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Neo (constructed language)

Created by Arturo Alfandari
Date 1961
Setting and usage International auxiliary language
Users "a small following"  (date missing)[1]
Sources Most of the vocabulary from Romance and some from Germanic languages; phonology from Romance and Slavic languages
Official status
Regulated by Akademio de Neo (now defunct)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 neu
Linguist list
Glottolog neoa1234[2]

Neo is an artificially constructed international auxiliary language created by Arturo Alfandari, a Belgian diplomat of Italian descent. The language combines features of Esperanto, Ido, Novial and Volapük. The root base of the language and grammar (in contrast to that of Esperanto and Ido) are closely related to that of the French language, with some English influences.


The first draft was published in 1937 by Arturo Alfandari but attracted wider attention in 1961 when Alfandari published his books Cours Pratique de Neo and The Rapid Method of Neo. The works included both brief and complete grammar, learning course of 44 lectures, translations of literary works (poetry and prose), original Neo literature, scientific and technical texts, idioms, detailed bidirectional French and English dictionaries. The total volume of the publications was 1304 pages, with dictionaries numbering some 75 000 words. Such a degree of details was unprecedented among constructed languages of the time.

The language stands in the tradition of international auxiliary languages such as Esperanto or Ido, with the same goal: a simple, neutral and easy to learn second language for everybody.

Neo attracted the interest of the circle around the International Language Review, a periodical for IAL proponents whose publishers co-founded the international Friends of Neo (Amikos de Neo) with Alfandari; the organization also published its bulletin, the Neo-bulten. For a few years it looked like Neo could be a serious competition to Esperanto and Interlingua.

As Alfandari's health worsened, to avoid disappearance of his language, he founded a second, more serious organization: the Academy of Neo (Akademio de Neo), with the task of regulating, nurturing and spreading the language; but the organization turned out to not to be very successful. Progress was cut short by Alfandari's death in 1969 and the language was mostly forgotten.[3]


Grammatically, the language is mostly influenced by Ido and Esperanto; but also, in some characteristics such as a plural -s and natural-appearing pronouns, by the naturalistic IALs like Interlingua and Occidental.

File:Rapid Method of Neo Cover.jpg
The cover of The Rapid Method of Neo

The way of forming of the vocabulary and the preference for short, monosyllabic words show a substantial Volapük influence but, unlike the latter's roots which are often changed and mutilated beyond recognition, the Neo roots are easily recognizable as Romance.

It is also notable for its terseness, which exceeds that of English or any International auxiliary language (IAL) of the a priori type, which makes it very compact and brief in expression, and for the facility of its grammar whose overview occupies only two pages.


The articles are invariable:

  • lo (the) : lo frato, lo soro, lo arbro --> l'arbro
  • un (a/an) : un arbro

Adjectives end in a and are invariable:

  • un bona soro, un bona frato, lo bona fratos (no s added to lo, nor to bona)

Adverbs end in e and are invariable:

  • bon --> bone

Singular nouns end in o, which can be dropped. Plural nouns end in os.

  • arbr(o), frat(o), sor(o), arbros

Pronouns (subject, object, possessive)

Translation Subject Object Possessive
I mi me ma
you tu te ta
he il le la
she el le la
(reflexive) so se sa
we nos ne na
you vu ve va
they (m.) zi ze za
they (f.) zel ze/zey za
  • Mi vidar te = I see you
  • Tu vidar me = You see me


 Present :               ar   --> mi vidar (I see)
 Past :                  ir   --> mi vidir (I saw/have seen)
 Future :                or   --> mi vidor (I will see)
 Conditional :           ur   --> mi vidur (I would see)
 Imperative/infinitive : i    --> vidi!    (See!)
 Past participle :       at   --> vidat    (adjective : vidata)  (Seen)
 Present participle :    ande --> vidante  (adjective : vidanta) (Seeing)
 Future participle :     inde --> vidinde  (adjective : vidinda) (Will be seen)


The Lord's Prayer:

Na Patro ki sar in cel,
siu ta nom santat.
Venu ta regno.
Siu fat ta vol,
asben in cel, as on ter.
Na shakida pan ne diu oje.
E ne pardonu na debos,
as nos pardonar na deberos.
E no ne induku in tentado,
mo ne fridu da mal.


Look before you leap. = Miru pri salti.
Goodnight, Miss Wilson. = Bonnox, Damel Wilson.
What do you call this in Neo? = Kom namar vu eto nee?
Where are you going? = Qo tu?
It's none of my business. = Eto no ma eco.


1 un, 2 du, 3 tre, 4 qar, 5 qin, 6 sit, 7 sep, 8 ot, 9 non, 10 is
11 isun, 12 isdu
20 duis, 21 duisun, ... 30 treis, 40 qaris
100 ek, 1000 mil
5184 qinmil ek otisqar
3522 tremil qinek duis du

Wanderer's Nightsong (German: Wanderers Nachtlied) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

The Task by Douglas Blacklock:

Lo diplomata linguos

Latin sir, us l'endo del issepa seklo, l'oficala linguo de diplomatio. Latine so redaktir lo tratalos e l'akordos e so skambir lo komunikos inte governos. Lo last gran tratal ridaktat latine sir lo de Westfalio, in 1648; depdan kauzel preeminenta plas trenat pe Franso, latin pokpoke cedar plas a fransal; e fransal restar us l'enso d'et seklo - us 1918 - lo diplomata linguo, lo linguo de tot internasyona medos.

Ab 1918, lo diplomata linguos jar du: fransal e anglal. In et du linguos, sir menat lo negosados pol Versailles-Tratal e pol osa paxtratalos de 1919 e sir ridaktat et tratalos, amba linguos fande fid; dok no sen inkonvenos, lo du textos pande somyes determeni def interpretazos.

Do 1945, espanal, rusal e cinal sir an admitat as oficala linguos. Nos nun nel epok de tradukeros e interpretos.

(Gino Buti)

Ka sor l'avena diplomata linguo?

Sar nel internasyona riunos, konferensos e kongresos, dey num pluar idide, ke lo neso d'un monda adlinguo se far senti pluste.

Nilo samtempe plu groteska e plu afligifa qam lo spekto ofrat pel kongresistos munat kon udokaskos, ki tentar, sen sem riusi, kapi lo diskorsos pronuncat in def lingos. Diskorsos tradukat aste pe interpretos, dey lo melestas sar force, konforme l'itala dikton: tradukeros, trazeros.

Es so exijur dal parpreneros lo kono d'un komuna adlinguo, ke zi pur apreni kon infana izeso, so fur ilke un enorma ekonomio de temp, dengo ... e de malkomprenos.

(Arturo Alfandari)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Neo". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Harlow, Don (2000). "How To Build A Language: Neo". The Esperanto Book. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 


External links