Glosa is an artificial language intended for use among people with different native, cultural, or national languages. It is an auxiliary language and has no purpose of supplanting or replacing any other languages. Its purpose is only to be a common means of communication for people of different languages. Glosa has several distinguishing characteristics:

1) Its structure is very simple and based on semantics. It is an analytical language with no inflexions, genders, or diacritical marks. Glosa does have ways of forming plurals, tenses, questions, etc., similar to Chinese and Malay, which use a word for each idea -- these languages have no inflections. A small number of words handle grammatical relationships not otherwise provided for. Many Glosa words can serve as more than one part of speech as meaning and common sense allow.

2) Glosa words are based on Latin and Greek roots common to the chief Euro-languages; via science, technology, and medicine, these words are penetrating all languages. Although a larger vocabulary is available, a base vocabulary of between 1000 and 2000 words handles most situations.

3) Its pronunciation is simple and regular, and its spelling is phonetic.

4) Above all, Glosa is neutral. Because it is no one's own language, it is available to everyone without jealousy or resentment over the dominance of any one or a few national languages. Its use of Latin and Greek roots, many of which are already in widespread use, gives it internationality.

- From the Glosa Basic Reference, Copyright 1994, 1996 Glosa Education Organization

Glosa was based upon Interglossa, an international auxiliary language created by Lancelot Hogben in 1943. The roots of Interglossa can be found in an earlier and still available book titled The Loom of Language, edited by Hogben. Of particular interest is the section on auxiliary languages. Though Interglossa hadn't yet been revealed, Hogben's comments pro and con concerning auxiliary languages existing at that time outline a blueprint for its structure. Interglossa - A draft of an auxiliary for a democratic world order, being an attempt to apply semantic principles to language design appeared in 1943.

In my opinion, the primary distinguishing feature of Interglossa and Glosa is the analytic structure; few IALs have taken this route. Their heavy use of Greek roots is also unusual and pleasantly surprising. However, Interglossa also used many Latin roots, and Glosa added even more in a rather haphazard fashion, plus a few from English and Romance languages, resulting in many inconsistencies and confusions. I believe that Interglossa and Glosa would have gained a larger following if they had applied that analytic structure to words drawn in a regular fashion from only one source language. Alternatively, what if Glosa's structure were combined with Esperanto's vocabulary to form a kind of Analytical Esperanto?


The primary Glosa website is

Vocabulary Exercises, Wortschatz-Übung


The list has gone through several incarnations, beginning at as a mail forwarder in July 1997, then managed by ezmlm beginning in 1999. In 2003 it moved to Yahoo/glosalist. I maintained the list archives on my own website until the list moved to Yahoo. Since Yahoo archives messages, my archiving was no longer necessary. Those glosalist archives, covering the first and second incarnations (July 1997 through March 2003), now reside in the Yahoo/glosalist files area.

From: William W Patterson <ailanto>
To: glosalist
Subject: Re: [glosalist] GID in PDF
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 18:50:26 -0500

Je mardo, 1 aprilo 2003 00:41:50 +0200, Marcel skribis:

> ... (Hi Bill, I got 70 "notification
> mails" for that, one for each uploaded file, a service of Yahoo.)

Teehee, I was careful to *not* check the notify-everybody box, but I didn't know that it automagically notifies the list owner! Reasonable, I suppose, but really, I didn't mean to flood your mailbox!

I also downloaded a few of those files later to make sure they transferred okay; it was fun leafing through those old messages. I'd forgotten about some of Glosa's dictionary idiosyncracies, like lots of words for boggy, marshy, wet woodland places but no word for boots or socks or some kind of footwear (I forget which) that I thought would have been useful in such places. And I still suspect that a language which has a special word for "big breasts" (BUMASTA) must reveal some psychological insight about its creator! And then there was the "mad rabbi raging" phrase that has stuck in my mind ever since; perhaps due to a typo, or maybe a scanning error, RABI was defined by those three words in the original file; I decided that "rabbi" was meant to be "rabid", then it all made sense.

Saluta, salata, vale...

William W. Patterson



I worked on development of the Glosa dictionaries from 1997 through 2000 but no longer maintain them. For those who are interested in some historical information inre the development of these dictionaries, see my old dictionary pages. The latest and greatest dictionaries for English and German can be found at the Glosa Internet Dictionary page of the Glosa Website. And you can purchase the definitive print versions of Glosa dictionaries, and other materials, from the Glosa Education Organization.


Glosa Education Organization

Wendy Ashby
PO Box 18
Surrey TW9 1WD

registered charity number 298237

NSW Agent for Glosa

Robin Gaskell
P.O.Box 21
Cabramatta 2166 NSW

1997-09-16 gene krea, 2009-11-22 gene muta, ex Ailanto.