Category Archives: Mizuyu (en)

Mizugana – Writing Mizuyu with Kana and Hangul

Last week, I introduced Mizuyu, my latest conlang. While its native script would consist of slightly modified Chinese characters and a native syllabary, it is possible to replace that syllabary with a mix of Katakana and Hiragana (Japanese moraic scripts collectively known as Kana).

As the phonologies of the Mizuyu varieties which may use Kana (Northern, Southern and Classical) and Japanese differ, these scripts had to be adapted. One of the most important changes is that while there is a Hiragana and a Katakana character for each syllable in Japanese (using one or another depends on factors other than pronunciation), they stand for different sounds in Mizuyu. For example, り (Hiragana ri) stands for li in Northern Mizuyu while リ (the same syllable in Katakana) becomes ri (a different Mizuyu syllable).

On the other hand, Damlé Mýný (another Mizuyu dialect which may be considered a language on its own) employs Hangul instead of the Kana. A number of modifications were also necessary to adapt this Korean alphabet to Swams (another name for Damlé Mýný).

Image #1 show Kana characters used for Classical Mizuyu (Misuŋyu Gäden):

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Water Languages

水語, the name of the conlang in Chinese characters

One of the most interesting things about Avatar (the American animated TV series) is its deeply developed world with complex cultures. I have had the idea of constructing a language inspired somehow by the show for months but I hadn’t begun to work on it until a few days ago. It is called Mizuyu (in its most spoken variety).

Of course, I am not associated with Avatar; The Last Airbender‘s creators (which, if I’m not wrong, are a branch of Nickelodeon Animation Studios), nor I claim any rights about anything of the series (such as names, etc). This project was just inspired by it (though the conlang may not be very faithful to some aspects of the series). There may be minor spoilers in this post, but nothing important will be said.

The only language spoken in the series is English (or whatever language it was dubbed into), which is quite a logical choice by the creators (otherwise the audience wouldn’t be able to understand much of the plot :P), but every single piece of text is written in Chinese, consistent with the Eastern-ish setting of the series.

Even though there are four nations (one for each element: Earth, Fire, Air and Water), it is implied that they share a language (people from one part of the world seem to have little if any problems to understand people from other continents, for example). The existence of different languages is not even mentioned. However. names do seem to vary from a nation to another. Sokka, for example, was easily recognized as a Water Tribes’ name by Fire Nation people.

I considered an alternative rendition of that word where different languages do exist (along a common language which would be Chinese, as in the written texts in the show). My conlang, as it can be inferred from the tittle, would be the language of my favorite nation on the series: the Water Tribes.

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