Do concepts depend on languages?
Apart from the words we use to call them, a concept should not depend on any language. This is an easy example:
- a fish is a fish, whatever the word one may use: "poisson" for a French speaker, "pesce" for an Italian Speaker, "arraina" for a Basque speaker, "pysgod" in Welch Gaellic, etc.
So, would it be easier to use just a drawing as the Ancient Egyptians did with the hieroglyphs? Or, like the Chinese and the Japanese, should we use logograms, normalized or not? It would be too complicated! Just consider that it would be necessary to learn approximately about 2,500 basic radicals described in the CJKv Notes 5 normalized characters, before being able to understand the concepts!
So, should we be "condemned" to use one of the 6,500 existing natural languages to communicate between humans… unless, we could use “emoticons”. It could be a good idea, but:
- Are emoticons really language-independent? The answer is: rather not, because they are also linked to SMS “conventions”; for example, if I write:
I <3 U
Which stands for “I love you”, the first (I) and third (U) logograms are letters representing English words.
- Are emoticons normalized? Not really, however, there’s a Chart published by UNICODE Notes 6.
- Are there enough emoticons to allow real meaningful exchanges between humans, in any environments?
Well, here are the real issues!
At the moment, certainly not! But we may create as many emoticons as necessary to cover the complete range of the human languages. For example, if we may propose to represent a fish this way:
However, it works only for simple concept… What about a catfish? Well, catfish is the English common name of a species and all species have a “scientific name” Notes 7.
This is about living species, but what about minerals? Why not use widely Mendeleiev’s Table Notes 8. For example, the following notations, standing for “water, oxygen, copper, iron, etc.” are language-independent:
H2O, O2, Cu, Fe, etc.
Chemistry is not the only domain where standard signs are internationally accepted. We can mention, for example “road signs”. In all Europe, the following signs: danger warning, lights, speed limit could be easily transposed:
With today’s Web technologies, it’s reasonable to include colors in our codes. So doing, it is possible to suggest features to recall the common names of some fish…
Surgeon fish (blue and red):
Long silver fish (like a herring…):
For more precise concepts, it will be possible to use a shorter codification of scientific names.
Independently from any signs already formalized or normalized, many equipments could be represented by emoticons to design. The following sequence evokes a camera:
However, many apparatus having the same global rectangle form, it will be difficult to represent all equipment… unless Unicode ethnic characters, colors and advanced fonts effects are used. The following proposals are for the words “oven” and “washing machine”.
Probably, for a fridge, it would be necessary to add the symbol of temperature degree: °
And for a freezer, it could be:
Of course, contraries symbolic signs could be used for other equipments, like a heater:
Anyway, in many domains, signs are de facto normalized, such as the signs for: toilets, entrance, exit, etc. and anyone is able to understand them, like the airport signs. Transposing these signs to keyboard characters has already been done in different manners, including specific Dings-like fonts. Below are two possibilities for entry and exit signs:
However, the main issue for complete language-Independency is Grammar! Even if all graphical signs covering the 2,500 basic concepts (or radicals) are already available with the Insert menu of Google Drive©it is not possible to build a language-independent text without a robust and efficient syntactical and semantic system.