Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hieroglyphics Universal Translator

Hieroglyphics As A Second Universal Written Language
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

There's a large number of universal or nearly universal symbols already in every day use -- from traffic signs to Windows icons to emoticons.

Standardize on a modern, written hieroglyphic language that is capable of conveying a large number of concepts, including dealing with tenses, etc, perhaps by adding animated icons.

Though perhaps not sufficient to having deep philosophical discussions, it would be quite sufficient to get across many ideas.

Then have an electronic device capable of rapidly selecting the required images (words) and displaying the sentences.

theircompetitor, Feb 11 2004

Like this http://www.quizland.com/hiero.mv
Except on a mobile device and translating to a new set of standardized symbols [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]

The link above generates this image for the idea name http://www.geocitie...petitor/techie.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]

How to read your prescriptions http://www.therubin.../geninfo/abbrev.htm
Still doesn't help with physician's handwriting. That comes with practice. [Klaatu, Oct 04 2004]

UML Unified Modeling Language http://www.uml.org/
A very specific case of what you are proposing. [ixnaum, Oct 19 2005]

Microsoft Windows For The Illiterate http://www.cnn.com/....tech.ap/index.html
[theircompetitor, Mar 02 2006]

Tango device for children with disabilities http://www.spectron...t.asp?product=24191
[theircompetitor, Jul 02 2007]

Universal Icon Language http://www.zlango.com/
[theircompetitor, Sep 29 2007]

The Noun Project http://www.thenounproject.com/
Hm, I wonder what their logo would be. [jutta, Mar 26 2011]

hieroglyphic cartoons https://www.cartoon.../h/hieroglyphic.asp
[pashute, Jun 29 2015]

fake hieroglyphic font http://www.dafont.c...akehieroglyphs.font
[pashute, Jun 29 2015]

Emoji programming language https://www.inverse...tm_campaign=organic
[theircompetitor, Mar 05 2016]


       . . . . . .( ? ? )
. . . ._ . . I/
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. . . \ . >
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. .< . /
. . .LL
k_sra, Feb 12 2004

       the halfbakery not taking graphics directly is a bit of a handicap, but I think it's possible. I'll work on a good graphic tablet and post later
theircompetitor, Feb 12 2004

       Isn't that kind of like ESP? Only it's TSP, technosensory perception.
JackFLTrds, Feb 12 2004

       The image I have in my mind is exactly that
theircompetitor, Feb 12 2004

       Just in time to do my taxes too.
bkornele, Feb 16 2004

       I guess we'll have to wait for ET to find out just how universal death & taxes are
theircompetitor, Feb 16 2004

       Actually [ub] if you know latin, you can decipher pharmacist's codes:
c (with line over top) = cum =with
s (with line over top) = sans = without
a (with line over top) = ante = before
p (with line over top) = post = after
po = per os = by mouth.

       You can find almost all of them at <link>
Klaatu, Feb 16 2004

       Better not let [blissmiss] see that.
Klaatu, Feb 16 2004

       If I can get serious here for a nanosecond -- I'm envisioning something where you select an object through search or a directory structure, then select common verbs and the software animates it.   

       So without resorting to pictures here, See Spot Run might become the image of a blinking eye following a Dog with a label Spot Running.
theircompetitor, Feb 17 2004

       reensure: not what I'm going after, though -- I'm looking for an electronic tool that will let me quickly assemble a sentence by using pictograms and animation, then show it to someone.   

       A tool like that given a large enough image vocabulary would works with visually enabled aliens.
theircompetitor, Feb 17 2004

       The more I think about this the more I like it. Are their any other languages that uses symbollism that might work? The above link would have to work in reverse also correct? If you give me the symbols I would have to decipher them and vice versa.
bkornele, Feb 18 2004

       This doesn't seem to have any advantages over existing written languages (whether natural or artificial), but several disadvantages - principally that it would be hard to write by hand and complex to transmit by electronic means.
kropotkin, Feb 18 2004

       bkornele: I think that would be easy, because to originally choose the symbol, you would have probably gone down a Wordnet type XML hierarchy -- the attributes can then travel with the image and be reversed into text.   

       kropotkin: definitely not trivial, but I think with some practice not harder then a phrase translator, and much more open ended -- like charades with hyper clear drawn descriptions.
theircompetitor, Feb 18 2004

       So if I understand this correctly - it's like visual lego blocks that when put together make certain meaning. This is baked in UML (Unified Modeling Language) for describing how software should work . But I absolutely love the idea of applying this to day to day communication [+]
ixnaum, Oct 19 2005

       hmm, I wouldn't have thought of UML, here, but thanks, anyway.   

       I thought of this as almost a very rapid way of assembling a comic strip, showing both objects and action, a "See Spot Run" assembler on steroids, or a hardware assisted Pictionary with animation.   

       What I like about it most is that, in theory, it would work with any visual being, not just a human "alien"
theircompetitor, Oct 19 2005

       I see ... that could be more hard to accomplish. In order to communicate you must have some basic common base of understanding with the aliens. If the aliens never saw a dog running before but it reminds them of a Pschicla (made up alien creature) in a breeding season then there might be some misunderstanding of what you are trying to tell them.
ixnaum, Oct 19 2005

       yes, we lose more survey team members this way...:)
theircompetitor, Oct 19 2005

       Wow, someone made a startup out of this idea.
theircompetitor, Sep 29 2007

       Hmmm.... animated chinese characters might be interesting.
RayfordSteele, Apr 10 2008

       I don't see how the use of icons is that much different from Chinese characters. It seems like they started in the same way as pictographs or hieroglyphics and evolved into the more writable form we see today. Why not just use Chinese? It could potentially be ported and used in any other language. Just ask the Japanese, who use Chinese symbols as their main writing modality to this day.
deussean, Jun 28 2015

       Chinese pictograms were established when the means of reproducing them was a brush and ink - now that we've got other ways of making marks on paper we could probably be less constrained with the range of symbols.
hippo, Jun 29 2015

       Actually, it was pressing the edge of a tool into clay, which is why there’s a lot of little dot-like marks and tiny short lines. The brush, ink, paper came later. Much later came a more formalised set of characters with lots more brushy squiggly curvy bits, as well as Mandarin, but that was all relatively recently. The characters are all designed to fit into a square, with no spacing between each character square and the next.   

       Many of the characters are stylised to use straight strokes, reminiscent of how they used to be when it was a tool pressed into clay, hence everyone knows the sun is circular but the representation for that circle is a square. With a dot in the middle for some reason. But the dot became a line. Same with the moon, which to indicate the crescent shape, uses a square. With two horizontal lines in the middle, as you do, and the bottom of the circle left open. (i.e., day and month) (i.e., ri4 and yue4). Many of the characters are square-ish, forming a container, with stuff in, stuff out, and a thing on top.
Ian Tindale, Jun 29 2015

       Re Emojicode [link]: I was going to make a (somewhat different) emoji programming language. But now if I do, it'll look like I stole their idea. I guess I could publish my Evernote note about the idea and point to its creation date, but still…
notexactly, Mar 05 2016


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