Volapük ('World Language') was invented in 1879 by Johann Martin Schleyer, a German priest who lived in Baden. Schleyer claimed the idea for creating an international language was suggested to him by God in dream. His aim was to create a language which was 'capable of expressing thought with the greatest clearness and accuracy' (Sprague, 1888) and was easy for as many people as possible to learn.
Schleyer based the vocabulary of Volapük on English, German and Latin and tried to eliminate sounds that would difficult for speakers of other languages to pronounce. Few of the resulting words are easily recognisable to English, German or Latin speakers. Schleyer also tried to reduce words to one syllable, and devised a complex set of grammatical rules for his language - a Volapük verb can have over 500,000 forms!