This qwerky business has gotten out of hand. No, not like that. In having too much fun with chalking up names us humans never heard before—never mind those lawsuits!—some Israelis have done something bolder: creating a whole new language to back up that new name.

Zlango, unfortunately, is not a web application, but way cooler. It’s a new format of mobile communication, “ZMS” they dub it, in the form of icons (choose from over two hundred).

Sure, you see an eye, or a clock, or a fly. But it’s the same thing with hieroglyphics, kanji, or emoticons: each squiggle’s got a dozen connotations that depend on the context, the location in a phrase or sentence or story. It’s not just about toggling the “translate” button to help you decipher it and see how awkward the words stand side by side; it’s also about listening to your interpretation of how the message has been put together.

The icons have their own little lives to defend too, as “unused icons will be eliminated.”

ZMS may be totally frightening to those who have given up on their slow texting thumbs, no matter how hard they try.

The Qwerks

Belongs to Circle Number
3, The Pseudo-Abstract

The Formula
Bastardized English [slang?]

Web 2.0 Validator Score

Company Mascot
Zly the fly

Other Qwerky Jargon
The Zlangulator (Zlango Simulator) and the Zlap It! feature (enlarge, project, and create an instant slideshow)

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  1. Notebook Computer Blog » Blog Archive » Sony notebook - PixelPressIcons.Com / 09.11.07, 8:40 am


  1. Mia
    07.3.06, 2:24 pm



    It’s going to be pretty difficult to communicate properly using that though, since you have to learn all the proper usages… Meh. I don’t think it’s a good idea to mess with an existing convention that already works well. You’re right; to all extents and purposes it’s like creating a whole new language, and really, who wants to go through that just to say something you can already say in English (or whichever letter-based language you prefer)?

  2. Corsarius
    07.3.06, 9:25 pm

    honestly, zlango confused me the first time i saw it. it looks great, but intimidating. but i dont’ know if that’s just me ;)

  3. ia
    07.4.06, 3:47 am

    ah, you’re both right i guess. but i admire their courage and coolness.

    i mean, they’re not monsters out to eat you with their staggeringly squeaky-clean product, but that they’re friendly folk you’d want to approach and stalk (?) after that first visit.

    do i make any sense? i hope so.

  4. jangelo
    07.4.06, 9:59 am

    Where’d my comment go! Ack. Looks like comments do get lost when you send them off looking for their intended destinations in the middle of the night (or early dawn).

    At any rate, isn’t English difficult enough a language to learn and master (always evolving and never seems to make sense)?

    Heck, even the simplest of emoticons might be easily misunderstood! What of a complex new symbol-based language?

  5. BigAir
    07.12.06, 2:22 pm

    i think is one of the coolest things i saw…
    looking around it took me like 5 min to star remembering the icons, and by the end of the story i was reading normaly, NO TRANSLATE!!.

    when is this coming out!!?

  6. ia
    07.12.06, 5:16 pm

    @BigAir: you’ll have to check with the makers of Zlango themselves, and it will also depend on your area. :) thanks for dropping by!

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