Bliss Workshop

Welcome to the Bliss Workshop! This workshop is for those who wish to teach Bliss to others. From time to time a new session will be added, and throughout, tips will be given regarding teaching Bliss to those who use it for their face-to-face communication and their Blisslnternet communication.

This page is just a brief overview. For more and updated information and a deeper understanding, we recommend that you read this document on Proceedings Characteristics of Blissymbolics.

When you think about teaching Bliss, there are a few primary factors to remember:

  1. Key Characters (or Key Symbols), Bliss-characters and Bliss-words

  2. Language Structure

  3. Generative

Please trfer to the Fundamental Rules of Blissymbolics document for more detailed information about the making of Bliss.
(In Bliss Fundamental Rules Amendment you can find an updated description of the procedures for how the development of new Blissymbol vocabulary is managed.)


Key Blissymbol Characters (Key Symbols)

Around 120 Key Blissymbol characters (previously called Key Symbols) represent primary meanings or concepts that are used repeatedly to generate the full set of semantic Bliss-characters, from which the Bliss-word vocabulary is composed. The International Panel of BCI identified the key characters (key symbols) that appeared in the Blissymbol Reference Guide lexicon (1998), and from which all Bliss-characters were made up (866 Bliss-characters and a total of around 3500 Bliss-words at that time). The list that was included there was not definitive; as new vocabulary is added to the system, a few new key symbols have been added.

Key characters (key symbols) provide the key to deciphering any existing symbols and offer the potential for creating new compound symbols - Bliss-characters and Bliss-words. (The current number of Bliss-characters is somewhat more than 1000 included in the full BCI-AV vocabulary of over 5000 Bliss-words.)

You can decode new symbols you come across by identifying their key character components, i.e. "spelling out their meaning units".


person+feeling+positive(plus+intensity) =friend

person+to give(container+up) +knowledge=teacher


When Bliss users gain experience in analysing the components of symbols in order to interpret the meaning of the whole symbol, they are applying a skill that will be helpful to them when they need to decode words - visual analysis.


Language Structure

Blissymbolics has its own grammar. Parts of speech are marked with indicators. mind (shape of the top of the head)

mind, intellectto think (infinitive)thought (past)will think (future)

brainminds, intellectsbrainsmental, intellectual


Indicators give Bliss users the power to communicate verbs, adjectives, adverbs, plural, tenses beginning with a basic concept found in a noun. This capability gives a lot of power to knowing a small number of symbols.

Find out how numbers are used to create pronouns by visiting the "Land of Bliss".

Now here's how you can say "my house":

Take the symbol for "I and me" (person + 1)...

...and add the possessive (belongs to).

Now you have "my".

So here is "my house" ("I+possessive" space "house")



Because each unit in a Blissymbol provides an element of meaning, you can make your own Blissymbols by using a variety of strategies. The most important one is the combine strategy.

I hope, as you learn more, you will become a "lover of Bliss"

combine indicator + person + love + Blissymbol + combine indicator

Do you see how I have selected three Bliss-characters, sequenced them together and created my own combined symbol or Bliss-word? The combine indicator marks the symbol as my personal creation, not to be found in the standard vocabulary. Anyone who knows Bliss can decode it! For example:

The Blissymbol for "introduce" is not in our standard authorized vocabulary. If we need it, all we had to do was think about what the word means and spell its essential meaning with Bliss-characters!

introduce = bring a person to first knowledge of something.

In Bliss,

combine indicator + lead + person + knowledge + combine indicator

Additional information