My latest silly writing diversion for my next novel was to use neural nets to generate names of people, places, and a few ships and schools in a fantasy world. I combined real-world languages as the input, using mostly lists of place and people names from Wikipedia that I cleaned up with regular expressions. Adjacent regions share one of their two input languages, so the generated words for places that are close-by sound similar, but have different character. (I might use more or less inputs for future places—my program can adapt to any number of input files that is great than 1!) I fed the input into text-generation neural nets, then had those nets generate a few thousand new words, and went through and cherry-picked names I liked off the lists. (I only had to use the first few dozen names from any given list, thankfully!) The code I used is here.

So here are the names I came up with. In two cases I changed the spelling of a world slightly, but otherwise these are hot off the neural net. Gaelic was involved, so I'll make notes where séimhiú should be pronounced/how I imagine the pronunciation if it's not obvious. (I might change the spellings to be more phonetic if anyone else ever reads this—personally I like the flavor added by séimhiú, but I know most readers will not know how to pronounce it! I make no promises about phonetic consistency...)

The first region, where the main character, Valentile, lives, is the kingdom (well, queendom) of Chellenagh in the country Calonheil. It's ruled by queen Sithmina and her queen-consort, Ausiar—these are Valentile's parents. Valentile has an eldest sister, Lanbhine (Lahn-veen), an elder sister Chalaith (Hah-leh, with the first “h” guttural). His much younger brother is Ecraiph, and his infant brother is Arrol. Arrol's wet nurse is Matemaith (Mah-teh-mah). Valentile also owns a sailboat, which is named Aphommon, Chellenagh for “lucky breeze” (I just made that up whole cloth, no etymology here!).

Chellenagh is a coastal kingdom bordering a sheltered sea, and there is another nation of people who live on rafts in the sea itself, called Almeredh (that last sound is a voiced “th”), meaning “Kissing the Ocean” (no etymology here either). The man who becomes Valentile's bodyguard is from Almeredh. His name is Gilleashar, but he's often called Shar as a nickname, which means “knife”. His father is known as “the bachelor”, but his given name is Aenzular. Shar's closest-in-age sister is Satris Saida (although she is already deceased at the start of the story). Shar was sent to school at the (j=y here) Martial-Monastic School in Najna, which is in Almeredh.

When Valentile and Gilleashar eventually get a larger ship they name it in Almer instead of Chellenagh's language. It's called Amtinan, Almer for “steady wind”.

His mother is from a different town on the coast of Almeredh, called Kaizeine (not part of Calonheil)—it's very well known for a monastic school for dancers run by a famous dancer, Agitia Kiea; the school is named after her.

I had so much fun making and picking all these names, and I love that I have namelists for new stuff ready to go, so I don't have to get all conlangy whenever I have to name something new! I can just pick from my lists of thousands of names!