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Created by: Edgar de Wahl (1922) 
Setting and usage: International auxiliary language
Total speakers:
Category (purpose): constructed language based on Indo-European languages
Language codes
ISO 639-1: ie
ISO 639-2: ile
ISO 639-3: ile

Template:Infobox Language/IPA notice

The language Occidental, later Interlingue, is a planned language created by the Balto-German naval officer and teacher Edgar de Wahl and published in 1922.

Occidental is devised with great care to ensure that many of its derived word forms reflect the similar forms common to a number of Western European languages. This was done through application of de Wahl's rule which is actually a small set of rules for converting verb infinitives into derived nouns and adjectives. The result is a language relatively easy to understand at first sight for individuals acquainted with several Western European languages. Coupled with a simplified grammar, this made Occidental exceptionally popular in Europe during the 15 years before World War II, and it is believed that it was at its height the fourth most popular planned language, after Volapük, Esperanto and perhaps Ido in order of appearance.

But some have believed that its intentional emphasis on European forms coupled with a Eurocentric philosophy espoused by several of its leading lights hindered its spread elsewhere.[1] Still, Occidental gained adherents in many nations including Asian nations. Before WWII it had grown to become the second largest international auxiliary language in numbers of adherents, after Esperanto. Esperantists at the time claimed Occidental had at least 2,000,000 adherents.[How to reference and link to summary or text] Also, a majority of Ido adherents took up Occidental in place of Ido.[2]

Occidental survived World War II, undergoing a name change to Interlingue, but gradually faded into insignificance following the appearance of a competing naturalistic project, Interlingua, in the early 1950s. However, today with the emergence of the Internet, Occidental is once again increasing in popularity.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

Alphabet and pronunciation Edit

The alphabet of Occidental is:

A(a), B(be), C(ce), D(de), E(e), F(ef), G(ge), H(ha), I(i), J(jot), K(ka), L(el), M(em), N(en), O(o), P(pe), Q(qu), R(er), S(es), T(te), U(u), V(ve), W(duplic ve), X(ix), Y(ypsilon), Z(zet)


  • a: like father. IPA: /a/
  • c: before e, i, y it is ts, otherwise k. IPA: /t͡s/ & /k/ respectively
  • cc: before e, i, y it is kt͡s, otherwise geminated k. IPA: /kt͡s/ & /k/ respectively
  • ch: like English sh; ch in church is also permitted but not preferred. IPA: /ʃ/ & /t͡ʃ/ respectively
  • g: like English j before e, i, y, otherwise it's hard. IPA: /d͡ʒ/ & /ɡ/ respectively
  • gg: like English j before e, i, y , otherwise a geminated g. IPA: /d͡ʒ/ & /ɡ/ respectively
  • gu: before vowels gw, otherwise gu. IPA: /ɡw/ & /ɡu/ respectively
  • j: just like English. IPA: /d͡ʒ/
  • ni: before vowels like Spanish ñ, otherwise ni. IPA: /ɲ/ & /ni/ respectively
  • ph: f
  • qu: same as English. IPA: /kw/
  • s: between vowels z, otherwise s. IPA: /z/ & /s/ respectively
  • sh: English sh. IPA: /ʃ/
  • sch: English sh. IPA: /ʃ/
  • t: plus i and another vowel, it is like s (Such as in French), otherwise t. IPA: /sj*/ & /t/ respectively
  • th: same as English. IPA: /θ/
  • w: same as English. IPA: /w/
  • y: same as English. IPA: /j/
  • zz: tts. IPA: /ts/

Example textsEdit

Li material civilisation, li scientie, e mem li arte unifica se plu e plu. Li cultivat europano senti se quasi in hem in omni landes queles have europan civilisation, it es, plu e plu, in li tot munde. Hodie presc omni states guerrea per li sam armes. Sin cessa li medies de intercommunication ameliora se, e in consecuentie de to li terra sembla diminuer se. Un Parisano es nu plu proxim a un angleso o a un germano quam il esset ante cent annus a un paisano frances.

Material civilization, science, and even art unify themselves more and more. The educated European feels himself almost at home in all lands that have European civilization, that is, more and more, in the entire world. Today almost all states war with the same armaments. Without pause the modes of intercommunication improve, and in consequence from that the world seems to decrease. A Parisian is now closer to an Englishman or a German than he was a hundred years before to a French person from the country.

Li Patre nor, the Lord's Prayer, in Interlingue (ex Occidental):

Patre nor, qui es in li cieles.
Mey tui nómine esser sanctificat,
mey tui regnia venir.
Mey tui vole esser fat
qualmen in li cieles talmen anc sur li terre.
Da nos hodie nor pan omnidial,
e pardona nor débites,
qualmen anc noi pardona nor debitores.
E ne inducte nos in tentation,
ma libera nos de lu mal.

See alsoEdit


  1. Harlow, Don. The Esperanto Book, chapter 3: "How to Build a Language".
  2. Cosmoglotta, October 1928, Num. 53(10), p. 142, 149-152, Ido-Congress in Zürich.

External linksEdit

Template:Constructed languages

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