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History of Pandunia

The seed

Once upon a time there was a little boy called Risto. He grew up in a small village called Luohua, far from the hustle and bustle of the world. The small world around him spoke the same way and thought the same way.

He met people from other parts of the world only when he was fourteen years old after a reception centre for refugees had been opened nearby. Life with the newcomers wasn't always easy because the locals and the refugees practiced different cultures and spoke different languages.

The boy grew up to be a young man, and he moved to the city. He was surrounded by more and more people from different cultures. He studied in a crosscultural, English speaking study program, but he became disillusioned with the English language. It worked relatively well when it was written, but in spoken communication it was a source of confusion and misuderstandings.

In his youth globalization was the word of the day. He worked in the biggest and the most international company in his country. In his free time he studied languages from all over the world and he started also making his own languages. He got married with a woman from Shanghai. Their marriage ended after ten years and two children, but his love for foreign cultures and languages remained. He continued his life alone with his children for several years before he found the love of his life.

All this time languages were only a hobby for him, nothing more. Once he travelled to India in business and there he met an old, wise poet. "I would kill myself if I had to live like you," said the old poet. After the business trip the man spent many days at work staring at the wall. He realized that the way he had been going was a dead end.

The man left his job and started to study linguistics in a university. At the same time he decided to finish his language, Pandunia, and let it go out into the world. Maybe it would find a home also in the hearts of other people.

The ecosystem

Pandunia was formed in an inspiring environment. Risto, the initiator of Pandunia, worked and played together with other people who are interested in languages. He participated in forums like the AUXLANG mailing list and the Auxlangs bulletin board in Reddit.

He exchanged ideas with Florent Garet (creator of Luni), Jens Wilkinson (Neo Patwa), Dana Nutter (Sasxsek), Rex May (Ceqli), Steve Rice (Inlis), Dmitri Ivanov (Lingwa de Planeta), Olivier Simon (Sambahsa Mundialect), Zeinelabidin Elhassi (Ardano), Sonja Lang (Toki Pona) Arkadii Balandin, and Justin Kunimune only to mention a few.

Early buds

In the early years, Pandunia was Risto's personal language project. It was like play dough to him that could be shaped and reshaped again for experimenting new ideas.

Pandunia flag in 2007

He published the first sketch of Pandunia in 2007, but it was only in 2012 that other people learned Pandunia for the first time. Risto recorded a short video in Pandunia in 2013 to show what Pandunia sounded like then.

Pandunia flag in 2016

A few more people got interested about Pandunia in 2016, and the Pandunia community started to grow slowly. Pandunia got more known in 2017 when an article titled "Pandunia, a global contact language" was published in the Interlinguistica Tartuensis journal, and a chapter is dedicated for Pandunia in the book Keksittyjä kieliä (in Finnish) by Kauko Kämäräinen. One year later, Pandunia is mentioned in the Artificial Languages article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedias.

Risto recorded another short video in Pandunia in 2016 to show how the language had evolved. Alex André recorded a 30 day challenge to learn Pandunia in 2019.

Pandunia flag in 2018

Here are the creation years of the Wikipedia articles about Pandunia.