Day twenty-three -- Sould PreBabel words be intuitive? And, the PreBabel a, b and c.
Question -- from "imploder" -- I think this post of Trailsend is asking the right questions and pointing to clear flaws in the logic of this project. Why didn't you answer it, tienzen? To keep any useful discussion, these have to be resolved.
Answer -- In the above quote, there are two issues, Trailsend's questions and flaws in the logic of the PreBabel. If the logic is flawed, we can fix it. If the logic is wrong, no further discussion is truly needed.
Twenty some years ago, there was a very popular software, Lotus 123, which makes very complicated spreadsheet task becoming very easy, as easy as 1, 2 and 3. In fact, the "PreBabel abc" is much easier than the Lotus 123. The PreBabel logic has only three points.
Point a: All nature languages are difficult to learn, even for the native speakers, let alone to be a second language. With the modern education system, every country still has a sizable illiterate rate (ranging from 10% to 60%). The term "illiterate" means that one is able to speak a language but is unable to read or to write in that language.
Point b: There is a newly discovered linguistic law -- the Law 1.
Law 1: Encoding with a closed set of root words, any arbitrary vocabulary type language will be organized into a logically linked linear chain.
Thus, "with a PreBabel root word set," every nature language has a PreBabel dialect, such as, PreBabel (English}, PreBabel (Chinese), etc..
Then, we get a "PREDICTION" from this law.
+ b.1 -- Learning Chinese (as the first language or as the second language) via PreBabel (Chinese) is 10 or 100 times easier than the traditional way (without PreBabel).
+ b.2 -- Learning English (as the first language or as the second language) via PreBabel (English) is 10 times easier than the current K1 to K12 program and the current ESL program.
+ b.3 -- for all other nature language, PreBabel (Russian), etc..
Point c: There is a newly discovered linguistic law -- the Law 2.
Law 2: When every natural language is encoded with a universal set of root words, a true Universal Language emerges, the PreBabel (Proper).
Indeed, indeed, just this simple, PreBabel a, b and c. Nothing to it.
As the PreBabel logic is supported by laws, it must be verifiable with tests, not with the argument of tongue in cheek. The "point c" is a future tense; so, its verification must wait until, at least, two PreBabel (languages) are completed. This will take about 3 years from now.
The "point a" is not an absolute statement but is a relative statement. In fact, we cannot define "point a" in an absolute term. It is relative to the "point b". So, there is no logic about "point a" in this PreBabel logic.
The key and the vital point of PreBabel logic is "point b", especially its PREDICTION. If "point b" is wrong, no further discussion is needed for this PreBabel project.
Question -- from "imploder" -- Why is (dot, divide horizontal) "above"? Why is (divide horizontal, dot) "below"? What about coming before the divide instead of after is supposed to intuitively make me think "above" instead of "below"?
Why should (dot, stop) mean "at"? When I think of a person "looking at his friend" I don't think of any stopping going on at all.
Why should (dot, holding) mean "of"? In the phrase "I was thinking of you," I see no holding going on. Someone somewhere may think it's perfectly intuitive because I was "holding" you in my brain, but all manner of other people would never make that leap.
Why is (man, below) "foot" and not "leg"?
Why is (sun, ready to fall) "sunset," and not "afternoon"?
Why is (sun, flow) "time," instead of "day"?
Why is (moon, flow) "month," instead of "night" (especially in light of the previous example)?
Why is (man, seeing) "front"? The mental picture those roots give me is either "looking" or "visible," certainly not "front."
Why is (eye, brain) "know," of all things? The "mental image" that forms for me is "recognize," perhaps.
This is what I am (and have been) trying to say. You cannot expect all the world's people to think identically. They are not isomorphic. Therefore, this idea:
[quote]...each root is an idea or a mental image of an action, an object, a quality or a state of a situation. Every word of its vocabulary is also a mental image which expresses the meaning of that word directly. With the mental image as the memory anchor, each word can be memorized without any effort.[/quote] is rubbish. One people group may look at the root encoding (man, below) and "directly" understand that the word means "soil." Another people group may look at the root encoding and "directly" understand that the word means "horse." The notion that this encoding actually means "foot," while perfectly sensible to you, would have to be memorized in spite of intuition by these people, and thus, it would be no more of an "I told you so" token than the word f-o-o-t.
I went scarcely twenty seed words down your list, and the vast majority of them were not "direct" images for me at all. I would have to memorize individually (the same way I have to do for Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi...) what each encoding was intended to mean. It would not be any easier for me than just memorizing a word to match the meaning.
And this doesn't even scratch the surface of what you would do with words that are culture specific. How would you encode the Japanese notion of ??? Or the Hindi concept of aum? These are things about which whole books have been written. Even native speakers of the languages in which they occur have to build up their understanding of these concepts over time. How are you going to "encode" them in a few logograms so that all people everywhere will intuitively understand what they mean?
I'd like to see these problems addressed rather than derailing to a "how many % of earth's population is proficient in English" flame. So far I agree with Trailsend: PreBabel is not the amazing solution you claim it to be; it looks problematic to use it even as a completely ordinary language (no better than others).
Answer -- In "b.1", I stated, "...Learning Chinese (as the first language or as the second language) via PreBabel (Chinese) is 10 or 100 times easier than the traditional way (without PreBabel)." The term "100 times" is a trap, a decoy, trying to bait the attacks. If this bait is successful, the attacker has failed to truly understand the issue. Even if it were only 10% better, the PreBabel logic is still valid. However, I will stick to the claim of 10 times better, and this number is not a bait but a genuine target. You can shoot it with all your bullets.
Not only is "b.1" testable, but now has many verifiable PreBabel (Chinese) students. In fact, you can test it yourself if you are not already well-versed with Chinese written language.
Chinese written language is viewed (by both Chinese and Westerners) as one of the most difficult language to learn in the world. It takes over 10 school years (10th grade) for a native Chinese students to learn about 3,000 to 4,000 Chinese words and about 6,000 words for college graduates. Yet, with PreBabel (Chinese), an American who knows not a single Chinese word (both verbal and written) can acquire 3,000 words in six months. This not only is my statement but is my guarantee. No argument is needed on this. Arguing over a testable issue without concerning the tests or the test results is simply wasting of the time.
Of course, Trailsend's questions are about PreBabel (English), not PreBabel (Chinese). However, as long as the "point b" is a testable issue, his questions are not relevant to the issue. Furthermore, I do not truly understand his questions. Are they simply questions, such as a classroom question to the teacher? Are they critiques, trying to lead to a conclusion, a flawed or doomed PreBabel logic? Without knowing the answer, I must do some guesses.
Case one: Trailsend does understand and agree with the PreBabel logic but is unhappy about the Tienzen encoding; (man, below) should be a leg, not foot. Well, if everyone thinks this way, then we change it. As long as the Law 1 remains valid, everything is just fine.
Case two: Trailsend's questions are trying to lead to a conclusion with a hidden logic.
1. Why is (man, below) "foot" and not "leg"?
2. If (man, below) can mean foot, leg, butt, toe, earth, ant and million other things, the PreBabel encoding is also arbitrary and is not easier than the code (f,o,o,t) = foot. Thus, the PreBabel's claim to be an axiomatized system is false.
3. As the way of people's thinking is very much different from one to the other, no one can intuitively knows that (man, below) is foot, not dust. So, this (man, below) = foot encoding is wrong, not acceptable.
4. As this simple encoding [(man, below) = foot] is wrong, the process of encoding English with a set of root words is impossible. Thus, there is no such a thing as PreBabel (English).
5. Without a PreBabel (English), the PreBabel "point b" is, of course, wrong. No test is needed for it.
Case three: There is no remedy of any kind for the case two.
1. Why (f,o,o,t) = foot is correct? Because it is, go and check any English dictionary.
2. Why (man, below) = foot is wrong? Because, it can also be Earth, dust, ant, etc.. No one can agree that (man, below) must be "foot".
As I have said, I do not understand Trailsend's question. What is his point? The three cases above are my guesses.
The theory and the method of constructing a true Universal Language can be viewed at
This post is, now, long enough. I will answer these three cases in my next post, squarely and head-on. In the mean time, if Trailsend can clarify his point, I will answer it too, then.
PreBabel is the true universal language, it is available at