Pictography, a possible way of writing
Pictography lends itself to many ways of expression, sometimes it looks as if has more possibilities than existing languages and other times happens the opposite when one has great difficulty in creating an appropriate picto for a given meaning. Examples of the first case could be the in pictos and and many others when they are placed before a picto as forming a part of a compound picto.
For instance: can be translated as: he was glad that he bought a home.
Or the sentence meaning: sadly the price of oil is going up.
Apart from the difficulty of creating a new picto —it might take one minute or hours— names of some minerals, many chemical produces, etc. Fortunately we have in many cases names that are understood in many languages as they belong to Science. Also, proper nouns. In these cases we recommend the Western alphabet, because is the best known internationally.
Pictograms in our opinion do not represent words but only meanings. The meanings are universal; the words are tied to our ability to transform our thoughts into sounds in a given language. We can use words without knowing their meaning (as sometimes happens) but we cannot do that in pictography. Let's take the sentence where the concept of "word" is a bit
If we translate this sentence into English it would read something like
I loved you, I love you and I will love you forever.
If the reader has been going carefully through the past pages will see that most pictos are easy to remember. This is the main asset of pictography, that it is easy to pict and easy to learn. But pictos should not be guessed, they should be learnt as happens with any language. Experiments show that pictography can be learnt with a fifth of the effort to learn an unrelated
language, for example for a Frenchman learning Swedish words. As for the long time memory, the difference is far greater. Children have fun learning pictography.
Metaphors and overstatements
We are not too impressed by the fact that languages are not represented always with the same words or even ideas. Actually we speak using lots al metaphors and figurative words which if translated literally into another language may be misunderstood because every language has its own metaphors and other means of expression that are peculiar to the language and somehow reflect the culture of a given society.
If I say “it is raining cats and dogs” I am not supposed to write here the pictos for cats and dogs because is a metaphor and that might sound alarming to a reader of a different language. This is just an example of how metaphors should be used with limitations when writing pictography. They could be replaced by a normal expression like “it is raining heavily” or something similar. Nevertheless some overstatements and metaphors can be translated into pictography literally, like a Chinese writing “your order to buy our goods has meant a great honor to us” even when a Westerner would say “we are very pleased for your order”.
In our system of pictography the metaphors are distinguished by a pictographic sign, so the foreign reader is warned when reading a metaphor. For instance, if the reader sees a picto referring to a baby being called “mi cielo” he will know is a metaphor and does not mean actually “my heavens” thanks to the metaphor sign. Translations can give lots of surprises because the difference in cultures. For instance, primitive people may say you may trust him because he is a good seal hunter when they actually mean he is an able man, for instance the primitive Eskimos, for whom to be able and to be a good hunter may be the same thing. In such a case, as the Eskimo who is writing pictos he knows the rules, he won’t pict this metaphor when writing to foreigners, instead he will use plain pictography.
All this and many other things belong to advanced pictography and have not been detailed in this Introduction.
The order of the words in the sentence
Some critics say that different languages have different order of the words in the sentence, something that goes contrary to have a universal way of writing. It is not so necessarily. In Latin and Basque among other languages the verb goes at the end of the sentence. For instance, if we translate from Latin literally will come across with sentences like this: The troops having done their duty and being in need of a rest, to home returned. Although we have a rule that says the subject of the sentence should go first followed by the verb, it does not mean that we cannot understand if the verb goes at the end as in this Latin sentence. Besides, in pictography a verb and its tense is always recognized as such because it bears the dot to indicate the tense. Contrary to this, in English the same word can be a noun and a verb, i.e. mind, house, beginning, etc. depending on the context.
Adjectives can be placed before or after de noun, it does not matter much where they are placed, because they always bear a curved under-arrow in the direction of the noun. The arrow tells the reader not only it is an adjective but also to which noun applies. Adverbs bear a straight under- arrow directed to the corresponding word, although most adverbs do not bear the arrow because they are too obvious. Suppose someone writes is he depressed very, because this is the order of the words in his language. In pictography this sentence would be understood anyway because we know the role of the pictos in the sentence, so that the order of the pictos is not essential to understand the meaning.