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About Romániço

Предлагаемую брошюру читатель вѣроятно возьметъ въ руки съ недовѣріемъ, съ предвзятою мыслью, что ему будетъ предложена какая нибудь несбыточная утопія; я долженъ поэтому преж­де всего просить читателя отложить эту предвзятую мысль и отнестись серьезно и критически къ предлагаемому дѣлу.

The reader will doubtless take up this little work with an incredulous smile, supposing that he is about to peruse the impractical schemes of some good citizen of Utopia. I would, therefore, in the first place, beg of him to lay aside all prejudice, and treat seriously and critically the question brought before him.

Thus begins the preface to L.L. Zamenhof’s Unua Libro, as it’s come to be called, where the author first describes the international auxiliary language that bears his pseudonym: Esperanto.

Nearly a century after it was published, I became an avid Esperantist after learning of the language’s existence in the sci-fi novel To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer and later finding a copy of Concise Esperanto and English Dictionary by John C. Wells. My interest in the language lay primarily in its ingenuity — by reducing the components of language to a small group of invariable roots and rules, and using a mostly international vocabulary, Zamenhof created a language that was at once easy to learn and easy to use.

But not one without shortcomings. “I am not so conceited as to suppose that my language is so perfect as to be incapable of improvement,” Zamenhof concedes in Unua Libro. “I am but human; I may have erred, I may have committed unpardonable faults. I may even have omitted to give to my language the very thing most important to it.” What faults and omissions Esperanto has depend on who you ask, but for me, after years of using the language, those shortcomings became harder to ignore, and I began looking into other “conlangs” to see how the newer Esperantos compared with the old.

What I was looking for was something as familiar and predictable as possible, so as to require the least amount of time and effort to master it. This ruled out lexically eclectic Esperanto as well as a priori languages like Lojban and much mutated a posteriori languages like Volapük, whose lexicons are mostly indecipherable without extensive study:

La ŝlosilo de saĝeco estas scii la ĝustajn demandojn.

Kik sapa binom sevön verätik saks.

It also ruled out languages like Latine Sine Flexione and Interlingua, whose familiar, usually non-specific Romance appearance often comes at the expense of predictable morphology:

Le clave de sagessa es saper le correcte questiones.*
*where -essa is one of several suffixes indicating a state or quality, and question the unintuitive noun form of querer.

and languages like Ido, which has a more or less predictable morphology but whose Romance is specifically but arbitrarily either French, Italian, or Spanish:

La klefo di sajeso esas savar la justa questioni.*
*where klefo, saja, and savar are all from the French clef, sage, and savoir, instead of Latin clavis, sapiens, and sapere.

Not finding what I wanted, I began developing my own language with the following features in mind:

To these criteria I added a few quality-of-life features:

Thus was born Romanico, as I then called it, and by 1991 I had created a grammar and sizable dictionary for the new language. After a later adjustment to the orthography, it became Romániço:

“La clavo di sapientitio es saper la justa cuestionos.”

On this site, aspiring Románicists will find everything they need to start using Romániço today.

For quick random glances at what the language looks like, click on the site’s logo.

Questions? Ask Οὖτις!

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