Monday, May 18, 2009


For Elder Van Dyke's mission, I knew that I'd need to send him somewhere similar to my mission because as I crafted his stories I'd be drawing a great deal from mine.

Ultimately, I decided to create a country for him, sticking it in the same region of the world as Slovenija (the country where I served). And so Laputania was created. By creating my own nation, I was able to make the rules up as I went. Say, I had some Halloween themed jokes I was itching to draw, no problem, Laputania--unlike Slovenija--just happens to celebrate Halloween.

My world-building had a limit, though. Unlike J.R.R. Tolkien, I wasn't about to create a new language for my new country. It just so happens that Laputanian is the exact same language as Slovenian.

(And if you want to learn it: the "J" makes a "Y" sound at the end of a word and is otherwise silent, the accent over the "C", "S", or "Z" translates to "Ch", "Sh", or "Zh".)


  1. Was the language you learned in the MTC the same language you spoke on your mission?

    I know I wasn't prepared to understand a word they spoke in Scotland. ;)

  2. Nothing like simplifying the Gospel. :) That made me laugh. :) I'm Natalie (Garr) Peterson's older sister, by the way. Thanks for brightening my Monday. :)

  3. Only a super-creative person would come up with "Laputania" as the name for their make-believe country. Creating your own language for that country would border on the obsessive side...which is why I skip the all of the songs in the Tolkien books.

  4. Arie Van De GraaffMay 18, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    Thanks for the nice comments. And welcome, Wendi.

    Jon, in answer to your question, in the MTC I learned Serbo-Croatian. I actually didn't know that I would be serving in Slovenija until I arrived at the mission home in Vienna. The missionaries I trained with in the MTC and myself had a possible three different countries we could serve in: Slovenija, Croatia, or Serbia. So teaching us the language of two of the three countries we'd be called to was probably quite prudent. Of course, us Slovene missionaries didn't appreciate it when we got to the field with a different language stuck in our head.

    Still, that couldn't possible be as frustrating as finding out you couldn't understand your native language, eh, Jon?

  5. I love seeing your posts from your mission since I saw so many while they were happening, but this one gave me a huge chuckle! Hvala!

  6. Arie,

    After watching Star Trek and Scrooge McDuck I thought I was all set to understand the Scottish Accent. As long as the folks in Glasgow talked slow I was fine, but it did take a while to really get the accent and the slang down.

  7. That's hilarious! I can totally see myself doing that! hahahaha!