The EL System
How EL was started
The present condition of EL
In this globalized world, wouldn't you like to have a new auxiliary language that can help with all kinds of communications, which your mother language can’t work for? If it's easy to learn and is convenient for your personal information management, would you like to use it?
Earth Language (EL) is what you are looking for.
EL is a thinking method based on visual symbols for common elements of human senses and nature, not for particular cultures. Each base corresponds with various kinds of signs using your hands, body, eyes or voice, without extra effort to learn. So EL supports communication whatever the condition is.
It works as the extension of all native languages, read in one’s mother tongue as “1+2=3” is read.
The final aim of EL is to support cooperation and coexistence for a sustainable world, instead of supporting competitions to win by arms.
# Protecting and raising traditional languages and cultures from lapse.
# Integrating world communication, sweeping away walls among languages and signs.
# Developing new consciousness:
- Children become conscious of being both local and global, learning their own languages using EL.
- EL lights up different points between cultures, when one uses it for studying a foreign language or communicating with foreigners.
- EL users always get another perspective besides their own tradition.
- The user’s integral view becomes widened arranging information in the EL way.
# Developing creativity:
Stimulating by a new combination of concepts, and by the ability of common icons and those various expression ways, inventions and various kinds of new art can be developed with EL.
EL uses 91 simply shaped symbols for definitions, phonetics, numerals and marks for grammar and information management.
Compounding some bases on top of each other, picture-like or abstract single symbols are made as many as needed.
50 bases among them are used for both meanings and phonetics, simply distinguishing the purpose.
Fundamental ideograms are like hieroglyphics (picture-like symbols), and a complex ideogram is shown as the combination of the meanings of the element basest.
(nature) (water) (plant) (way)
(the bracket to classify the concept of the following symbol/phrase, putting this on the left of a name or an abbreviation)
Base overlay formed by the above bases:
(rain) (tree) (stem) (trunk) (bulb) (water supply route)
(the symbol to show that the next symbol/phrase is a name of tree)
Fundamental characters are easily understood by little children and illiterate people.
More examples of picture-like symbols with illustrations are here.
Also the illustrated dictionary including examples of nomenclature starts from here.
The bases are simplified main vocal organ shapes or abstract marks for functions.
A complex phoneme is shown by a compounded symbol; and phonemes are arranged chronologically to show how to pronounce vocal sounds. E.g.
(the lips shape; [p]: bilabial plosive) (the flat tongue shape; [t]: alveolar plosive)
(symbolizing the air directly going up; nasal sound), (fricative), (glottalic ingressive)
Compounded-phoneme symbols formed by the above bases:
[m]: bilabial nasal, [n]: alveolar nasal, : voiceless alveolar fricative (th sound of "throw"),
: bilabial/[p]-lips fricative, : bilabial glottalic ingressive, : alveola glottalic ingressive
The grammar and information arrangements (more details)
2) clear and
3) free for sequencing of the parts of a sentence
are the motto. For making them possible, the grammatical symbols work.
There are brackets for distinguishing definition or phonetics, names and classification of names;
rationally to create abbreviations and logos, and to create new temporary symbols, etc.
The EL multi-method
ASCII: the computer key code to type the EL Font (free to download): set as a closer shape or function between the EL font and English Alphabet.
The Vocal Symbol: a single-syllable name of each base
the Hand Signs: shaping the hand as a base, or drawing a base in the air
and there are more applicable expression methods, which can help holding
the bases memory and work for an emergency communication.
In 1988, the idea struck Yoshiko McFarland like a lightning bolt and has changed her life completely from a batik painter. It was a year after her immigration to the U.S. without preparing English. The idea came up from her minority experience in the U.S. and also her former life through ancient Japanese culture.
For more details, see the founder's page
EL has been raised mostly by Yoshiko alone, occasionally with the help of linguists, scientists, teachers, students and a phonetic mania through the Internet, being supported by her family and friends. The biggest help was the new Font: Earth3 typing method by J. from Germany in 2006; and everybody can share it freely.
EL has been used or is being tested for linguistic education of children and students, as icons among coworkers in different cultures, stenography in mind-maps, for graphic designs in college projects and private web-pages, logos of private companies and groups, sharing haiku images, using the symbols for psychological treatment, EL body signs for meditation exercise, as an idea for a communication with extraterrestrial intelligences, as themes of thesis among college students and so on.
Since Feb. 2011, Earth Language Page started in Facebook to introduce the basic ideas and the examples of its usage. In the same year, Mindaugas Indriunas (a Lithuanian) started another (Wiki type) Earth Language Dictionary site. (You can join to fill the contents. Several years before this, S. Wattson made a similar site, but soon it became unusable because of changing the font system.)
Now “org” of earthlanguage.org is like wild organics slowly and freely growing and spreading worldwide. But it's not officially organized. (update: 11, 2011)
To the top . The
EL Brief with more Concrete Details
Written by Yoshiko in 1997, and revised in 2005