More simple programming in Python: creating random sentences in Ido

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Learning basic programming in Python is coming along well, and just about everything I come across looks like it would be helpful for auxlangs. Today I wrote a very simple program to create random sentences in Ido. Set it to 20 for example and it gives us this:

Tu charmez.
Vi irgaloke konektus.
Me ne aceptas.
Ni absolute ne aceptus.
El adicionos.
Vi ne agnoskos.
Ni rapide ne adicionus.
El bone ne absorbis.
Vi ne ablaktis.
Vi ne kovrez.
Me ne asertos.
Ni chasez.
Ni pretendez.
Me ne absorbez.
El bone adicionas.
El ne demandus.
Ni ne charmos.
Ni ne konektos.
Ni agnoskus.
El preske kovrus.

To make this more complex it would be possible to take a look at some of the main types of sentences we see in Ido, such as:

Ka tu volas irar? <-- Q.P.V1.V2? (question.pronoun.verb1.verb2?)
Ido esas la maxim facila linguo en la mondo. <-- N.esar.S.A.N.L.(DA)N. (noun.esar.superlative+adjective+noun+location+la(or not la)noun

These could then be replaced randomly, so Ka tu volas irar could become Ka vu volas facar, and the second sentence could become Tu esas la minim bona persono en la skolo.

I came up with this simple program on the fly though while studying, so I haven't given much thought to the overall structure of a more complex program. It wouldn't have to be extremely complex though, because the sentences created are devoid of context, and would only be useful for new students who would be given a list of sample sentences to translate into another language as practice. A new student for example would receive a random ten, and then translate them. Then we would get:

Vi ne kombinis. --> You didn't combine.
Tu male abjurez. --> Abjure badly, you!
Il multe ne abandonis. --> He didn't abandon much.
Il ne charmas. --> He doesn't charm.
Il chasis. --> He chased.
Tu male charmas. --> You charm badly.
El irgaloke absorbos. --> She will absorb somewhere.
Ni pretendas. --> We pretend.
Vi irgaloke ne agnoskus. --> You wouldn't acknowledge somewhere.
Vi rapide ne fraudez. --> (You) don't cheat quickly!

So yes they're nonsense, but they also have right and wrong answers and thus serve a purpose in learning the language.

One other note: Ido is the easiest language to do this with. Esperanto has to take into account -n accusative and adjectival agreement, Interlingua and Occidental have some irregularities to take into account (Occidental fewer, but they're still there), and Lingua Franca Nova derivation isn't quite so precise. With Ido though you could take any verb and turn it into something else, like fotograf-ar --> fotograf-ajo, and lektar --> lekt-ajo. No surprise I suppose considering how much of a hand Couturat had in creating it.

Actually, Novial might work almost as well too, except for perhaps the -ione ending.

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