Esperanto was once used in the US army to realistically simulate the language situation when training. Has any nation ever employed other constructed languages in the military as code talkers?

From Wikipedia article:

Code talkers are people in the 20th century who used obscure languages as a means of secret communication during wartime. The term is now usually associated with the United States service members during the world wars who used their knowledge of Native American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages. In particular, there were approximately 400–500 Native Americans in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service improved the speed of encryption of communications at both ends in front line operations during World War II.

  • 2
    Was Esperanto used by code talkers? That seems counter productive seeing as it was explicitly intended to be used by people from all around the world! – curiousdannii Mar 3 at 6:35
  • 1
    I think he means that Esperanto is not a code talker but a language that can be used as additional means of communication in the army, very much like a code talker. – Duncan Whyte Mar 3 at 11:14
  • 1
    Never mind—as I read here, they actually did as a training. During the first Universal Congress of Esperanto, they defined esperantisto as: "An Esperantist is every person who uses the Esperanto language completely irregardless of their reason. An Esperantist is not only someone who dreams of uniting humanity under Esperanto, ... An Esperantist is even someone who uses Esperanto for the most evil and lowly ways." – Duncan Whyte Mar 3 at 18:21
  • The Wikipedia article doesn't mention Esperanto and the article @DuncanWhyte provided is on an Esperanto Language Blog. Are there any more reputable sources regarding Esperanto's use for code-talking in the military? – Sparksbet Mar 4 at 3:44
  • 1
    @DuncanWhyte Both sites cite Esperanto as used for the enemy in fictional war games, not for code-talking. Re-reading the question, it seems like it says pretty much the same thing (although that may have been introduced by your edit?) – Sparksbet Mar 5 at 7:02
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Israeli military uses a relexification of Hebrew called "NADBAR", according to Conlang Wikibooks†. A relexification of a language remains the grammar (by definition) and writing system (in practice) but gains new words. Your first (semi-)conlang was probably a relexification of English or another language.

Many languages used in the military are not immediately conlangs; rather, they fall into the dome of cryptology and cryptography. Quote:

Some use the terms cryptography and cryptology interchangeably in English, while others (including US military practice generally) use cryptography to refer specifically to the use and practice of cryptographic techniques and cryptology to refer to the combined study of cryptography and cryptanalysis.

The military also uses (forms of) signed languages. Here are some common signals:

Common army signals (link instead of image, for image is too big and distracting)


†Note: (from comment by b a):

According to Hebrew Wikipedia, "Contrary to the popular notion, the goal of Nadbar is not concealing information" (so not really cryptography) See the corresponding English Wikipedia page for its use in the US military.

  • 1
    Note that I could not find much information on NADBAR. Also, said signed languages are not what many of us would count as a conlang because as I said, they fall into the dome of cryptology and cryptography, too. – Duncan Whyte Mar 3 at 11:11
  • 1
    According to Hebrew Wikipedia, "Contrary to the popular notion, the goal of Nadbar is not concealing information" (so not really cryptography) See the corresponding English Wikipedia page for its use in the US military. – b a Mar 3 at 17:38

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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