Let’s make a language, part 17b: The body (Isian)

Isian speakers, as we have stated, are ordinary humans living on a slightly altered Earth. Thus, they have human bodies, human senses, and human needs. That makes things much easier for us conlangers, at the expense of being a bit less interesting. But we’ve already made that decision; it’s too late to turn back now.

Parts of the body

The Isian language has a lot of terms for the various parts of the human body, but we’ll only cover some of them here. Otherwise, this post would be far too long.

In Isian, the body is har. That could be any body, but it’s also specifically a human one. Bodies are covered in kirot “skin”, placed over nush “flesh” and colosi “bones”. Those bones make up the colohar “skeleton”, with its center at the caycha “backbone”.

One of the most important parts of the body is the head, gol. Not only does it hold most of the setes “senses”, but it’s also considered the center of the self in Isian philosophy. But that’s a different post entirely. From a physical standpoint, we can see the bisi “eyes”, nun “nose”, ula “mouth”, and pos “ears”. The mouth also contains the teeth (teni) and tongue (dogan), and the whole head is topped by pel “hair”. And, of course, the head also holds the brain, sayban.

Moving down, we see the if “neck”, which leads to the sinal. That word represents either the torso as a whole or just the chest, with dosar standing for the lower half. Two of the more important organs inside the sinal are the heart, sir, and the stomach, go.

Except for an unlucky few, Isians have two toni and two duli, “arms” and “legs”, respectively. At the end of each arm is a fesh “hand”, with four ilcas “fingers” and a dun “thumb”. The legs, on the other hand, have puscat “feet”, each with five chut “toes”.

Senses and perception

Isian speakers recognize the same five senses (setes) we do. They can chere “see”, mawa “hear”, cheche “taste”, nore “smell”, and shira “touch”. And each of these has a corresponding “abstract” noun representing the sense. For example, the sense of smell is norenas, and taste is chechenas.


The body can do many amazing things, and Isian has words for all of them, but we’ll only showcase a few here.

People have to hama “eat”, and that’s a verb we’ve encountered a few times in this series. They also like to jesa “drink”. We must hifa “breathe”, as well, but that one’s not as exciting.

When we’re sad, we might acho “cry”, and when we’re happy, we’ll shira “smile”. If we get tired (taprado), it’s time to deya “lie down” and then inama “sleep”. But we will ture “wake” the next morning.

And finally, we all liga “live”, but, as they say, all men must nayda “die”.

Word list

Here’s a full list of new words made for this part, including some that weren’t mentioned above, and the other “bodily” words that we met earlier on in the series. They’re mostly divided into the same categories as in the post.

Body parts
  • abdomen: dosar
  • arm: ton
  • back (rear): bes
  • blood: miroc
  • body: har
  • bone: colos
  • brain: sayban
  • chest (torso): sinal
  • ear: po(s)
  • elbow: copar
  • eye: bis
  • face: fayan
  • finger: ilca(s)
  • flesh: nush
  • forehead: golamat
  • foot: pusca
  • hair (single): pardel
  • hair (collective): pel (or pardelcat)
  • hand: fesh
  • head: gol
  • heart: sir
  • knee: gali
  • leg: dul
  • mouth: ula
  • muscle: wachad
  • neck: if
  • nose: nun
  • skeleton: colohar
  • skin: kirot
  • spine: caycha
  • stomach: go
  • sweat: wec
  • tear (drop): ger
  • thumb: dun
  • toe: chu
  • tongue: dogan
  • tooth: ten
Bodily terms
  • alive: ligado
  • awake: turedo
  • dead: naydo
  • dream: wish
  • fat: khol
  • sick: peg
  • skinny: jit
  • tired: taprado
  • to die: nayda
  • to kill: acla
  • to live: liga
  • to sleep: inama
  • to wake: ture
Bodily actions
  • to breathe: hifa
  • to catch: sokhe
  • to cry: acho
  • to dance: danteri
  • to drink: jesa
  • to eat: hama
  • to hold: otasi
  • to kick: kuga
  • to kiss: fusa
  • to laugh: eya
  • to lie (down): deya
  • to run: hota
  • to shout: heyde
  • to smile: shira
  • to sit: uba
  • to stand: ayba
  • to swim: sosho
  • to throw: bosa
  • to walk: coto
The senses
  • sense: sete(s)
  • smell: norenas
  • taste: chechenas
  • to feel: ilsi
  • to hear: mawa
  • to listen for: lamo
  • to look at: dachere
  • to see: chere
  • to smell: nore
  • to sniff: nisni
  • to taste: cheche
  • to touch: shira

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