there is the question of, do you change the pronunciation or use the native pronunciation? Sometimes you hear Spanish (Mexican) speakers say "I lived in Méheeko" rather than the regular "Mexico". But other times, like when we pronounce Arabic or Hebrew words like "Israel", we just say it with an American accent.
Or instead of adding affixes or manipulating pronunciation, you could come up with a completely new name (like Chinese does, which I think partially solves the problem of things meaning weird things, like I read with CocaCola initially was phonetically translated and meant something strange like "bite the wax tadpole", which they changed to be "happiness in the mouth").
But in my case, I have a conlang which only has words in these patterns (c = consonant, v = vowel):
There are about 500 cvc, 1000 ccvc and cvcc, and 100k cvcvc, 300k+ 6-sound. But maybe only 20k of those will be used. I am picking all the "good sounding" ones to be real words at first, and then the less-good sounding ones are left over. I don't want these necessarily to be used as names, they would be the least-pleasant sounding words. So I am not really sure how to handle generating the names. But you mix this with the problem of importing foreign words, and I might have "paul" mean "past tense" in the conlang, then you import "Paul" the name and it reads initially as "past tense", which is less than ideal.
So what are the techniques you can use to "safely" import foreign words (and do things like importing foreign names)? Figuring out how to name things within the language is a separate problem, but importing foreign "people" names and proper noun names just seems hard to do, and I'm not sure what a clean approach would be.