It uses simple pictures to represent both concrete and abstract ideas. UPL can be learned in just a few minutes. Although very simple, it is also quit powerful. You can make complicated sentences in UPL.
The different types of UPL symbols are presented below. Why not scroll down slowly to see if you can guess the meaning of a symbol before you uncover its English translation?
Simple symbols are just plain old ordinary pictures:
The next type of symbol is called a "context symbol". In a context symbol, part of a picture is removed and then repeated. The part that is repeated is the meaning of the symbol. An arrow always points toward the part of the symbol that represents the meaning of the symbol:
The "big picture" is called the context picture, and the little picture that is repeated is called the meaning picture. Sometimes the meaning picture doesn't explicitly appear in the context picture. In this case we have to use a little imagination to figure out how the meaning picture could have been removed from the context picture. Just remember that the arrow always points to the picture that represents the meaning of the symbol:
The next type of symbol is called a contrast symbol. A contrast symbol has two pictures. One picture represents what the meaning is and the other picture represents what it isn't. A pointer points to the picture that represents what the meaning is:
curved (not straight)
far (not near)
Transformation symbols represent actions, or verbs. There are two pictures in a transformation symbol. One picture represents the beginning of the action and the other picture represents the end of the action. We are to imagine how one picture is transformed into the other. An arrow hovers above the two pictures. The picture beneath the tail of the arrow represents the beginning of the action and the picture beneath the head of the arrow represents the ending of the action:
to grow taller
to rise, to ascend
will go away, will get further away
If the little red arrow is in the middle of the big arrow, between the two pictures, then the action is in progress at the present time:
By now you are pretty familiar with Universal Picture Language. There are other types of symbols, but you've seen the most important ones on this page.
Universal Picture Language was invented by Wally Flint. That's me, the author of this web site. My full name is William Wallace Flint III. My intention was to create a language that could be used as an alternative tool for people with language disabilities and handicaps. Unfortunately, UPL seems to be too complicated for this application. But I hope this web site can provide some ideas and inspiration to other language developers.
If you want to see some more UPL, why not try and read A Story in UPL?