User:Super Quantum immortal/Future of language

(fix the formating latter)

1.0 Intro edit

language evolution follow certain rules. The study of these rules, is usually done in order to study the past. Here however, we going to attempt to extrapolate in to the future.

2.0 Oral edit

(this is a very standard extrapolation, here for completeness)

Multiple languages, can only develop and get maintained in the long run, if theres a physical separation of some sort. This way there speakers don't hinder each other. When 2 languages meet, for various reasons, they either merge(creole) or 1 exterminates the other(English/Irish), resistance is futile. This is a consequence, of the not well known fact, that even for children learning languages is difficult. If they think they can, they will ignore all but 1 of the languages they are exposed too. In the other direction, if speakers of a single language get physically separated for enough time, they will evolve 2 distinct languages, Latin went that way. Its all about the physical separation of the speakers.

In the past, physical separation of languages was very effective. some centuries ago, most people could go as far as there own little foots could carry them, (thats not very far). In that environment a great multitude of languages is a natural consequence. In contrast, today there is modern travel, in a 20 hours flight you can do half way round the world. Modern communication technology, play a role in bringing people closer together.

How this applies to the future? Sure there's modern travel and communication technology. Modern travel, isn't effective enough, and it doesn't seem it will be in the near future, in order to induce major global language movements. Communication technologies are much more interesting, especially the plausible future planetary Internet, with 99,9% penetration and extremely high bandwidth, for very low prices, it will act almost as good as a teleportation device. You could work from anywhere on the planet, make friends anywhere on the planet, etc, they will be possibilities, that today aren't technically feasible. Of course if actual teleportation technology is invented :), it will be even beater. This new environment, contrast sharply with the recent past of "foots only". Several centuries of "supernet", will totally merge/exterminate world languages in to a single language, even in the most nationalistic and stubborn of nations. The only way to prevent this, is to severely throttle or simply ban the Internet. Not a realistic option at all, so this projection of global language merger/extermination is 100% certain. Its just a matter of centuries.

more in detail

English from a native speaker beautiful blue butterfly

English today on the Internet incredibly ugly dog

Most probably, its going to be English skeleton and words harvested from a myriad other languages, ruffly proportional to there importance, but still theres going to be heavy influence from English. English will act as a troyan horse, it will leave behind a lot of words, but it will not be respected a lot as a language in the process. From English it self will prevail words with probability proportional to there use. For example the words "be" and "one", are 100% certain they will maintain them selves. In contrast more rarer used words, have higher probability they will get replaced with something else.

Word evolution speed, is inversely proportional to there use. Applied here, this means frequently used English words have the highest probability to survive the transition. "English" or nascent "international English", used on the Internet today is quite malformed and mashed up(:D), the chronic huge number of none native speakers of the transitional period, will inject a lot of words from there own languages. This will act as an accelerating word evolution speed effect, hence we use the word evolution speed theory. All this exuberant diversity will be cut down, as gradually, popular words impose them selves as the new standards over there native English counterpart, and even invading and displacing the old English word among native speakers them selves.

   You and I have to love long long. It is I get to road to you cleared face.(this comes from Korea)

approximate time line

(language shift)

  1. Adults learn English at varying quality, for practical reason. If today, you don't understand English, you are practically over 50% illiterate. We are currently here.
  2. Children learn it, natively, for practical reasons(supernet). Divergences from standard English, depending on there first language. Local hybrids of English/native languages develop, official or not.
  3. Number of native bilinguals slowly rises. The various local English variants exchange intensely words among them selves, threw the "supernet", no special privileges for real English words.
  4. % of bilinguals very high, if you know your local variant of the nascent world language and less so, the official language, you can get away with it. Learned quality of native language degrade and invaded by words of the new language. Cost of learning aren't proportional to the benefits. First among some immigrants and later among some natives, the official language is lost.
  5. Unilinguals in the new language increase exponentially, slow death of official languages. Local variants standardize, synonyms and rare expressions are cut down.
  6. A true world language. Accents is the most important language differences in the word population. Other minor communication differences survive.

3.0 Writing edit

(I had to be hie when i thought of this)

A naive observer, would just conclude that the writing system will be the Latin alphabet with some sort of English grammar. From the above and past experiences of languages evolution, it seems reasonable enough. But....

3.1 complexity edit

However, we have to make some observations. Writing isn't very adapted to our brain. From our wild animal past, our brain is wired to consider as significant information, images. We have astonishing capabilities in image memorization and recall, much more then anything else. You can learn 1000s and 1000s of images, just by looking at them once, and still be able to recall them weeks later. Letters and words are considered not very significant by the brain, requiring greater effort in manipulation. Writing represent sounds in general, a simple 1D object. Even the division of words in phonems it self isn't natural, litle kids exibit dificulties with it. The brain prefer complexity and structure. Chinese use is slightly more natural for the brain encoding method, thats why theres resistance to alphabetize it.

An extream language example. Lets assume that you traveled to an alien civilization where letters were written as: " _____ ___ ___ ___ _____ ___"

They would look at you with disbelief. Why do you keep confusing "____ ____ ___ ___ _____ " and "____ ___ ___ ___ ______"? It's so simple.

Here the brain doesn't consider the "letter" as significant at all.

Visual mnemonics, exposes how important images are for the brain. It's a technique of translating information in to images and memorizing the images. At recall, the actual images are recalled, and then translated back in the original information. If done well, the results can be astonishing.

image alphabet for litle children

Classic writing aspect(black ink on white background, or what ever), is just due to technological constraints, on encoding information by hand on some surface. There are the purelly technical constraignts. In chinease, characters are angullar(日木齒月龜龠), there is no circle, because it was(is) difficult to draw circles on paper with a brush(no pen). Latin was writen on wax tablets with a stylus(Romans), and its the whay it is(AaBbCc :D). Indian languages are all curved(क ख ग घ ङ च), they were writen on leaves. Runic has only straights or diagonals(ᚠᚡᚢᚣᚤᚥᚦᚧ), it was writen on wood (because of the fibers of the wood). Even the printing press couldn't print totaly arbitrary shapes... you get the point. First writing systems where ideographic, simplified little drawings of the actual thing you wanted to say. Imagine how slow it would be if you actually had to draw images down by hand on some weird surface (on wood or what ever). Later, some of the characters where used for there sound in place of there original meaning. For example "A", its an upside down ox head, the legs of the "A" are the horns, originally meant just "ox", but later used for the sound of the word "ox" it self, in a now long forgotten language. Similarly, "E" is a man, the 2 upper lines are the arms, the bottom line is a leg, the other "leg" and head got lost in the evolution of the letter. "O" is an eye, etc....(latin evolved from greek, that evolved from phenician, that evolved from demotic, that evolved from ieroglyphs, that evolved from earlier styll pictograms). Litle kids today, learn there alphabet with images of stuff that begin with that letter. In the encients time it would have gone further, these images would actually be the alphabet.

3.2 uncompromising edit

Initially, ideograms where a compromise between writability(on wood or whatever, by hand) and lisibility (oups, i just noticed that one, meant readability, referring you to 2.0) of the character, later evolving from them an alphabet for lowering writing complexity further. However with modern technology, this 6000 year old compromise is no longer warranted. If a civilization that only has wood to write on is forced to have a writing system like this :"ᚠᚡᚢᚣᚤᚥᚦᚧ" and a civilization with brushes has a writing system like this :"日木齒月龜龠"; then the writing system of a civilization with computers should logicaly look like what? It will be ideographic of course, but this time, the ideograms can be extremely complicated(photos, drawings, paintings, diagrams, animations), for maximum lisibility and ease of learning. Classic writing produce a low dimension object, hard for the brain but easy on the hand; these ideograms are multi dimension objects (surface, colors, movement); easy on the brain and easy on the computer(fair division of labor :D). Ideogragrams where originally junked, because they where hard on the brain(simplified) and hard on the hand. Weeeell, strictly speaking, these are not "ideograms", lets call them word-images. If writing was invented today, it would be word-images, its more natural for the brain. Back then they only had ink, paper and there little hands. We have colors, animation and autocopy. Theres no need to fight with cryptic Chinese-like characters. Even beater, with modern technology, we could even avoid the need to standardize, every 1 could have his own caracter set.

(It would be nice if there was a standard for colored and animated fonts. We could sell it as a usefull feature for people with seeing disabilities and severe dyslexics. Maybe ask the Free Software Fondation?)

Hey, even if the idea is bullocks, it still nice for science fiction writers. Extraterestials or future humans, are always using some sort of alphabet( classic leaters), robot civilization are using binary and super advanced beings, simply use super complex alphabets.

   a picture is worth a thousands words

...and writen english its crap anyway, its full of iregularities, 0 consistency.

3.3 general edit

If you want to express a simple concept, you just need to use a photo of this kind of object, with normal colors, little animations, 3D, etc.... For example, if you want to say "cat", you just use the image of a cat. If you want to express "running", you use an animation of a guy running. They would be real words, in the sense that they have to obey certain constraints, so that the readers can automatically link the meaning with the character, no mater what "fonts" are used. This automatic linking would be the same as the linking with normal text(per table, bellow). You don't have this kind of linking with images right now, you just describe an image, if you had reading experience you would automatically link a meaning. If you had an example right now, it would probably simply look strange, even if you can desifer it.

nice to meat you :)

say the colors of the words, don't read, do this as fast as possible; you automatically link the word with the string of characters.

say the colors of the words, don't read, do this as fast as possible; you automatically link the word with the string of characters.

More abstracts concepts, will require subtleties in order to convey meaning with just images, in the simplest possible way. We can steel ideas from many places.

A naive first candidate would be Chinese, however contrary to popular belief Chinese isn't really ideographic. Chinese is composed of 214 radicals, as they assemble they create the characters. Of all the characters: some 4% are pure pictographs.


sun ( at an early stage it was as a circle with a dot(the shining?) in it; the circle doesn't exist in modern chinease caracters, they are always scared(the brush thing)) tree (tree with above ground roots and branches) tooth (mouth showing tooths, why do i have the impression i've seen this way to draw tooths in manga?)
moon (at an early stage it was a banana with a dot(shining?) in it) turtle (left legs, right shell, animal looks up) flute (a mouth blows air 亼, in the holes of a pans type of flute)
soil (clay on a poters weel) pig (left: 4 legs, down right: tail, up: ears?) grass (2 plants)
feather (2 featers, shorter hairs on the right) mouth (a mouth) gate (Swinging doors)

Some 13% are logic compounds(this category is subjective) and the rest are homophone compounds. The pictographic characters are just simplified drawings of the meaning that we try to confer. Logic compounds, are several characters brought together in a single character, inferring a logical meaning.


bright (日 sun + 月 moon, hey, i've seen that in Zelda) dragon (left: a king with a crown on his head, right: a snake) mountain (3 soil 土, more dirt then you need is a mountain)
grove (2 trees, 木+木) forest (3 trees, 木 squeezed on top of 木+木) poison (top: insects, bottom: bowl ; this 1 is really mean, in encient times, you put a bunch of insects in a bowl, they would release there poisons by killing each other, you just neaded to collect)

Homophone compounds, use an homophone character or simply a caracter that rimes (Rebus), with an extra character to disambiguate the meaning. An example, homophones in English, "meat" character and "human" disambiguation character together, would mean "meet". An example, of rime in English, the caracter "plant"|"speach", something about a plant that rimes with speach, its peach. A real chinease caracter, "妒", meaning jealousy, 女 means woman (a sitting woman), it disambiguates the meaning for the second phonetic caracter 戶 ( door / family, household); so for the chinease, jealousy is a women caracteristic, wonder why they thought of that? I'm not going to tell you what 姦 means. Similarly, in hieroglyphs, theres a phonetic part, only with consonants(similar to Arabic), plus disambiguation symbols. Korean has a simple pnonetic writing system, and uses chinease caracters to disambiguate when nessecery, Japanease aparently is doing something similar. Because of the restricted number of disambiguation symbols, the compounds can get vague and eccentric (妒).

3.4 homophones are evil edit

Compounds trick, is used in many other ideographic systems. The logic compounds are nice, but the homophones are a problem, the oral language get mixed in, its not what we are looking for. A world writing system should be oral language neutral, if they are multiple concurrent oral languages. Even if there's only 1 world oral language, its still a problem. Oral languages tend to shift with time, rendering it unreadable centuries later. In modern Chinese, they are characters, where there ancient homophone compound has remained, but there oral pronunciation has shifted; to modern Chinese these character look just arbitrary. The weight of history prevent from properly updating the character, of course the issue is potentially eliminated with computers, a simple "replace with" in a text editor and problem solved in a fraction of a second. With pure logic compounds, characters should be much more robust with the passing of time. Homophones, create there own increase in complexity, it complicates rules, because the reader has to distinguish, if its a homophone or logic compound. They may permit simpler compounds but at the expense of the learning curve. It increases the learning curve for foreign learners, because they have to actually learn to speak the corresponding oral language. For an established world language this is a none issue, but it will be a hindrance during the transitional period and later the weight of history will block homophones from appearing. If you never saw a logic compound, you can potentially guess what it says, with a homophone, you just can't, this complicates learning. Besides, the use of very complex photos, should lower complexity enough to permit a pure ideographic system with out access compound complexity. Even if the world oral transition fails, the writing system transition, would still be possible. And of course, homophones are ugly, and its cheating anyway :).

3.5 ideas theft edit

   Talent imitates, genius steals

  • The bulk of the difficulty, is to construct logical compounds, that convey the meaning the most easily possible. Like little IQ tests, but designed to be as easy as possible. The beater this is done, the easier would be learning to read it, the extreme would be reading right away with no teaching what so ever, even if its slow. Even if some compounds are clumsy, it still lowers learning difficulty, considerably, by being in the form of an easy visual mnemonic, in a very high degree logically related to the targeted meaning.
  • For initial setup, a good idea would be, surveys with children and adults, to determine the most obvious compounds. You show them tons and tons of compounds, and ask them what they try to say, just pick the overall bests.
  • In a more passive mode, we just show random films to a lot of people, and ask them to describe what happened. We trace them backwards, so that the desired intuitive description corresponds with the most popular original image/action.
  • Steal ideas from logic compounds of actual ideographic-like systems. For example: hieroglyphs, cuneiforms, Chinese, etc... Steal ideas from sign languages, UML, etc.... Steal ideas from political cartoons, caricatures, advertisements, etc.
  • Get inspired by what search engines spit out at image searches. Get inspired by the synonyms in a dictionary.
  • Take advantage of what ever is already world standard. Like numerals and other math symbols, pictographs, road signs, recycling sign, radioactive sign, biohazard sign, etc....
  • A phonetic alphabet will still be needed, but it will not be intended to be used to wright everything. Possibilities: just keep the Latin alphabet, use a compound alphabet of the most used alphabet in the world, reverse back to there original ideograms the Latin or compound alphabet and use that, some sort of cymatics pattern of the intended sound, bran new alphabet(unlikely). Custom phonetic characters, corresponding with the very rare words that have more or less universal beginning, with a compound character denoting sound. Maybe from new technology, some kind of fruit or wild animal, some sort of natural noise.
  • Steal Chinese punctuation. Traditionally they had no punctuation, thats 1 possibility. Todays punctuation is mainly bigger European punctuations and some differences in the way they are used. Important differences are the Chinese full stop "。" and Chinese quotation marks "「」". Finally, white spaces aren't used between characters.
  • No homophone compounds, we don't do compromises with quality :D .
  • Associate all characters with a relevant little video. Facilitates learning.
  • Special learning helpers. Sounds synchronized with animation, there a problem with collisions, 1 solution is software tracking your eye movements and activating only when you look at the character, for now(or just the beginning) you may simply want to use a pointer. Use of light polarity(special screen), for some extra information somehow, for example you wore sun glasses and you tilt your head for extra helper information, for example written in English what the character represents.
  • Mister potato head
  • The verb "is" can be implied.
  • A one to one correspondence with Chinese characters is a bad idea, this system is a language in its own right.
  • Pick specific variants of images, so that they facilitate reading somewhat, by being somewhat related with there nabobs. For example, similar, colors, shapes, species, people, etc.

3.6 more details edit

  • Simple concepts are trivial, like: colors, various objects, shapes, etc...
  • For actions, little rapid animations can be used. Like: ruining, flying, smiling, open, etc....
  • For compounds, keep simple but consistent rules, what people intuitively expect. An ant is an ant, not "mycocepurus smithii" or "nothomyrmecia macrops". But, a jeans is a jeans, not pants. Pants are just simple pants. 2 people doing something, means that something, not that particular people doing something. To redious possibility of error, we can use redondency. For example, 3 differen dogs means "dog", 3 times the same canish means "canish", 3 times the same ant means "the species of ant", etc... If we can't have 3 different images in a balaned way, we can use 2+2, for example: 3 european dragons means "european dragon", 3 chinease dragons mean "chinease dragon" and 2 european + 2 chinease dragons mean "dragon". Single images(1 canish, 1 ant ...), may be ambiguous to certain people, does this image means dog or canish? With the litle convention of 3 or 2+2 or what ever, we redious the possibility for mistakes, by unexpirienced readers.
  • A compromise is needed between the use of single images and compounds. Single images are more compact spatially, but if we have too many of them we will be overrun by 100.000s of images. However, because we are more adapted in memorizing images, we should be able to handle a bigger set of word-images, then the number of words in a normal language.
  • The constraints are different. Concepts that need many words or compound words can be compressed in 1 image. Certain simple words, may need to become compounds of images.
  • Use phonetics for names.
  • Historic personalities, famous for some act. Like Napoleon, or Sun tzu. In general, we have a prety advanced ability to spot tiny differences in human faces.
  • Dropping out certain details, in order to redious the possibility for error from the part of the reader. For example, the use of the wooden dolls for drawing in place of people. The cost to that, is that it gets harder to remeber the image.
  • The more there are images, the more abstract the concept should be. The implied information is what they all have in common. Example insect would be "1 ant, 1 beagle, 1 fly". If something abstract can be fitted in a single image, make sure, its obvious that theres something special here, and not just a simple description.
  • Things that are doing stuff that wheren't suposed to be doing, this would steal the attention of the reader. Example: mona lisa with a tatoo.
  • Probably, in most cases several images should be used. This way the consepts that have to be payed attention to are highlighted. The use of single images, should be restricted in special cases.
  • Alternatively, it could be structure like a question, with a white box. The meaning of the whole, is the implied meaning of what should be in the white box.
  • Use redundancy, for easy learning. Or at least special fonts for novices only, with a lot or redundancy, gradually reducing complexity as they progress. A left click could alternate between posible image.
  • Logic diagrams(2 overlapping circles in a rectangle) for logic expressions, like "AND", "OR", etc. Even unusual logic expressions like "NAND" could be trivially used, or precise distinction between inclusive and exclusive "OR".
  • Visual illusions.
  • Like in chinease, use special characters for inflection, plurals, suffixes, afixes.....
  • Like in chinease, use multiple caracter words, recognized by context. 1 chinease caracter is really 1 root/Compound word. I imagine my system, to sound similarly to the bellow chinease words, my system is genuetly a new language, not english in ideograms, or any other language for that matter.
some examples of chinease words
electric speaking 電話 (telephone) hand carry 手提 (portable) portable(hand carry) electric speaking 手提電話 (mobile phone) electric seeing machine 電視機 (television) reiceive sound machine 收音機 (radio)
fire chariot 火車 (train (steam engine)) electric brain 電腦(computer) portable(hand carry) electric brain 手提電腦 (laptop) flying machine 飛機(airplane) exploding corn flowers 爆米花(pop corn)
cat headed eagle 貓頭鷹(owl) alligator fish 鱷魚 (alligator or crocodile) bear cat 熊貓 (panda) dragon cat 龍貓 (chinchilla, what?) river horse 河馬 (hippopotamus)
long neck deer 長頸鹿 (giraffe) Dutch pig 荷蘭豬 (guinea pig) sea pig 海豚(dolphin) arrow pig 豪豬 (porcupine) wall tiger 壁虎 (gecko)
field chicken 田雞 ((edible) frog) spiral/worm cow 蝸牛 (snail) horned cow 犀牛 (rhino) pocket rat 袋鼠 (kangaroo) crocodile pear 鱷梨 (avocado)
  • Shiva/Kali-like many arms persons to describe professions.
  • Joke images.
  • Stereotypes.
  • A thermometer for hot/cold concepts. A time line for past/future concepts.
  • Right left, is for redundancy, top down, is for meaning.
  • Always the same guy, doing a class of stuff.
  • Culturally neutral. A "Chinese dragon" means Chinese dragon, a "European dragon" means European dragon and a "Chinese dragon/ European dragon" means dragon. Eventually "Chinese dragon" and "European dragon" should be baned for simplicity, it confuses the rules.
  • Photo manipulated images, in surprising ways.
  • Use of pseudocolors.
  • Use of special visualization techniques, like: sonar, radar, IR, UV, light polarization, changes with the time of day, etc.
  • Use scientific theories, like space-time, atom theory, evolution, etc...
  • Dyslexic and other similar issues, friendly.
  • Use of inversion compound, potentially halves the difficulty.Example, good is "good", bad is "inversion"/"good". The inversion compound could be something like, a mirror(a physical mirror) or the forbidden sing(red circle with red diagonal) or the wrong sing(red X), etc. Its good simplification, but it doesn't seam to be good practice.

3.7 layout edit

This is a language in its own right. Don't try to treat it as English in ideograms.

Syntax Notes
Verb Subject Object Irish Arabic
Verb Object Subject Javanese(Indonesia)
Object Verb Subject Romanian
Object Subject Verb Sardinians(Italy) Xavante (small tribe in Brazil) master Yoda
Subject Verb Object 2° most popular
Subject Object Verb 1° most popular
1° and 2° represent 75% of all languages

Syntax may get exotic, master Yoda got away with it. One possibility, is that all syntaxes are allowed, Esperanto does that. Probably, word order is 1 cultural difference that might survive in to the times of unique world language. If it settles to 1, because of the demographics of the world population, the syntax will be SVO or SOV, most probably SVO(English).

Direction, of writing? In the wild, all possibilities are covered. Due to technical limitations, its rather certain it will be horizontal, vertical writing is very poorly supported by modern software. Most scripts, are left right and probably will impose it self. Directionality, will probably simply being transposed from the native script, further more directionality can easily be changed, in electronic documents, depending what the user wishes, leaving the possibility that native language directionality survives in the common language. An extra possibility, is the use of alternating direction of writing at alternating lines(boustrophedon). The characters support to be read and written from either direction, in contrast to rather long alphabetic words. A different version of a "character" would be used, depending in what direction is supposed to be reed. Directionality could be totally wild, changing randomly at every line, even at the middle of a line turning up or down, actual reeding order hinted by the characters version on the line, this could be left up to the writer, or a specific system imposed by the reader if he wish. For example, the writer wanted to be cool, and followed an inner turning spiral, the reeder finds it to confusing, so he just changed to the usual left-right. Potentially, by leaving the freedom to reader and writers, reading will be more fluid.

"Calligraphy" would correspond in producing nice image flows. The "characters" interact some how, seeing each other, continuity elements on two or more characters, randomly changing direction of reading (for example, in a spiral), image-text blocks being them selves images, random jump points(with images that stand out), bifurcating lines, very artistic single images, use of synonyms solely for aesthetic reasons, direction of reeding, etc.

Each word is coded in binary, and use fonts to represent them. You do not "type" huge images. It seams Unicode will have to gain an extra byte. Its normal kind of fonts, you choose your fonts, you can choose drawings only, photos only, black and white only, no animations, special color blind fonts, sexual overtones everywhere(from copulating ants, to boobs), gore killing and blood every where, etc. Early learners use fonts with more redundancy, trivialized or bigger characters. If you want to make up a new none standard "word", you have to pass along the new image with your documents.

Under this pure ideogram system, ordering is impossible, or very impractical. We can simply use a database as a dictionary. If it comes from the real world, just use a hand held scanner or camera to input it. Less high tech solutions, would involve the use of standard categories with the use of dominant colors and other specificities for some sort of ordering. O course, we can have several categorizing schemes, even totally personalized ones.

matrix barcode

higher capacity, 1914 bytes

color barcode

All this is nice on a electronic screen, but what about printing? A technological solution would be, to use special screen-glasses/cameras or contact lenses that decode matrix barcodes (sophisticated 2D barcodes-like patterns), and project to the eye the actual character. Weelll, in the immediate, you should compromize with a camera cellphone making the decoding. Matrix barcodes can be black and white squares, but they can also be in color for greater capacity, present design of color matrix barcode is composed of little colored triangles. Actually the examples are too condensed to be used directly, we still need to spread them in the surface of the paper, so that we can read them sequentially. We could simply spread them, but this would waist paper. We could use them to load whole pages, from a little book with these things, and read them on a special page with special codes for sequentiality. Something like, we turn the little page, and the system automatically updates the virtual page bellow it. This way, with the matrix barcodes, we preserve the nice features from the virtual world(animations, colors, little details, compression, crypting), without needing too much paper space, or efficient printers. If we do print them the normal way, animations could be adapted in stroboscopic sequences, that of course would take more space. If all else fails, we can style fall back to black and white only, with corresponding increase in size or/and reading difficulty. This time the characters don't need to be simplified more then what the printing process needs, in contrast traditional characters had to be drawn by hand.

pop out and full size its crypted, grrrr your browser does not support the video tag, install

With barcodes, the virtual world is brought in to the real world. The need for standardization would disapear completly, all personalized caracters would be displayed to people by technology reading standard machine codes. A slight variation, is to use OCR type of technology. Since every 1 would make up his own caracter set, with his own intuitive mnemonics, learning curves would be totaly obliterated. The extra fact, that you will physicaly build them your self, will have a strong mnemonic effect. Without it, personal standards(oxymoron?), would be possible only on electronic devices(doable, imidiatly).

3.8 input edit

experimental Chinese keyboard

Input obviously becomes practically impossible by hand, but possible with a computer. No compromizes for writers. Its a writing system, that adapts to us, and lets the computer do its fair share of the work. I can't remember when was the last time i wrote something long and serious on paper with a pen, if i still use paper its because a computer is awkward as a notebook. I bet that a lot of people are in this situation. This extream form of ideograms, would mean that we will be totally dependent on technology, but this is nothing new. Can you wright on a stone with your finger nails? If you have no pen or paper, your knowledge of writing is not of much use. "And what happen if you lose your gadget?", well, don't lose it. For security reasons, we can still learn a standard phonetic emergency alphabet or standard emergency symbols, applicable by hand.

Things do get tougher on input. Its absolutely not meant to be written by hand on paper, total dependence on technology. We can get inspired from Chinese input methods, maybe some existing Chinese input programs could be modified for here. Keyboard with little images, isn't very practical, even a on-screen keyboard. The use of radical images with a keyboard, will put constraints on the complexity of the images, reducing the potential information they can carry and we fall back to the problems of standard ideograms.

EDIT: What an irony, it seams that people in east asia start forgetting how characters are written by hand .... because of them relying too much on the computerized input methods(97% are phonetic). Even that, more obscure and complicated to wright characters are coming back. The phenomenon is called w:Character amnesia .Of course i predict this trend will continue. Releted to something i'm doing Chinese learning technology(User:Super Quantum immortal)#input

fuzzy searches

  • Use fuzzy search to get a first small list of possibilities from the dictionary, out of the 1000s, then click on the wanted 1.
  • Phonetically, with speech to text programs.
  • Phonetically, with a secondary phonetic alphabet. You can also just type in your native language, and software not yet written, will translate it in ideograms, a lot of control is left for configuration to the users. You type "cat", and a image of a cat is proposed. This is not automated machine translation, a human must supervise the process or meaning is lost.
  • The previous methods do smart contextual and other guesses; and propose a list of characters. No need to write/draw the whole word, or even correctly. So you don't have to actually output everything, up on a successful guess, you just need to click the character from the lists. Smart guesses expansion of the above, with more sophistication, special software can be configured or trained with your shortcuts, categorization scheme, and other personalized input ways. This way, it does the most efficient guessing possible from available inputs. You type your way, your shortcuts and your conventions. Example, want to type "cat" character, you can set it to recognize it when you type, "cat" or "kat" or "pussy" or "Felis catus" or "df75à'ùdsq" or "001101100" or "__ ___ ___" or all the above, you set it any way you see fit. The bleeding edge, would be to use a hardware artificial neural net, say, on a usb stick. After a time of use, you and your personal neural net, anticipate each other.
   top: real images bottom: images extracted from cat's brain
  • The personalized configurations can be saved in a usb stick, on a card, wireless accesses, accessed from a Internet database, surgical implants or what ever way it can be practical. If broken, then you do it the hard way, with some standard guess method, as above
  • Even beater would be direct retrieval of imagined images from the brain. Currently, simple retrieval of black and white, low quality images, from the visual field, requires a massive fMRI; some form of surgery may be necessary for a practical application.

3.9 Font mutations edit

Currently, chatting of all kinds on the net, are done with emoticons, special unicode symbols, general ascii art and other little images that you chose from a list. We can imagine, that these extra images( and ascii art and unicode), over time, develop in importance and incrementally replace words. Ascii art looks promicing, for example, a fish "><{{{*>" and a mouse "<:3)~", in just 1 line.

And some curent Unicode symbols






An intermediary stage would be to abreviate the words more and more severly and the use rebus, disambiguation simbols are added to restore clarity, the disambiguation symbols gradually suck up all the meaning. At some point, they replace the entire text, in parallel the above more sophisticated input methods develop from the trivial list. Motivation, other then coolness, would be to ease readability for those with poor English skills. Standards will evolve organically, what people find most intuitive, the best will prevail out of the clutter. But strictly speaking, they may never be a need to standardize the image, only the machine code behind it.

In practice, for the beginning,no need to go to the trouble of writing special programs at this experimental stage. We just make "emoticons" out of them, as a start its good enough functionality.

3.9.1 font wars edit

There are many variations of fonts, including sex themed fonts (peaneses, boobs, poses and all the other asortments). Why stop at hum, kinky fonts, we can actually make usefull fonts, that are out of the ordinairy. We take the all other scripts and numerals, that you don't understand, and simply replace them with a certain (official?)translitaration of your favorite script, that you know well. Well, if you prefer having some personalized weird thing, why not, if you whant to replace "A" with a palm tree, or the illuminati piramid, or what ever, why not. Democratization of script creation, you are your personal mad-god-emperor over what script you whant to use, what you use is not the point here. You alredy used to, in using whatever you are using(latin, chinese, Klinon, whatever), you alredy know what it sounds like. The learning curve for the use of foregn scripts, is troncated. if you don't intend to consume the language out side the internet, there litle need to learn the real script. Of course, this cheme stays usefull also for normal learning, you can gradually put back the "normal" fonts, but the objective here is not to be a simple learning aid, its more ambitious.

Less need for stupid mnemonics, learning of foreign languages is axelerated, the scripts are transliterated. Of course oficial transliterations can be respected, or you invent your own. You can use directly mnemonics in you new fonts. You can concentrate more on the real deal(the sounds). Of course its limited simplification, still need prononciation rules, like "ει", "oι", "υι", in greek are simply pronounced "i", but you get something for nothing. Extra diacritics maybe used here, to disambiguate homophones, in order to preserve grammar, for example "ι" and "η", "ο" and "ω". After the pronociation rules are learned, in most cases, the iligal script should be phonetically readable.

current live scripts:

canadian aboriginal, ethiopic, hebrew, georgian, armenian, brahmic family of scripts(south est asia), cirilic, japanease, korean, arabic, greek, chinease.

Even if you don't understand much, still some words are shared in many languages. An improvement since you can at least understand those. You may ask, what do you care about thai alphabet, you endurstand almost nothing. You don't, but people living more locally around that region share more words, then across the other side of the planet. For these cases, the alphabet substitution will help more in practice.


ресторан restoran restaurant

Лампа lampa lamp

ビール bīru beer

イメージ imēji image

الجبر al-jabr algebra

الكحول al-kuḥūl alcohol

pictorial substitution


With chinease (caracters), the real fun begins, we can have control over words, not just phonems. Traditional, simplified and now travestized caracters. This is not heresy, its back to the "oracle bones"(original pictorial chinease, probably) tradition of 1000s of years ago. The beakering between simplified and traditional chinese is byzantine. Actually, this could have hapened since the invention of the printing press, ... that was invented by the chinease... oups in 200 (woodblock printing), they could have used "handriten" and "printed" caracters, as in latin alphabet (yes, i konw about chinease caligraphy).

In staying in the ideographic realm. Chinease fonts, can be replaced at least partially with pictures of what they actually represent, instead of current criptic stuf. Again, theres no need to have a standard in any way. For example, a direct corespondence with old radicals, examples:

明→☼☽ (sun + moon = bright)

女→♀ (woman)

���������������� ( more rufle examples from mahjong tiles)

(can also use mayan and ejyptian hieroglyphs, linear B, A, etc, as images)

(or just replace with a clean original drawing from the "oracle bones")

We can extend this system, to whole caracters, and not just the radicals. To that, we can add extra caracters(just owl), and new radicals. People can use there personal mnemonics for the coresponding meanings as caracters.

4%(pictorial)+13%(logic compounds) of all caracters should be at least mildly digestable by westerners. For the rest(homophone compounds), a vague idea of what it represents commes from the disambiguation symbols (at least partialy replaced). Its interesting to follow closely the radicals, so that curent native readers of chinease are capable to use them. For none chinease, its like they sudently understand the "alphabet", and some words, and a litle bit vagely what some caracter say(disambiguation symbols) with litle effort. Thats more then in normal languages, like for example arab.

color improvements


Fonts don't support colors(yet!!!), but in html we can do some minimal things around this. We can edit individual characters color, and there background(automatically, as the pages load), we are still limited to monochrome characters and background and optionally also blinking(kind of a movement). We at least squeeze in 2(3) extra informations. The colors are logically chosen to match the character. For example, the normal character 日, would become ☼ because of the fonts editing and finally ☼ with the color editing. Conservatives, might want to consider compromising with something like 日 ( certainly with a beater choice of colors, they are 16.777.216 collors to chose from).


A variation, is to use words in your favorite language. Writen chinease becomes a virtual "language of your chosing" dialect. The learning curve becomes very shalow, just need to learn its quirks (cat headed eagle = owl), this dialect could export more readily these quirks to the original language, the standards will drift towards it. Once learned, you could essencially type in text in a "dialect" of your language, and the other people around the world would understand it thrue there fonts, and there "dialect". So the world language could have this contribution from chinease. Why learn this dialect? Well, its cooler to say "cat headed eagle" then owl. O boy i would speak like this all the time.

Internaly the caracters are stored as combinations of images. 明 is a combination of left 日 and right 月, by exploiting this, we can imagin a program that automatically replaces all instances of 日 (left, right, up, down, etc) with ☼, or "sun", or "___ ___ ___", or whatever the user whants. We can have various forms of semi automated font generation, with different radicals or full caracters.

1/2-block-phonetic, 1/2-ideographic

We can imagine a hybrid pictorial/alphabetic-words. Gradually shifting to a pictorial standard, whille preserving input method.


Theres litle to no duplication, in a way, you automatically learn the script of all forein languages. So learning a foreign language would mainly consist in learning to speak it. If you know just 1 language, theres redondancy, you realy learned "2" languages, you learned an extra easy writen language (compared to learning complicated phonetical gramatical rules). If you know 2 languages, its as if you learned 2 oral languages, and learned to write both at the same time, with greatly simplified writing rules. This would permit to learn more oral languages.

Probably, people will have a peack at chinease websites, even if they don't understand much, they would reuse the caracters they like in there chating, and accelerate transition to pure ideograms. If certain fonts become more preveiling then others, there will be a shift in official scripts. If you use "chinease" caracters in yout website, you force your readers to install the new fonts, or they will not be able to read with out a steap learning curve. It will bring languages closser together, and speed up merger in to a world language. Standards from the "Unicode Consortium" will be travesized. Unicode: 90 scripts and 107.361 symbols untill now, 1.114.112 maximum possibility with the curent 32bit lenghth encoding. Enough room, for every 1.

O boy, are we done yet? I bet the geniusses that invented unicode, didn't see this 1 comming. The worlds conservatives will go burzek :P.


Tools: You can easily make your own fonts. You can create/convert an image in black and white as an svg (inkscape), then import it in fontforge. You don't need to do original work, if its just for you, you can snatch any image from the internet. Here are some demo fonts where i edit them to my liking. I latinized various alphabets( Arabic, Greek, Cyrilic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebreu, hiragana/Katakana sylabaries(Japan), Korean, Devanagari(India).) and replaced some radicals in chinease characters(日→☼, 女→♀, 心→♡), giving for example "明→☼☽". I didn't actually imported an svg, that was too much work, i just copy pasted around between existing characters in the font set. This is just a demo, i know its ugly and botched.

Heres a half decent Greasemonkey script (related korean2latin)doing the above. It adds arbitrary colors and background colors to characters, and can also replace characters by images. Under the images scheme, copy-paste still works, depending on the receeving program, its either a normal copy-paste(you can chose the text in the script; this will apply to most receving programms) or a full html copy-paste(with text formating, colors, images and everything; for example aplies to openoffice). Its alredy edited to replace letters with image alphabet for children. You are expected to install apache and pull the images from there, not the web. A beater script might come leater.

Heres a half decent Kate Highlighting file. Kate is a text editor, that can use configuration files for color highlighting schemes. The file, configures individual colors for each each letter, the default colors can be changed in the settings.

A more serious and definitive solution, would be "SVG fonts".

Immidiate practical usage

The collor features and image substitution are immidiatly usable for people with poor vision(near blind) and litle children. Instead of glasses and software lensens, people with poor vision can use colored fonts or substitute images, so they can read with out having to see the details of the caracters. You can imagine, agresive fluorecent collors that make your eyes bleed, but that a near blind person can detect. For litle children, the images sound associations(that they choose) are easier to memorize, this follows the same rational as with adults brains about the unatural nature of normal writing. We could imagine the litle children with a camera, hunting images for there custom ABC, and gluing on they keybord keys there personal alphabet; all that as a game of course(hmmm, could we do that with chimps?). For technical reasons, the new alphabet will be restrained to black and white("normal" fonts). If the "letters" are fondamentally easier to learn, then we shoold be able to learn to read at an earlier age, maybe even concomitantly with learning to speak. We could imagine litle children using instant messaging to comunicate with there mothers, surf the internet(with a white list i supose),etc.... The slhgitly expanded period of literacy should slightly increase the average inteligence of the population, even developed populations would see a slight further improvement. For the future we can imagine, that an image alphabet becomes concurent to the traditional alphabet(the baby alphabet is used throug out life), and end up replacing it. At a further later stage, multiple non standard and concurrent image alphabets, there images are used for there meaning, increamentaly evolving back to ideograms(the exact reverse).

3.10 advantages edit

literacy rates

You can learn 1000s and 1000s of images relatively easily. Have you seen, the relative size of your visual cortex in the brain(500M years of evolution)? Images convey more meaningful information for the brain and can extract far more information then black lines on a white background. Here we use the visual center at its full capacity, not a subset as with normal writing. Even when characters get complicated, because of there natural visual mnemonic structure, they are easy to remember. Meaning can potentially be logically inferred, even if you never seen a image compound before, its not roket science. In theory learning to read should be extremely fast, even reading at some low level, without any previous learning what so ever. Theres no need to read 500+ page books titled "Remembering the Kanji" for example. If learning is indeed easy, it follows, that every 1 should be able to read it; "wright once, reed everywhere".

With any other language, you need years of learning of arbitrary combinations of information. Learning curve here is totally crushed, to do beater would probably require, plugging needles in your head or something. You just need to learn to recognize abstract words, from image compounds. All the rest, simple objects or concepts, you know them already, a cat is a cat and a dog is a dog, names are just phonetical; but "love", "pain", "complex" are less straight forward. For fluency you need what for a language? 5000 words? If you drop all the simple straight forward stuff, you trim that considerably. Potential for reaching a small child level extremely fast. Basic English has 850 words, in that, trivial image representations are several 100s, you should reach the basic level quite fast, unbeatable.

Because of its independence from oral language and heavy logic structure, even in a zillion years, most should remain readable as is. Even extraterrestrials could decipher some of it, try reading Linear A :P . Our dear ancestors, had the equivalent of a black pen and paper, we have computers, no need to use cryptic and obscure characters. Beater let machines do there fair share of work, we have beater things to do, like dominating the galaxy.

With the Internet, reading has become a very common activity, more then in any other period in the entire human history. Writing as it evolved in our past, didn't had in mind that we will read that vast quantities, over vast numbers of subjects. Todays writing simply isn't optimum for what we are using it in now. I'm arguing, that an image ideographic system, would be beater suited.

From a sociological point of view, as its easier to learn, it could help a bit the iliteracy problem. An other expected consequence, is that oral language, will tend to reproduce the structure of the wrighting, this doesn't happen know because everything is phonetic. For example, abreviations that are weird semantecaly, or the eccentricity of certen logic componds, could leak in too oral words. All this, don't take in to account the possibility, of avoiding the need to standardize.

And of course, the biggest advantage, its that its fun. I was never a literary person -- yea, comics, TV and computer games -- i'm rather literature loathing (probably thats skool's fault), but this on the other hand is really fun. I bet, i'm not the only 1.

3.11 Example characters edit

I didn't put much effort to set up the examples, its just a demo, prototypes, its not meant to be taken seriously. Of course here the examples are very large. With proper use of compounds some of the examples can be dropped, we don't only need to convey meaning, but also to avoid being overrun by 100.000s of characters. This is just a initial proposal, they are supposed to evolve organically. If carefully done, they can be very intuitive. A start vocabulary of a 5 year old, would need at least 850, 100s of them are trivial images.

wild (wild banana, with its seeds)

war (sun tzu, author of the art of war, 6th century BC)

paranoid (the Aluminum foil hat, acts as a Faraday cage, so that NASA doesn't read his thoughts)


paraplegic (the dog has a broken back)




breeding (these cows are so big arsed, that 99% of time they have a cesarean)


small (its a snake)

eat (its sold like this, its eatable)


extinct (dodo and triceratops, both extinct species)

fat (fat lab mouse)

fencing (the sword sport)

geometry (the shapes are rearranged and a hole appears)

homosexual (2 male lions)

identical, equal (illusion, the yellow lines are equal in length)

impossible (illusion, the impossible cube)

irony (drawn flames)

listen (pre radar, sound detector)

unroll (normal tape being unrolled, emits faint light, 30 seconds exposure)

masochist (needles of various sizes in pelvis, self inflicted by a masochist)


movement (illusion, static image)


parallel (illusion, the lines are parallel)

3.12 sample dictionary edit

A sample image-ideograms dictionary. The 100 most frequent English worlds.

3.13 Related edit

Playing with Chinese Chinese learning technology(User:Super Quantum immortal)

Idea for the partially sighted Colored alphabet for the partially sighted (User:Super Quantum immortal)

An other idea is to completely anglicize the fonts in Unicode. Can be scripted