Iconic - The Universal Icon Language πŸ˜ƒπŸ”¨πŸ’¬

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Card: Hello World! - Programmer's Greeting
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Card: Everything flows. - Heraklit of Ephesis
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Card: A storm in a teacup. - English Proverb
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Card: Hurry slowly! - Ancient Greek Proverb
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Card: Time is money. - English Proverb
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Card: Humans are wolves to humans. - Latin Proverb
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Card: My home is my castle. - English Proverb
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Card: A sound mind in a sound body. - Ancient Greek Proverb
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Card: Even monkeys fall from trees. - Japanese Proverb
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Card: A picture is worth a thousand words. - English Proverb
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Card: Better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven. - English Proverb
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Card: Fortune comes to the door that laughs. - Japanese Proverb
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Card: A frog in a well does not know the ocean. - Japanese Proverb
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Card: Make love, not war! - Hippie Slogan
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Card: All you need is love. - Hippie Slogan
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Card: We are all in the same boat. - English Proverb
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Card: Who is silent seems to agree. - Latin Proverb
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Card: Is the moon there when no one is looking? - Albert Einstein
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Card: If you want peace, prepare for war! - Latin Proverb
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Card: The night hides a world but reveals a universe. - Persian Proverb

Welcome to Iconic!

Iconic is a constructed language exploring the power of symbolism: it consists only of icons represented by emoji and there is no fixed pronunciation.

What might seem strange at first is actually an advantage: β˜€οΈ is the sun, ⛰️ is a mountain and 🌊 is a wave, no matter how you pronounce it or what culture you come from. This abstraction allows Iconic to be a truly international language, the aim of which is to be as simple, clear, and intuitive as possible. It is also a more direct form of communication – seeing is believing!

You may therefore think of Iconic as an artistic tool, a linguistic experiment or even an Esperanto with pictures. Above all, though, it is meant to be fun to read and write!

Iconic works by focusing on only 71 fixed symbols, which express structures found in virtually all languages. Everything else is expressed using intuitive symbols and descriptions, which are not fixed and can be understood with a bit of practice. Surprisingly, this minimalist approach seems to be enough to express anything using only icons!

To get an impression of the language, see the cards above. This website also features a more thorough Introduction and a Summary in 24 rules. For more examples see Material, which includes proverbs, stories and poems. There are also Comics (Pepper & Carrot).

So far the Standard Vocabulary contains more than 3000 common English words. To write your own sentences, use the Online Converter on Lingojam or the AutoHotkey Script on Windows to automatically transform English words into emoji.

Iconic aspires to be a useful tool for art and communication, allowing anyone to express anything symbolically. Let us embark together on a journey to discover a new way of language! πŸ™‚

Tiemo Benedikt SchrΓΆder

P.S.: For news and discussion join the group on Reddit and Discord!
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the goal of this language?

There are many applications: artistic expression, decoration, scientific exploration and international communication to name a few. Above all, though, it is meant to be fun to use!

How should I pronounce this language?

Iconic is designed as a purely visual language, so there is currently no offical pronunciation. This means you may pronounce it any way you like, or even not at all.

What are the symbols?

The symbols are based on Unicode 12 from which a few hundred different emoji are used, though the list is theoretically unlimited. These emoji are the same on every platform and you may use any emoji font you like. In addition, some punctuation like quotation marks and the equals sign also appear, as well as other writing systems for names. Iconic is color-neutral and works perfectly well in black and white.

How do I write in Iconic?

There are emoji selectors built into many existing keyboards, but you can also use the Online Converter on Lingojam or the AutoHotkey Script on Windows. Other writing tools may come in the future.

Is there a dictionary?

You can use the Online Converter as a dictionary for translating English into Iconic. The other direction works as well, but is still under development. All texts on this website come with translations.

Is this a complete language?

Like any other language Iconic constantly evolves, but in my experience you can already express anything in it, though sometimes in a roundabout way.

Is Iconic based on English?

Iconic is based on a comparison of the structure of many languages and focuses on universals. As such, it is not based on any specific language, but rather language as a shared human experience.

How do I learn Iconic?

I recommend trying to understand the examples on this website and then experimenting on your own using the conversion tools. For a first impression look at the Cards above. There is also a more thorough Introduction and a short Summary of the language rules. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask on Reddit or Discord!

Who uses this language?

So far a few people have tried it and I have had some successful chat conversations. It is still new, though, so be among the first to try it out and share your experiments on Reddit and Discord! πŸ™‚

I like this, how can I help?

Try it out and share your experiments on Reddit or Discord! Feedback is also always welcome! πŸ™‚

News (2023)

Latest vocabulary update: 05-14πŸ“†