Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fasol fafa sidosi-dola Solresol?

Why learn Solresol? Well, there is probably no practical reason to learn Solresol; it more than likely will not look impressive on a résumé/C.V. or help with business transactions like Spanish or Chinese or some other dominant world language would. Solresol also will not open up a whole new world of speakers to you, because, well, at this point, I don't think any monolingual Solresol-speakers exist. ;) But what studying Solresol can be is a fun hobby, an interesting and challenging linguistic exercise, a chance to discover a bit of history, and just a plain cool chance to philosophize on the relationship between language and music.

Why am I learning it? I have been a fan of languages for many years. I studied a couple of languages in school and read books about others on my own outside of classes. Oddly enough, there was a time when I would not touch a constructed language like Esperanto or Solresol...and I could not understand why anyone would. But then last year, while at a very low point in my life, I discovered Esperanto and subsequently studied it almost daily over the course of a year.

That experience changed my attitude and opened me up to constructed languages. I dabbled in Ido, which is like Esperanto's cousin, and then Toki Pona. However, I really wanted to find a language that started from square one, an a priori language where words were not drawn from other existing languages, but rather, were developed from scratch. Potential candidates I came across included Klingon, Kēlen, and Solresol. Most conlangs, which are unheard of by the mainstream public as it is, are a posteriori - Esperanto, Ido, the Tolkien languages, Sona, etc. Anyway, I have never really been a Star Trek fan, and this alongside Klingon's fairly complicated grammar caused me to cross it off the list. Kēlen is very pretty, and I did fancy it for a while, but its grammar is also very complex and was more than I wanted to take on at the time (although I may revisit it in the future). So Solresol's simplicity in comparison was a definite draw for me. Also there was the idea of a language being tied to musical notes, which seemed like a very original idea worthy of further investigation, even if I am not the most musically-inclined individual.

The other cool feature that drew me to the language was that Sudre/Gajewski had come up with various ways of expressing the language. Not only can Solresol be written in text, but because all the sounds correspond to musical notes, the words can be played as music with instruments. There is also a color scheme that can be used to express the language as well as hand gestures, numbers and other methods. All these options to express language opened up a world of possibilities I had not previously considered...and even now, these various modes of carrying a language are affecting how I view language in general.

So what are the goals of this blog? Firstly, the blog is meant to be a fun pastime for me in the midst of a bout of underemployment. Secondly, I hope this blog will help spread awareness of Sudre's book and help make the work more accessible (If you happen to have a copy of Langue Universelle Musicale, send me a copy! ;) ). Thirdly, I hope this blog can be a site where fans of the language can converge, share info, and give a second (or third or fourth...) wind to this incredibly unique language.

Initially, I just plan to write in English (maybe even French as well) about the language, discoveries I make while searching for more info on Solresol, and questions (there are oh-so-many questions) that have arisen during my studies of Solresol. Eventually, however, I want to blog just in Solresol...Let's see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. "I don't think any monolingual Solresol-speakers exist."

    Kio do, ĉu PLURlingvaj parolantoj de Solresol ekzistas?