Among the relatively large set of artificial languages, how many can be considered to be "complete"? A language, in this context, would be called "complete" if it possessed all the expressive power natural languages do. Languages which were constructed for purely aesthetic reasons, such as Quenya, are not by any means complete, and certainly one could not have a conversation about an arbitrary topic in such a language. However, Esperanto, as far as I understand, is quite powerful in that sense. Vocabulary is limited, and so it cannot be used for poetry or any artistic ends in general, at least not so neatly as you could with any natural language, but it certainly can be used to speak about anything from a practical point of view.

My question is: Are there any other constructed languages as powerful and complete as Esperanto, or even some that have (potentially, at least) more expresive capabilities? What about other famous conlangs, such as Sona or Lojban? Are there comunities out there that use constructed languages for actually talking? (not just experimental conversations mostly centered in the language being used itself, but conversations about different topics; say, dinosaurs, or the english empire, or quantum mechanics, whatever... I would be shocked to learn that constructed languages can actually deal with topics such as those)

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    Esperanto cannot be used for poetry??? Shakespeare's plays, Homer's epics, Quran, lots of other poetic works have been successfully translated to Esperanto, not to say about the original Esperanto poetry.
    – Yellow Sky
    Dec 1, 2019 at 11:26
  • I am familiar with several Esperanto translations of classical works, and I have to say, they are far worse and poorer than the modern professional translations to natural languages. You can read Homer in english, or Shakespeare in spanish, and still enjoy a great piece of literature. But Shakespeare in Esperanto is just sheer butchering, although I can appreciate it as a very interesting and fun effort.
    – Qwertuy
    Dec 1, 2019 at 12:16
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    Vocabulary is not a problem for Esperanto -- or rather, no more of a problem than it is for learning any language. The real problem with Esperanto is that there is no speech community and culture associated with it, and thus the language can't evolve in any real way. Most Esperanto is written, for instance. And you can't learn it from a native speaker. Not all that much different from Sanskrit or Latin, except they have real literature and history and culture.
    – jlawler
    Dec 1, 2019 at 19:54
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    While this question is perfectly all right here, there is also Constructed Languages specifically dedicated to constructed languages of all kind Dec 2, 2019 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


There are some constructed languages with a vocabulary comprehensive enough to meet the criteria of the question

  1. For completeness, I repeat Esperanto here
  2. Ido, a fork of Esperanto. It retains a lot of the original Esperanto vocabulary with specific additions and changes in order to simplify the phonology.
  3. Interlingua (IALA), having a rich designed vocabulary and the additional ability to create new vocabulary based in six "control languages"
  4. Other Romance based conlangs may not have such a large designed vocabulary, but the given vocabulary can be extended by drawing from Romance languages, in the category fall (among others) Latino sine flexione, Interlingue/Occidental, and Novial
  5. Lojban There has been some significant translation activity into Lojban, equipping it with a rich vocabulary.
  6. Klingon Again, a lot of stuff has been translated into Klingon. I'm not sure about the existence of a scientific register, though.
  • Do you consider, though, that Esperanto or Lojban are powerful enough for artistic expression, not only experimental and playful, but actually worthy of attention as literature?
    – Qwertuy
    Dec 4, 2019 at 0:00
  • @Qwertuy: I am aware of original Esperanto literature that shows artistic expression (most famous: William Auld). I am not deeply immersed in the Lojban community, but I see no reasons that should prohibit artistic expression in Lojban as well. Dec 6, 2019 at 13:20

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