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Zlango, Ltd.
Type Private
Industry Computer software
Founded 2004 (Israel)
Headquarters 3 Tvuot ha'Aretz, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Key people Yoav Lorch, Founder
Roni Haim, CEO
Alon Greenberg, CFO
Products Zlango mobile,
Zlango ICQ plug-in
Employees 40
Website www.zlango.com

Zlango is an icon-based "language" (actually a logographic writing system) built for web and mobile messaging. Zlango Ltd., the Israeli company which created and owns Zlango, has released a Java and Brew application for mobile phones which uses the Zlango icon language to create a new form of SMS, called ZMS, using Zlango's icons instead of words.[1] Online, Zlango is available for composing messages and then sharing them in e-mail, publishing them on the Zlango site, embedding them in blogs, spaces, sites, and more.[2]


Zlango was created in 2004 by Yoav Lorch, an author and playwright, as an attempt to shorten text messages. When he found that abbreviated texts only removed 20% of letters, he decided to enter the field of pictographic language. The name Zlango is a combination of lingo, slang, and language, with the letter Z as homage to Esperanto creator L. L. Zamenhof.[3] On February 2007, Zlango Ltd. announced that it raised $12 million from the VCs Benchmark and Accel.[4] Zlango Ltd. was based in Tel Aviv and had around 40 employees at its peak. The company ceased to operate in 2014.

Zlango around the world[edit]

Zlango's products are currently released in many countries, as well as over the Web, in many forms.

Zlango's mobile application was released in the following territories:

Apart from Zlango's website, Zlango also has an ICQ plug-in in several languages and countries that allows you to use Zlango icons to chat with your contacts.[12][13]
Zlango also appeared in the Israeli Children's Channel as a game show.[14]

The language[edit]

Zlango currently includes more than 300 icons in several different categories, but according to Zlango representatives, Zlango will eventually include the option for users to add their own icons, and that unused icons will be cycled out.[15] Zlango icons are also not definitive, and most icons have multiple meanings: for example, the icon for "me" can also mean "I", the icon for "go" can also mean "come", and the icon for "car" can also mean "drive". The meanings that Zlango intended for each icon are only suggestions as Zlango encourages users to invent their own personal meanings for icons.

The Zlango web page includes several new icons that are not in the mobile application such as "basketball" and "gold". The company also started to add commercial icons embedded in the Zlango set.

According to Zlango Ltd., the Zlango icons were created to be memorable, rather than recognizable. For example, the "want" icon is a bird in a nest, but once you learn of the icon's meaning, it is difficult to forget.[1]

Zlango has released several Zlango versions of classic stories which show the potential for more than just picture messaging:

Also, being an icon-based language with relatively easy-to-understand images, Zlango allows people who speak different languages to communicate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Arrington, Michael. "TechCrunch – Zlango's icon-based Language for SMS". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  2. ^ "http://www.zlango.com". Retrieved 2007-12-17. .
  3. ^ "New Israeli Cell Phone Language Says It With Symbols". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  4. ^ Arrington, Michael. "TechCrunch – Zlango Update – BenchMark and Accel Invest $12 Million". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  5. ^ "AMC launches messaging app Zlango - Telecompaper". 
  6. ^ "http://www.zlango.com/mobileSupport". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  7. ^ "Zlango Talk: Globe Launches Zlango in the Philippines". Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  8. ^ "Globe - Zlango". 
  9. ^ http://www.tmn.pt/zlango.html
  10. ^ "Zlango icon language infiltrates Swisscom Labs". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  11. ^ "King Kong Kiev". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  12. ^ "Zlango in ICQ (Hebrew)". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  13. ^ "Zlango - ICQ". Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  14. ^ "Zlango on Kids TV". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  15. ^ Carthy, Roi. "TechCrunch – Zlango Launches Web Play". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  16. ^ Zlango. "Little Red Riding Hood". Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  17. ^ Zlango. "Romeo & Juliet". Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  18. ^ Zlango. "Genesis". Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  19. ^ Zlango. "Adam and Eve". Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  20. ^ Zlango. "The Tower of Babel". Retrieved 2007-07-04. 

External links[edit]