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Instructing ChatGPT to Communicate my Son’s Invented Language | by Ryszard Szopa | Apr, 2023

Instructing ChatGPT to Communicate my Son’s Invented Language | by Ryszard Szopa | Apr, 2023

2023-04-10 12:58:07

Once I was a child, I used to invent languages. I assumed myself slightly lonely on this pastime, however now I do know I used to be removed from alone. A really prolific language inventor was JRR Tolkien, the writer of The Lord of the Rings, whose languages deserve their own Wikipedia entry. There’s even a vibrant Web group of conlangers, as they’re referred to as (this article is nice in order for you an introduction). Nevertheless, my languages have been slightly easy, with unique vocabulary however grammar that mimicked Polish, Spanish, or English. I didn’t have entry to linguistic data, and I doubt anybody in my household may clarify to me what the phonetic alphabet was. Sadly, the notebooks the place I wrote down my languages have been misplaced a very long time in the past.

My 9 years outdated son, Rysio, has inherited the predilection for language creation. Nevertheless, he has the nice fortune of residing in a distinct period. Because of YouTube channels like NativLang and LangFocus, he has entry to a wealth of linguistic data, which he makes use of to create extra elaborate and inventive languages. His newest creation is Kłeti (pronounced “kwety”). His design objective is to create a language whose grammar wouldn’t mimic any languages he is aware of properly, like English or Polish. He additionally strived to make use of as many sounds as doable.

Rysio’s pursuits other than languages embody, amongst many issues, dinosaurs and lemurs (as you’ll be able to guess from this picture).

As a dad or mum, it may be just a little unsettling if you hear your baby making unusual noises with their mouth. At first, my spouse and I have been anxious that our son is perhaps having a stroke or another medical problem. However because it seems, he was simply working towards completely different sounds. He would classify them based mostly on whether or not they have been sounds for his language or simply beatboxing sounds. Whereas he doesn’t know how one can categorical most of those sounds within the phonetic alphabet, he remembers how one can reproduce them along with his mouth.

I completely love participating with my son’s creations. A part of me appears like I ought to turn out to be fluent in Kłeti as rapidly as doable. Nevertheless, the language could be very completely different from the Indo-European languages that I’m conversant in. For instance, Kłeti has a sentence construction that’s SOV (Topic-Object-Verb), whereas all of the languages I do know have a Topic-Verb-Object (SVO) sentence construction. Moreover, Kłeti makes use of particular connectors to hyperlink nouns, verbs, and adjectives collectively, once more: not a characteristic an Indo-European speaker could be conversant in. Moreover, Kłeti has a distinct strategy to forming questions, exhibiting possession, and indicating plurality. All of those variations could make it shocking and difficult for somebody with an Indo-European language background to be taught and use Kłeti.

However the challenges of studying Kłeti don’t finish there. My son designed a particular alphabet for the language. The romanization of Kłeti makes use of the Polish alphabet (which supplies you for instance the Ł within the identify, which is pronounced like [w]) additionally makes use of consonant clusters to specific unusual sounds, that are difficult to pronounce for me (or anybody besides my son). Moreover, Kłeti has a phrase boundary marker, (y)‘ng, which is inserted between phrases. Which means that a sentence in Kłeti might seem like this: hingadaa’ng’khuu’ngkilja’khłattama’khattama, which interprets to “A canine can run quick” in English.

An instance of Kłeti sentences written of their “native” alphabet.

Regardless of my son’s age-inappropriate spectacular linguistic data, correctly documenting Kłeti appeared to be past his present talents. In consequence, it appeared just like the language may solely exist in his creativeness, together with the glossary and a few instance sentences he put in a Google Doc.

However right here’s the factor: we’re residing in a time when issues that will have appeared like science fiction just some years in the past at the moment are at our fingertips. In April 2023, we determined to benefit from this truth by giving ChatGPT a run for its cash. As a day undertaking, we determined to show it Kłeti.

To get began, I took my son’s Google Doc and requested ChatGPT to wash it up and rewrite it utilizing a extra constant format. I didn’t wish to waste GPT 4 credit for such a easy job, so we opted for ChatGPT 3.5, which was greater than able to dealing with the job. In the intervening time, my son completed brushing his tooth (apparently he had forgotten about it within the morning) and joined me at my desk.

We fed his instance sentences and glossary to GPT 4 with the next immediate:

Right here’s a number of instance sentences in Kłeti, a brand new language:

Hey, I’m right here — kłakura,m’aenala’ngkil’ai’khy’ngo’kh
My identify is rick — m’eanalauu’ngt’ou’ngkilri’kho’ngo’kh
You could have a son — i’khm’aenala’ngkilforr’io’nguuy

A canine can run quick — hingadaa’ng’khuu’ngkilja’khłattama’khattama

Right here’s a glossary of Kłeti:

English Kłeti
whats up kłakura
bye ołarata
son forr’io
daughter forri’a
me m’eanala

buddy hahe

What are you able to inform me about this language?

(I eliminated most sentences and phrases within the curiosity of readability.)

GPT output the next:

Kłeti is a constructed language with distinctive options and vocabulary. Right here’s what we are able to deduce about its traits from the instance sentences and glossary offered:

Phrase order: Kłeti seems to comply with a Topic-Verb-Object (SVO) phrase order in its sentences, which has similarities to English and plenty of different languages.

Morphology: Kłeti appears to have a wealthy morphology with a number of affixes and particles to point tense, possession, and different grammatical options.

Tense markers: The language has particular markers for future and previous tense that connect to the verbs: ‘i-/a-’ for future tense and ‘e-/u-’ for previous tense.

Pronouns: Kłeti has distinct pronouns for individuals and animals, and it differentiates between he, she, and it based mostly on the gender or animacy of the referent.

Vocabulary: The language has a singular vocabulary, with particular phrases for colours, numbers, household relations, and extra. It additionally has a complete system for counting.

Possessive marker: The language makes use of a possessive marker ‘-uu’ to point possession.

Adjective-noun and noun-verb connectors: Kłeti makes use of (y)‘kh as an adjective-noun connector and (y)‘ng as a noun-verb connector.

Query formation: Kłeti makes use of particular markers like ‘kr’iu’ for true/false questions and ‘‘rcu’ for infinite selection questions.

General, Kłeti is an intriguing constructed language with its personal distinctive grammatical options and vocabulary. It demonstrates a well-thought-out construction, permitting for clear expression and communication.

Whereas that is spectacular, it isn’t fully appropriate. Happily, the perfect (and solely) Kłeti skilled was sitting subsequent to me, so we offered it some suggestions:

1. No, Kłeti has an SOV phrase order.

2. True.

3. True.

4. True.

5. True.

6. True.

7. (y)’kh is a noun-adjective connector or a verb-adverb connector. (y)‘ng is a sound that acts like an area, marking phrase boundaries.

8. You might be proper about ‘kr’iu’, however ‘‘rcu’ is a marker for infinite selection questions the place the reply will not be a quantity. ‘ch’iu is a marker for questions whose reply could be a quantity (akin to ‘how a lot?’ in English).

Basing on this suggestions, GPT generated a brand new, barely higher description of Kłeti. We repeated this a number of instances till we bought one thing that we felt good about. It was time for the primary actual take a look at — ask GPT to translate sentences from Kłeti.


Please try to translate the next sentences from Kłeti to English:





Based mostly on the offered Kłeti glossary and instance sentences, listed below are the translations of the given sentences:

Translation: Hey, I like Rick.

Translation: My form canine.

Translation: She (animal) likes it.

These have been mediocre outcomes (the translations have been stepping into the suitable route, however weren’t there but), however we didn’t quit. Our subsequent immediate was designed to provide suggestions and permit the mannequin to inform us what it must get higher:

In actual fact, these are the right translations. Are you able to please clarify why you have been mistaken?

Hey I’m Rick — kłakura, m’eanala’ngkilri’khy’ngo’kh
My canine is form — m’aenalauu’ngkilsamptra’khhingadaa’ngo’kh
She (the canine) is sensible — kil’au’khn’ia’ngo’kh

What sort of data would have allowed you to keep away from making these errors? I’m not taken with a revised rationalization, I need you to write down the textual content that I may give to an LLM along with different details about Kłeti in order that it wouldn’t repeat your errors.

Rysio with the type and sensible canine talked about within the Kłeti textual content.


I apologize for the wrong translations earlier. So as to keep away from making these errors, the next data could be useful to supply to an LLM:

Make it specific that ‘kil’ is a copula (like ‘is’ in English) and ‘ngo’kh’ is a particle that signifies liking or desire.

Make clear the excellence between the noun-adjective connector (y)’kh and the verb-adverb connector (y)’kh, in addition to the usage of (y)’ng as an area marker.

Present examples of sentences that embody the copula ‘kil’ and the particle ‘ngo’kh’ as an instance their utilization and place in sentences.

Emphasize the significance of understanding the SOV phrase order in Kłeti and its impression on translation.

By offering this extra data, the LLM could be higher geared up to keep away from the errors made within the earlier translations.

After a number of makes an attempt at bettering ChatGPT’s understanding of Kłeti this manner, we determined to attempt a barely completely different strategy. We gave ChatGPT the next immediate:

Please present a listing of English sentences whose translation could be adequate to supply you the knowledge from above.

ChatGPT 4 generated these sentences for us, and my son translated them. I additionally requested for some extra sentences for my son to translate that we’d be capable of use as take a look at information — to see how properly it was doing.

After a number of rounds of refining and testing, we have been lastly able to deal with the actual objective of the train: getting a immediate that will produce extra correct translations of Kłeti. However why do one thing so troublesome your self when you have got a useful assistant to do it for you?

Please summarize every little thing that you realize about Kłeti’s grammar in a single immediate that I may feed to ChatGPT in order that it could actually translate between Kłeti and English, with out making the errors you made. Don’t fear concerning the glossary, we’ll do this individually.

The primary end result contained a mistake, which we corrected. We requested GPT to supply examples for all the principles it was describing.

Kłeti is an SOV language with a singular grammatical construction. In Kłeti, nouns, verbs, and adjectives have to be related utilizing particular connectors. Use (y)’kh to attach a noun to an adjective (e.g., o’bbapla’kh’yepla: crimson toy) or a verb to an adverb (e.g., attama’khatik’io: rapidly fly). Use (y)‘ng as an area between phrases, marking phrase boundaries.

When forming questions, use ‘kr’iu’ for sure/no questions (e.g., kr’iu’ngimulimy’ngnam: is he consuming a sandwich?), ‘rcu’ for infinite selection questions the place the reply will not be a quantity (e.g., m’eanala’ng’rcu’ngunam: what did I eat?), and ‘ch’iu for questions whose reply could be a quantity (e.g., b’gha’khhomrina’nma’ng’ch’iu’ngliu: how a lot does this e-book value?).

To point out possession, use the possessor noun adopted by ‘uu’ after which the possessed noun (e.g., m’eanalauu’ngkilsamptra’khhingadaa’ngo’kh: my canine is form).

In Kłeti, adjectives come earlier than the noun they modify and are related by ‘kh’ (e.g., kilamy’khitu’ua’ngo’kh: the ocean is gorgeous).

See Also

To point plurality, repeat the noun (e.g., h’io’ngkiltri’ngkumrikumri’nguuy: he has three cats). Join the topic and the verb utilizing ‘ng’ (e.g., m’eanala’ngkilmit’ie’ngo’kh: I’m a scholar).

Use ‘ng’ to attach nouns with numbers (e.g., m’eanala’ngkiltri’ngkikali’ngo’kh: I’ve three birds).

For compound phrases, mix the foundation phrases with the suitable connectors (e.g., o’bbi’nki’khypoho’rca: blue costume).

To negate a verb, add ‘ikh’ as a prefix to it (e.g., ikhnaml’io’ngimulim: he doesn’t eat the sandwich).

When translating from Kłeti to English or vice versa, pay shut consideration to phrase order, connectors, and the particular guidelines for forming questions, possession, and negation.

Now we have been prepared for the second move.

Excited to see what ChatGPT may do with our new and improved immediate, we pasted the ultimate description from the primary move (alongside the glossary and instance sentences) right into a recent occasion of ChatGPT 4. We requested the mannequin to translate these sentences for us:

The ocean is gorgeous. I’ve a giant home. She is my sister. He has three cats. The hen is flying within the sky. My father likes espresso. I need a blue bicycle. She wants a brand new costume. How a lot does this e-book value? The flowers are colourful. The automotive is exterior the home. I’m your buddy.

The outcomes weren’t excellent. We gave the mannequin the right solutions, and requested it to evaluate how properly it was doing:

Listed here are the solutions. Please assess how properly you probably did. In the event you translation is appropriate, inform me so. If there’s a mistake, please present a speculation about why you made the error. Please present a rating (1 level for a totally appropriate translation, 0.5 level for {a partially} appropriate translation (lacking at most a letter or apostrophe), 0 factors for a botched translation).

The format needs to be as follows:


On the finish, say what number of factors did you get total.

The ocean is gorgeous. — kilamy’khitu’ua’ngo’kh
I’ve a giant home. — m’eanala’ngkilhu’gia’khlav’ier’nguuy
She is my sister. — h’ia’ngm’eanalauu’ngkilkin’ia’ngo’kh
He has three cats. — h’io’ngkiltri’ngkumrikumri’nguuy
The hen is flying within the sky. — kikali’ngbalau’ng’kha’cha’ngkilhakit’io
My father likes espresso. — m’eanalauu’ngparent’io’ngjaviny’ngyngo
I need a blue bicycle. — m’eanala’ngkilo’bbi’nki’khbikułkokułko’ngyngo
She wants a brand new costume. — h’ia’ngkilhala’khypoho’rca’ngo’tla
How a lot does this e-book value? — b’gha’khhomrina’nma’ng’ch’iu’ngliu
The flowers are colourful. — o’bbi’khahyahy’ngo’kh
The automotive is exterior the home. —vrumy’nglav’iery’ngi’khlav’ier’cha’khy’ngo’kh
I’m your buddy. — m’eanala’ngi’khm’eanalauu’ngkilhahe’ngo’kh

That is what the mannequin returned:

The ocean is gorgeous.
Proposed: itu’ua’ngkilam’khy’ngo’kh
Appropriate: kilamy’khitu’ua’ngo’kh
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I missed the adjective-noun connector and the phrase order.

I’ve a giant home.
Proposed: m’eanala’ngkilhug’ia’khlav’ier’nguuy
Appropriate: m’eanala’ngkilhu’gia’khlav’ier’nguuy
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I made a typo within the phrase “hug’ia”.

She is my sister.
Proposed: h’ia’ngm’eanalauu’ngkinkin’ia’ngo’kh
Appropriate: h’ia’ngm’eanalauu’ngkilkin’ia’ngo’kh
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I missed the noun-adjective connector ‘kil’.

He has three cats.
Proposed: h’io’ngkiltrikumrikumrikumri’nguuy
Appropriate: h’io’ngkiltri’ngkumrikumri’nguuy
Factors: 1
Speculation: N/A

The hen is flying within the sky.
Proposed: kikali’ngkilhakit’io’khbalau’ng’kh’cha’ngo’kh
Appropriate: kikali’ngbalau’ng’kha’cha’ngkilhakit’io
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I bought the phrase order unsuitable.

My father likes espresso.
Proposed: m’eanalauu’ngkılparant’io’ngjavin’ngbli
Appropriate: m’eanalauu’ngparent’io’ngjaviny’ngyngo
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I made a typo within the phrase “dad or mum’io” and missed a connector.

I need a blue bicycle.
Proposed: m’eanala’ngkilo’bbi’khbikułkokułko’ngrak
Appropriate: m’eanala’ngkilo’bbi’nki’khbikułkokułko’ngyngo
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I missed the compound phrase construction for the blue bicycle.

She wants a brand new costume.
Proposed: h’ia’ngkilhalaypoho’rca’ngrak’io
Appropriate: h’ia’ngkilhala’khypoho’rca’ngo’tla
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I missed the connectors and the phrase order.

How a lot does this e-book value?
Proposed: b’gha’khhomrina’nma’ng’ch’iu’ngliu
Appropriate: b’gha’khhomrina’nma’ng’ch’iu’ngliu
Factors: 1
Speculation: N/A

The flowers are colourful.
Proposed: ah’y’ngkilo’bbi’khy’ngo’kh
Appropriate: o’bbi’khahyahy’ngo’kh
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I missed the adjective-noun connector and the phrase order.

The automotive is exterior the home.
Proposed: vrum’ngkili’khlav’ier’ch’kh’ngo’kh
Appropriate: vrumy’nglav’iery’ngi’khlav’ier’cha’khy’ngo’kh
Factors: 0.5
Speculation: I missed some connectors and the phrase order.

I’m your buddy.
Proposed: m’eanala’ngi’khm’eanalauu’ngkilhahe’ngo’kh
Appropriate: m’eanala’ngi’khm’eanalauu’ngkilhahe’ngo’kh
Factors: 1
Speculation: N/A

Complete factors: 6.5 out of 12

Once I requested the mannequin to translate within the different route, the outcomes have been barely higher — nevertheless, we have been already drained, so we determined to complete the experiment at this level… and have dinner.

ChatGPT didn’t fairly be taught to translate from Kłeti to Enligsh (it saved making errors). In our slightly non-scientific take a look at, it scored a hair above 50% (6.5/12). Are we dissatisfied? Let’s put this into perspective. We gave the mannequin a very new invented language and no specific description. The language itself was designed with the objective of being complicated, and GPT wanted to extract many of the description of the language from a brilliant tiny parallel corpus (a handful of sentences, actually). It bought to the purpose the place it was in a position to do okay translatiosn in a single instructions, and virtually satisfactory translation within the different. All this in a lazy afternoon’s time work (assuming you have got a toddler who has already invented a language for you, in fact). That’s mindboglingly superb (no matter whether or not we’re speaking a couple of human being or a mannequin).

If I have been to repeat this train, there are some things I’d do in a different way. Most significantly, I’d be rather more rigorous about making a separate coaching and testing dataset. I’d ask ChatGPT to output its translations as JSON and write a fast Python script to judge its efficiency (I don’t fairly belief ChatGPT’s self-assessment). Nevertheless, once we began, I didn’t anticipate ChatGPT to carry out in addition to it did, so I didn’t really feel like investing an excessive amount of time within the preparations. Reside and be taught, I suppose. My son had already spent various time translating sentences between English and Kłeti, so I didn’t wish to make the method any extra tedious than it already was.

We’re nonetheless firstly of this path, and ChatGPT 4 was launched lower than a month in the past. We will solely anticipate that it’s going to proceed to enhance with time. I’m extremely excited concerning the prospects that this expertise opens up for us. Who is aware of what we’ll be capable of obtain sooner or later? Possibly we’ll be capable of talk to whales, as some researchers are at present exploring with synthetic intelligence. I can’t wait to see what the longer term holds.

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