2019 - Jul
Trade Language update:
These first symbols are the formal numbers 0-15. The first symbol meaning zero and it's horizontal line used as a indicator of orientation and baseline for the other characters.
You will notice the similarity to binary:
Unexpected perks to this system are the symbol for the number 2 looks like a 2 and every odd number ends in a vertical bar on the right side.
Here are the informal script characters which were modified to be written quickly:
Now for the consonant symbols of the language:
The symbols were created using basic lines indicating the part of the mouth where the sound is formed or felt. An additional '(' shape is used to represent the shockwave of a plosive consonant:
Here is a basic tutorial combining the two, numbers (which are also the vowels) and consonants:
I moved away from letters looking like faces to increase the ability to learn the language. I find myself from time to time analyzing the letter to remember how to pronounce it. Numbers are similar in that from the symbol itself you can deduce it's value. You just have to remember that, like in binary, the first line "L" has a value of 8, the second line "(" 4, the third ")" 2, and the fourth "_|" 1. Then you may just add them together. For example: "L()I" would be 8+4+2+1 or 15. Math can be broken down with the symbols as well, since they just represent binary math, when you put one symbol over the other you can easily tell what the end result will be:
In comparison to:
My dictionary is still in active development as are my symbols for punctuation and math.
Trade is a language with no conjugation and no morphing of the words of any kind.
Trade is also designed to have strict core rules to allow the language to grow and mutate into many similar derivations. I have been working on several ways to render the symbols including limited pixel size, viking-style axe writing, and cuneiform. Trade has been designed from the ground up to be easily learned and used in video games and other fictional works and as such I want artists to be able to make their own derivations that fit their setting and theme but will still be translatable by others.
2017 - Feb
It all started while playing Tribes...
In the computer game Starseige: Tribes there exists a simple voice command menu. The player simply presses 'v' to select from a menu of basic voice commands. This seemed innocent enough but the realization came to me later that anyone speaking any language could be using these voice commands and, as long as they are translated correctly, everyone could communicate perfectly.
Where this led was a sense of a void where there should be a language that a computer can use to better understand what humans are trying to say. I wanted to create something pure that could be used similarly to the voice command menu but far more in-depth where every possible combination of letters would be represented and synonyms and multiple meanings are removed. This would enable everyone to choose sentences without ambiguity or mistranslation in order to communicate.
So where to go from there? I needed so many things: letters with consonants and vowels, I needed a system of creating words based on importance and frequency of use, and so on. So it began. I started with a basic numbers game. I needed to set barriers for myself. For the first, this needs to get done and does not have to be perfect so do a decent amount of research but do not obsess. From there I looked up the number of words the average person uses in day-to-day conversation. That came to around 2000. So 2048 is my upper limit (I enjoy powers of 2). I took inspiration from ASCII and UTF-8 so I knew I wanted the first binary words to represent the numbers 0-15 to help programmers out. Next came the fun part, finding my letters. I wanted 8 consonants and 8 vowels. Thanks to Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic I quickly ruled out the letters R, L, and P respectively since they do not exist in those languages. Some letters were easier to find than others. Thanks to Quora, Wikipedia, and the IPA I was able to weed through many options. 'M', 'N', 'T', 'K', 'B', 'D', and 'S' were the first to pass the test. My eighth letter was a little more difficult since it no longer exists in the English language. The "long s" or the "sh" sound was a big winner being supported by almost every language I could find. I was stuck for a time with only six vowels until I let my mind relax a bit and realise that English vowels carry several vowel sounds per letter. Once expanded I had more than eight vowels and had to remove a few based on poor representation in the IPA. This left me with: 'ah', 'ay', 'ee', 'eh', 'oo', 'uh', 'ih', and 'oh'.
From here it is still a work in progress. I am leaning towards every "letter" actually being a combination of consonant and vowel. This would lead every word in Trade to end in a vowel. I want to leave the nouns open-ended. This way I can adopt simple nouns from other languages and they should generally contrast Trade by not having the pure pattern of consonant-vowel-consonent-vowel. So far, for characters, for each letter I was thinking I would emulate the Korean language design by using faces to represent the sounds. The brain does naturally want to process faces so I can use that to aid in learning. Five eye directions: center, left, right, up, down, left lid closed, right lid closed, and eyes connected should represent the consonants. For the vowels four nose shapes and four mouth shapes should cover them.