Category talk:Natural languages

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I’m not quite satisfied with this category name but I stuck with it in deference to what seems to be existing convention (for example Taki Pona was mentioned in the meeting notes under the heading of “natural language”). This is important especially in a hackerspace, to differentiate these languages from, say, programming languages, like COBOL or C++. However, strictly speaking (and hackers are nothing if not precise) natural languages would exclude anyone who wants to start an Esperanto group at Noisebridge. I find this nomenclature problematic for the following reasons:

  • “Natural languages”: Excludes constructed languages, such as Interlingua, Láadan or Lojban
  • “Spoken languages”: Excludes signed languages and languages that may be only used for reading and writing, such as Latin
  • “Human languages”: Excludes conlangs purportedly for non-human communication, such as Sindarin, Na’vi, Klingon and Huttese

Some possibilities I also considered were communication languages (is the computer not being communicated with through a programming language, though?) and informal language (in contrast to “formal languages”). If anyone has any better suggestions that would encompass all the above-mentioned classes of languages, please mention it here. --Eric Vinyl