Pig Latin (Igpay Atinlay) is a language spoken by few ethnic groups. There are no statistics on how many speak Pig Latin, although this may have to do with the fact that it isn't an official language of any state or recognized by the United Nations. Despite the lack of statistics, this heavily implies what I'm sure we are all suspecting-- that Pig Latin is spoken by very few people. This is quite the injustice! Pig Latin is a beautiful language that deserves more recognition and appreciation. The world, however, isn't often fair. Thus, Pig Latin is cast aside in favour of uglier languages like English and Tibetan. You're here, though, reading this book. That means there remains some hope on this planet!
Myths about Pig Latin
Before we get to the pork (cough-cough) of this book, I'd like to dispel some common myths about Pig Latin-- it's likely you believe at least one or two of them.
Myth: Pig Latin isn't a real language!
Rebuttal: OK, Dr. Language Gatekeeper, what's your criteria of "language?" People can communicate with it and information can easily be exchanged with it, both orally and written. Is that not enough?
Myth: Yea? Well, Pig Latin isn't a living language!
Rebuttal: The common definition of living language is "one that has at least one speaker for whom it is their first language." Does Pig Latin meet this criteria? Hell, I don't know. Maybe. I mean, can you prove that there isn't a native speaker, somewhere out there? I didn't think so.
Myth: Pig Latin is just a code for English!
Rebuttal: You're the kind of person that calls Portuguese "literally Spanish," aren't you? I can assure you, Pig Latin is not English. It is a language in it's own right, just like Portuguese is it's own language. I mean, does this look like English at all? "Igpay Ātinlay is otnay Engliŝay, isťay is rőtay."
Myth: Pig Latin is useless!
Rebuttal: False. You can use it to talk to other Pig Latin speakers.
Myth: Where are these other speakers?
Rebuttal: I don't know, but if you learnt it, there'd be one I could definitively point to.
Pig Latin speakers are quite shy, with the New Anglo ones being especially reserved-- it can be very hard to draw them out of their shells. One tried and true method, though, is teaching other people their language. Feeling validated from these learners, they slowly creep out to say, with wide grins, "Elohay!" Don't you want these poor souls to be more open with their feelings and true to themselves? Yes.
To help the poor New Anglo folks (of which are especially skittish), this book will focus on the New Anglo dialect of Pig Latin (Ewnay Angloway), which is the easiest for English speakers to learn. This is because New Anglo Pig Latin (NAPL) follows the same grammar and sentence structure as English-- most any English sentence can be translated word-for-word into NAPL very easily. The only real difficulty in learning NAPL is pronunciation and vocabulary, which this book will focus on.
Each lesson will be split up into three separate parts-- vocabulary, main concept, and exercises. The order will vary between chapter-to-chapter. In one, for instance, I might choose to throw (Main Concept -> Vocabulary -> Exercises), and the next I might throw (Exercises -> Vocabulary -> Main Concept), just to keep you on your toes.
When studying this book, I'd suggest using Anki SRS, an online/desktop/mobile flash-card program using spaced repetition, for easy studying of vocabulary. It's probably a good idea to make the flash-cards as you follow along with each lesson, also.
Always do the lesson's exercises. They are extremely useful for study, and can go quite far toward fluency.
As for the main concept of each chapter-- it'll suffice just to read it. If you understand the main concept, it's doubtful you'll forget it, outside of a few more complex instances. In these cases, you might want to make flash-cards or take notes. I won't tell you which main concepts are the more complex, note-worthy ones-- that is for you to decide yourself.
Learning New Anglo Pig Latin isn't an easy task, this is certain. Compared to other task such as, for instance, climbing a skyscraper, or, perhaps, fighting your enemies with only a dull wooden stick, learning Pig Latin doesn't seem too difficult. It really isn't. If you put forth some time and effort, you'll be a valuable and cherished member of the NAPL community in no time!
Welcome aboard, friend. Our destination? Fluency.
Full steam ahead!