Eden Tartour: Universal Language

Eden Tartour: Universal Language

Communicating with Everyone: a simple wish or a possibility?

One goal: solving the problem of communication that concerns absolutely everyone.The Lord knows for ages that being able to communicate is a real human strength. As described in the Bible, when the Lord wanted to punish humanity while building the Tower of Babel he gave each person a different language. Nobody could understand each other’s speech anymore.

This might only be a biblical story, but it describes a certain reality where people  from different nationalities cannot understand each other because of language boundaries. And even though it is getting easier to communicate, due to technological advancements, it is still not possible to communicate with the whole of humanity. The Esperanto language could have worked but what about the mute and deaf? Is there an alternative way to communicate more broadly? It seems obvious that visual communication is more universal than any spoken language. But then what about the blind…?

« Every cultural pattern and every single act of social behavior involves communication in either an explicit or implicit sense. »
Edward Sapir

A semiotic study is needed to learn how people from different cultures respond to  visual communication in order to help determine whether a universal visual language is conceivable, and if so, under what conditions. Human beings have always wanted to understand and interpret the world they live in. Humanity has this desire to always know and read nature and more generally the universe. Human beings spent their life trying to understand the meanings of the signs, codes and symbol present in their environment. Even though meanings don’t necessarily come out obviously, they often exist latently waiting for being disclosed, analyzed and read.

As demonstrated by the evidence in this paper, when words are not sufficient to communicate, non-verbal communication can be powerful. Problems of communication could be partly resolved by inventing a visual language that would speak to anyone, without them having to learn it because the signs would follow the principles of semiotics. It doesn’t mean getting rid of the spoken languages and the cultures they contain, but creating a new one — a modern and universal way of communicating. Moreover, communicating with blind people should be considered: their sense of touch is more developed than it is for sighted persons, and they could be able to recognize a visual sign, code or symbol by touching it as a 3D object. Bruno Munari compared a symbol based language to the spoken one and wrote in his book Design as Art (1966): « We should try to use the symbols as the words are used in a poem: they’ll have more than one meaning, and the meanings will change according to where they are put.» Following this idea, as long as words in a poem are pleasing to hear, the 3D objects have to be pleasing to see and touch.

Resolving the problem of communication is not a simple wish or a possibility.
Finding a solution could lead humanity to get rid of all the other problems.