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How about a Pictogram Written Language - Printable Version

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How about a Pictogram Written Language - Sakon Wiolen - 11-04-2014 06:11 PM

Friends, toki pona has 119-128 words—depending on who you ask.

I saw a thread or an article somewhere about using Kanji Symbols to write toki pona.

Kanji is rather complex and it's full of strokes meant to be made with a paint brush.

What if we came up with 119 pictographs—simple, easy to draw even for those with little talent…

And easy to tell one from another?

If at all possible, the symbols should be Iconic. That would malke them easier to remember.

"Waso" might be a stylized "V". "Mani" might very well be a dollar sign.

Various Circles might suffice for "Seke", "Suno", and "Mun"…

A stick man walking could be "Tawa". A reclining Stick Man might be "Moli" and a slightly different reclining Stick Man might be "Lape".

I don't want it too complex. Hard to mistake one pictogram for another—even when they're poorly drawn. And I don't want something that looks like it was drawn by a five year old.

And as I say, lets make maximum possible use of Iconic Pictograms—they are stylized versions of what they represent.

What do y'all think?

Sakon Wiolen

RE: How about a Pictogram Written Language - janAetherStar - 11-05-2014 01:03 PM

There are already the systems 'sitelen sitelen' and the official system from the toki pona book.

sitelen sitelen:

I can't find the other one (a sheet of the glyphs was posted to the internet somewhere), but it's in the official toki pona book (which you don't necessarily have to buy, but if you want to you can). The book is at The toki pona logo is literally 'toki pona' in this glyph system.

RE: How about a Pictogram Written Language - Sakon Wiolen - 11-06-2014 08:27 AM

That Pictogram system was way more complicated than I envisioned.

Try to imagine: My scanner is broke:

suno: A circle with 6 rays—no need to make it too detailed.

mun: Think about the "Man-in-the-Moon". No need for extraneous detail. A Circle with a Single Circle (the mouth) inside.

seke: A Simple Circle.

waso: a "V"

soweli: a bird's eye view of an oval with four stick legs.

pipi: a bird's eye view of a "body" circle, a smaller "head" circle and 8 legs (yes, insects have 3 body segments and six legs. Two segments is simpler and 8 legs make it less likely to be mistaken for "soweli".

kili: all kinds of fruit, bursa use a "U" shaped like a stylized Banana.

moku can mean "food" or "eat"

How about a hotdog—a somewhat skinnier "U" shape than the Banana with a stylized outline of a hotdog bun.

jan: a stick figure

tawa: a stick figure with two-line stick arms and legs—one up, one down on the arms; one forward and one back on the legs…

und so weider.

Sakon Wiolen

O yeah, some of the more abstract words will require more arbitrary symbols.

Come to think of it, my sister has a way to get drawings into the computer. I may take the time to work up a whole set of symbols.

RE: How about a Pictogram Written Language - janAetherStar - 11-06-2014 08:49 AM

Again, there are already official symbols (OTHER than sitelen sitelen), I think they're similar to what you described. (Of course, that doesn't stop you from making your own, it's always fun to see what people come up with Smile )

For some reason I can't find one of the websites that uses it, so here's a screenshot of the font:

It says, 'toki! sina pona tawa mi. tenpo pini la waso pona li moku e pipi lili ike.'
Sorry I can't find all the stuff for the font and other resources concerning the hieroglyphs. :/
Good luck with it all anyhows Smile