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Introduction to Pictopen

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The copy on this page is free. The author, Juan M. Garay


There were attempts to express thoughts through pictography in ancient civilizations, but they were not allowed to succeed for different reasons. Pictography is the art of writing by drawing the things themselves. For instance:

Boat: Boat pictogram   To go: To go pictogram

This Guide is an intent to create a writing system for international communication based on such signs. This constructed language (conlang) has been developed by us to the extent that it can be used as a practical way of writing in many fields. It is surprising how easily pictography can be learnt and kept in the memory, the reason being the close connection between the pictogram and its meaning, like these examples:

Pushing: Pushing pictogram Thing: Thing pictogram Nothing: Nothing pictogram Street: Street pictogram
Fail: Fail pictogram Get up: Get up pictogram Big: Big pictogram Increase: Increase pictogram

all of which can be readily learnt by people regardless their language.

Of course, pictography cannot be spoken, therefore does not replace any language, it is intended to be used as an international auxiliary language. Pictography is just a system of writing and sending messages anywhere in the world. This guide has first, the introduction followed by a second part with sentences about different subjects. We have created over 3.000 pictograms. We may call this conlang the Pictopen System to avoid confusion with other uses of the word pictography. The author is aware that something like pictography cannot be constructed easily.

Nowadays (2012 onwards), there are ways to send messages by mobile phones either sending the photo of the pictograms or sending the pictos drafted by hand on the screen of the mobile phone itself. These possibilities open a gigantic scope for communicating pictopen messages with anyone regardless of the language she or he speaks.



The author welcomes people or institutions who want to participate as co-authors
of this useful constructed language. The use of Pictopen is free.
Please contact us if you are interested in using pictopen for advertising.


People interested in Pictopen
for commercial, promotional
or practical purposes may
contact us