or the Universal Language
of François SUDRE


General Concepts of SOLRESOL
Words of one syllable
Suppression of synonyms
Reversed meanings
Important note
Word groups
Classification of ideas: 1º Simple notes
Classification of ideas: 2º Repeated notes
Parts of speech
Number of words
Separation of homonyms
Passive verbs
Reflexive verbs
Impersonal verbs
Interrogation and Negation
Fasi, Sifa
Different kinds of writing
Different ways of communicating
Brief extract from the Dictionary


In all the business of life, people must understand one another.

But how is it possible to understand foreigners, when there are around three thousand different languages spoken on earth?

For everyone's sake, to facilitate travel and international relations, and to promote the progress of beneficial science, a language is needed that is easy, shared by all peoples, and capable of serving as a means of interpretation in all countries.

This common language would save the time and money that one has to spend if one wishes to learn only a few foreign languages--for merely choosing one to study is hard; the study is difficult, and it does no good if you have to go to another country whose language you do not know.

Today, with travel being so rapid, a second language, accessible to everyone, becomes more indispensible with every passing day.

This international language of universal communication exists, and all that is now needed is a little willingness on everyone's part to learn it, practice it, and spread it throughout the world.

General Concepts of Solresol

François SUDRE, who was born in Albi and died in Paris in 1862, invented a very simple language in order to eliminate the need to study foreign languages.

To avoid giving any national language an advantage, François SUDRE created a language that does not resemble any other, and, as a result, is absolutely neutral.

In order not to excite rivalry and jealousy among the Nations, he created a neutral language, built entirely on the seven syllables of Music, which are known in all countries: Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.

It is absolutely unnecessary to be familiar with music to learn and to speak this language that will become common to all Nations, because it is neutral, very simple, very easy to pronounce, easy to read and write properly.

Indeed, everyone will realize that its orthography does not require more than a single minute's study.

This Language, called SOLRESOL, is no more French than German, no more English than Russian, no more Spanish than Turkish, no more Latin than Chinese.

Of course, the French will always speak French, the English will always speak English, the Russians will always speak Russian, etc., but Solresol will be the common link, the universal means of communicating one's thoughts, in speech or even without speech, from afar as well as up close, in secrecy as well as in broad daylight.

Thus by means of Solresol, the blind will be able to exchange ideas with foreign deaf-mutes and vice-versa, so everyone will be able to answer them and be understood by them.

There are in Europe more than 250,000 bind people and more than 210,000 deaf-mutes; there are thus 460,000 individuals, in Europe alone, who possess scarcely any means of communicating with everyone else, and who, thanks to Sudre's SOLRESOL, will be brought back into everyday life and see the inconveniences of their disability reduced.

The universal language, invented by François Sudre, has been approved by all the divisions of the Institut de Français, by the academies of Metz, Rouen and Bordeaux, by the Juries of the Universal Expositions of Byis in 1855 and of London in 1862, by several learned Societies, by nineteen official and governmental Commissions and by men such as: Arago, Tissot, de Lamartine, de Humboldt, Chérubini, Flourens, Auber, Halévy, Babinet, Baron Taylor, Littré, Victor Hugo, de Freycinet, etc., etc.

or the Universal Language




Words of One Syllable

Words are formed from one, two, three and four syllables.
Here are the words of just one syllable:

Do means no, not, neither, nor; Sol, if;
Re, and, as well as; La, the;
Mi, or, or even; Si, yes, okay, gladly, agreed.
Fa to

One can write just d for do; r for re; m for mi; f for fa; so for sol; l for la; s for si.

Words of Two Syllables
Dore ou Dr, I, me; Dl, one, someone;
Dm, you [sg] Ds, other.
Dso, self, oneself;
Redo or rd, my, mine; Rso, our, ours;
Rm, your, yours [sg]; Rl, your, yours [pl]
Rf, his; Rs, their.
Mido or md, for, in order to/that; Mso, well (adv);
Mr, who, which (rel pron); that (conj); Ml, here/there is, behold;
Mf, whose, of which; Ms, good evening/night.
Fado or fd, what?; Fso, why, for what reason;
Fr, with, jointly; Fl, good, tasty, delectable;
Fm, this, that; Fs, much, very, extremely.
Soldo or sod, but; Sof, because;
Sor, in, within; Sol (solla), perpetually, always, without end, without ceasing;
Som, wrong, ill (adv); Sos, thank, thanks.
Lado or ld, nothing, no one, nobody; Lm, here, there;
Lso, never, at no time; Lf, bad;
Lr, by; Ls, of.
Sido or sd, the same (thing); Sso, mister, sir;
Sr, each, every; Sso¯, madame, lady;
Sr, all; Sl, young man, bachelor;
Sm, good morning/afternoon; Sl¯, young woman, etc.
Sf, little, scarcely;

Suppression of Synonyms

The same word in Solresol signifies all the words that mean the same thing.

Thus, there is just one word solla to express always, without ceasing, perpetually, without end.

Just one word mifala (mfl) to express desire, long for, wish for.

The one word dosido (dsd) signifies aid, help, assist, come to one's aid.

The word refasi (rfs) means respond, reply, answer, retort.

The word ladomido (ldmd) signifies establish, institute, set up.

Reversed meanings

Solresol offers an advantage not found in any other language: it expresses the opposite meaning by reversing the word, syllable by syllable.

Misol, good Solmi, evil.
Fala, good, tasty Lafa, bad.
Solla, always Lasol, never.
Fs, much, very Sf, little, scarcely.
Msso, good fortune, happiness Sosm, misfortune.
Sols, climb, ascend Slso, descend.
Sosf, laugh Fsso, weep, sob.
Sml, ease Lms, difficulty.
Dldm, accept, consent Mdld, refuse, reject.
Fsms, advance Smsf, draw back, retreat.

Important Note: -When speaking Solresol, one should take great care to pause after every word; this slight pause is necessary to separate the words, so that the listener does not become confused but understands easily.
From the first lesson, one must get used to isolating every word distinctly.
We advise students to learn to speak slowly.

(It is absolutely unnecessary to be familiar with music to learn SOLRESOL).

Word groups

To make the words in Solresol easy to learn, François SUDRE classed them by order of ideas and by groups of six words. Examples:

Doredo or drd, time; Drso, month;
Drm, day; Drl, year;
Drf, week; Drs, century.

Dosoldo or dsod, be hungry; Dsof, be thirsty;
Dsor, eat; Dsol, drink;
Dsom, bread; Dsos, water.

Domiredo or dmrd, the five senses; Dmrso, taste;
Dmrm, see; Dmrl, feel;
Dmrf, touch, feel, handle; Dmrs, hear.

Dofalado or dfld, candor, sincerity; Dflf, cordiality;
Dflr, goodness, kindness; Dflso, generosity, unselfishness;
Dflm, sensitivity, impressionableness; Dfls, humanity, mercy.

Lafadore or lfdr, counting; Ldfso, multiplication;
Lfdm, addition; Lfdl, division;
Lfdf, subtraction; Lfds, division, share.

I.- Classification of ideas
(1º Simple notes )

In the preceding examples, one can see that the words composed of one, two and three syllables are used for the particles, for the pronouns, and to express the most necessary and frequent ideas.

The words of four syllables are arranged by classes.

The class of DO belongs to man, to his faculties, to his good qualities and to food.

Dmfd, man, human being; Dfsf, conscience;
Dmsof, intelligence; Dlfr, food, nourishment;
Dmlr, pronounce; Dssof, cooking.
Dfmr, quality;

The class of RE is employed for clothing, the house, furniture, housekeeping and the family.

Rdfs, clothing, dress; Rfdm, furniture;
Rdrf, shirt, blouse; Rsosr, work;
Rmfl, house; Rldr, washing, laundry;
Rmfs, dwelling, habitation, residence, Rsdso, family;
apartment; Rsds, father.

The class of MI is used for the words concerning man's actions, especially his flaws.

Mdfl, abandon, leave, desert; Mfmf, laziness;
Mdsod, fear, doubt, hold back; Mlrl, slander;
Mrdl, undertake; Msmf, responsibility;
Mfrd, selfishness; Msfd, indiscretion.

The words beginning with FA are are set apart for the country, agriculture, war, the sea, and travel.

Fdrm,country(side); Fmfl, regiment;
Fdsd, gardening, horticulture; Fsomr, strategy, tactic;
Frdr, agriculture; Fldr, navigate, sail;
Frdf, work the land, furrow; Fsdr, travel;
Frmf, harvest, gather, glean; Fssor, travel through, sightsee.

The words beginning with SOL have to do with theater, literature, fine arts, and science.

Sodrm, theater; Somsos, harmony;
Sodsd, orchestra; Soldl, painting, watercolor;
Sodsr, instrument; Solmf, sculpture;
Somsor, music; Sosdr, literature, letters.

The words beginning with LA are reserved for expressions used primarily in industry and commerce.

Ldrd, industry; Lfsod, cash [on hand], money;
Ldrm, make, manufacture; Lfsol, franc;
Ldrf, material, substance; Lfsos, centime;
Ldrso, produce; Lfld, measure;
Ldrl, sell, retail; Lflf, liter;
Ldrs, in bulk, wholesale; Lfsf, gram;
Ldmr, shop, store; Lsorf, meter;
Lrdl, buy, acquire, gain possession of; Lsomr, sample;
Lsofr, exposition, exhibition; Lsofd, display (area/things);
Lrfr, propose, offer; Lsofm, assortment, set;
Lmlf, merchandise; Lsmso, notions (store).

The class of SI words is used for words concerning the city, administration, government, politics, finance, and police.

Sdms, municipality; Srsl, republic;
Srdr, government; Smld, newspaper, journal, gazette;
Srdso, election; Sfmr, internationalism;
Srsd, diplomacy; Ssomr, finance;
Srsr, politics; Slmd, police.

II. - Classification of Ideas
(2º Repeated notes)

There are also words of two, three and four syllables, with two notes repeated immediately one after the other.
These words are listed separately in the dictionary; they are likewise arranged by order of action, by families, by classes.

The words dd, rr, mm, ff, soso, ll, ss serve to indicate the moods and tenses of verbs.
(See below under verbs.)

The words of three syllables are employed for numbers, the months of the year, the days of the week, and temperature [weather conditions].

Rdd, one, first; Sosod, Monday;
Rmm, two, second; Sosor, Tuesday;
Rff, three, third; Lff, snow;
Drr, January; Ssd, rain;
Dmm, February; Ssl, heat, warmth.

The words of four syllables beginning with DO are dedicated to religions and to the clergy.

Ddsod, gospel, bible; Dmss, superstition.
Dffd, Easter;

The words of four syllables beginning with RE relate to construction and different trades.

Rrdr, construction; Rsorr, pliers, pincers;
Rrdl, masonry; Rsoff, hammer;
Rffm, locksmiths; Rsdd, equipment, tools.
Rlld, cabinet-work;

The words beginning with MI are employed for isolated adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions.

Mmdm, however, nevertheless; Mdrr, approximately, around, almost
Mrrso, gradually, imperceptibly, little by little

The words that contain repeated notes and begin with FA and SOL are employed for sickness and medicine.

Ffdr, be sick, feel ill; Fmrr, camphor;
Ffdm, (medical) consultation; Fsll, anatomy.
Ffdf, doctor;
Ffdso, surgeon; Sosord, migraine;
Ffdl, dentist; Soddf, chillblain;
Ffds, oculist; Sollr, purgation;
Ffrso, pharmacist; Sofdd, suffocation.
Fmmd, convalescence, recovery;

The words beginning with LA are used for commerce and industry, as in the simple (unrepeated) notes.

Llrl, bookstore; Lmmd, tinsmith's;
Llmd, printshop; Lsodd, grocery store;
Llfd, watchmaker's; Lsoss, flour;
Llrs, hardware store, iron-monger's; Lsdd, butcher's.

The words beginning with SI are reserved for justice, the magistracy, and the courts.

Ssdso, magistracy; Sslf, imprisonment, incarceration.
Ssmd, testimony;


The Universal Language has three genders:
Masculine, Feminine and Neuter.

One may distinguish between them very easily.
All male beings are of the masculine gender;
All female beings are of the feminine gender;
All material objects and abstractions, as well as beings whose sex is unknown, are of the neuter gender.

The words always remain invariable; they never undergo any change.
The feminine alone is indicated, in speech, by accenting the last vowel. One marks the feminine in writing by placing a small horizontal line ( ¯ ) over the final syllable. [Written here after the letter.]

Masculine: Feminine:
Sisol, Mr; Sisool or Siso¯l, Mrs.;
Sila, Master [title], boy; Silaa or Sila¯, Miss;
Msf, husband; Msf¯, wife;
Ldm, pupil, student [m]; Ldm¯, pupil, student [m];
Dmfd, man; Dmfd¯, woman;
Rsmr, brother; Rsmr¯, sister;
Frsod, stallion; Frsod¯, mare.


An acute accent ( ' ) placed on the final consonant marks the plural, and this accentuated consonant is pronounced by prolonging it, as if it were double.

Singular: Plural:
Rd, my, mine [ms]; Rd', my, mine [mpl];
Rd¯, my, mine [fs]; Rd'¯, my, mine [fpl];
Sso, mister; Ss'o, messers;
Sso¯, madame; Ss'o¯, mesdames;
Fdso, signature; Fds'o, signatures;
Fml, letter-carrier; Fml', letter-carriers;
Drmr, eye; Drmr', eyes.

NOTE. -- When a word or phrase is preceded by one of the little words f, l, rd, rm, rf, rso, rl, rs, mr, mf, fm, these words alone take the mark of the feminine or plural; the other words that follow them do not need to receive this mark. They are perfectly understood.


The stallions, l' frsod;
My brothers, rd' rsmr;
My sisters are dead, rd'¯ rsmr frm rfmd;
These orphans [f] are not unhappy, fm'¯ mdfso d frm sosm.

It is only when the noun is alone, isolated, that the sign of the feminine ( ¯ ) or of the plural ( ' ) is necessary on the noun itself.

Horses, frsod'; Sisters, rsmr'¯;
Brothers, rsmr'; Orphans [f], mdfs'o¯.

Parts of speech

The same word in SOLRESOL expresses the verb, the noun or substantive, adjective and adverb. One distinguishes between them easily by an accent that moves according to the following fixed and invariable rule:

Mdf, prefer (no accent).
M¯df, preference (accent on the first syllable).
Md¯f, preferable (accent on the next-to-last syllable).
Mdf¯, preferably (accent on the last syllable).

Rsoml, continuer (no accent).
R¯soml, continuation (accent on the first syllable).
Rs¯oml, one who continues (accent on the second syllable).
Rsom¯l, continual (accent on the next-to-last syllable).
Rsoml¯, continually (accent on the last syllable).

In speaking, one prolongs the accented consonants, as if there were two.

Number of Words

Since a single word of SOLRESOL covers all the ideas that have the same meaning, with the two genders (masculine and feminine), and the principal parts of speech, it follows that with a few words, SOLRESOL contains all the ideas indispensable to man; it can express them clearly in all countries.

The Universal Language of SUDRE possesses:

          7 words of one syllable; 
         49  --  of two syllables;
        336  --  of three syllables;
      2.268  --  of four syllables;

TOTAL 2.660 words that suffice to form a language that is quite complete, 
easily acceptable by all peoples for their most necessary international 

We repeat that it is unnecessary to be familiar with music to learn and speak the Universal Musical Language invented by M. François SUDRE.

We renew this recommendation:
In speech, it is necessary to pause slightly after every word in Solresol, so that the listener may distinguish the words.

Separation of Homonyms

When a word in a language has many different meanings, it is expressed in Solresol by just as many quite different words.

[Note: I have left the homonyms in French and provided a translation; one could obviously find similar cases in English, but this would be beyond my knowledge of Solresol.]

Ton (your), rm; Le poste (police station), sslf;
Ton (tone), somfso; La bière (beer), dsfr;
La poste (mail), frl; La bière (bier), sosdd;
etc., etc.


Solresol verbs always have the same form (present infinitive).

begin, sdf; I begin, dr sdf

To mark tenses and moods, one employs dd, rr, mm, ff, soso, ll, ss.

To abbreviate these forms in writing, one uses capital D in the place of dd, capital R for rr, M for mm, F for ff, SO for soso, L for ll, and S for ss.

D. indicates

1º The imperfect indicative: I begin, dr D sdf, etc.
2º The pluperfect indicative: I had begun, dr D sdf, etc.
R. indicates

1º The simple past: I began, dr R sdf, etc.
2º The anterior past: [as soon as/when] I had begun, dr R sdf, etc.
3º The imperfect subjunctive: that I might/should begin, mr dr R sdf, etc.
4º The pluperfect subjunctive: that I might/should have begun, mr dr, R sdf.
M. marks

1º The future: I will begin, dr M sdf, etc., etc.
2º The future perfect: I will have begun, dr M sdf, etc.
F. marks

1º The present conditional: I would begin, dr F sdf, etc.
2º The perfect conditional: I would have begun, dr F sdf, etc.
SO. marks

The imperative: Let's begin, SO sdf.
L. indicates

1º The present participle: beginning, L sdf.
2º The past (perfect) participle: having begun, L sdf.
S. marks

The passive participle: begun, S sdf.

The subjunctive mood is marked by placing the word mr, that, before the personal pronouns.

That I should commence, mr dr sdf.
That you should finish, mr dm fds.
May he/it progress, mr df sdl.
May she learn, mr df¯ sds.
That we should study, mr dr' sdso.
That you [pl] should accomplish, mr dm' dsf.
That they [not f] should work, mr df' rsosr.
That they [f] should come, mr df'¯ msod.
That you might write, mr dm R lmr.

We repeat this recommendation:
In speech, it is necessary to pause slightly after every word in SOLRESOL, so that the listener may distinguish the words.

Passive Verbs

We have just seen that the perfect tenses are conjugated without the aid of any auxiliary verb. Only in the passive verbs do we use the auxiliary verb Be, frm.

To be loved, frm mls.
To have been loved, frm mls.
I am loved, dr frm mls.
I have been loved, dr frm mls.
I was [being] detested, dr D frm slm.
I had been [being] detested, dr D frm slm.
I was detested, dr R frm slm.
I had been detested, dr R frm slm.
I will be understood, dr M frm flf.
I shall have been understood, dr M frm flf.
I would be understood, dr F frm flf.
I would have been understood, dr F frm flf.
Be accepted, frm dldm.
Let's be accepted, SO frm dldm.
That I should be refused, mr dr frm mdld.
That I should have received, mr dr frm msorso.
That I might be understood, mr dr R frm flf.
That I might have been understood, mr dr R frm flf.
Being understood, L frm flf.
Having been understood, L frm flf.
Understood, S frm flf.

Reflexive Verbs

One conjugates reflexive verbs by placing the second pronoun, that is, the pronoun complement, after the verb.

I amuse myself, dr lsr dr.
You amuse yourself, dm lsr dm.
He amuses himself, df lsr dso.
She amuses herself, df¯ lsr dso.

Impersonal Verbs

Here is the model for all impersonal verbs:

It is necessary, fld. It is freezing/icy, lsoso.
Ii is raining, ssd. It is windy, ssr.
It is snowing, lff. It is foggy, lrr
There is thunder, ssso etc., etc.

It is [now] necessary, fld. It will be windy, M ssr.
It was necessary, fld. It will have been foggy, M lrr.
It was raining, D ssd. Il t will be hot, F ssl.
It had snowed, D lff. It shall have been cold, F lss.
It thundered, R ssso. It had been icy, R lsoso.

[Interrogation and Negation]

To use a verb interrogatively, simply put the personal pronoun after the verb.

Am I? frm-dr? Do we study? sdso-dr?
Do you want [to/that]? fsf-dm? Are you learning? sds-dm?
Does he understand? flf-df? Do they love? mls-df'?

Negation is indicated by placing d before the word to be negated.

I do not love, dr d mls.
Don't you want [to/that]? d fsf-dm?
Won't it rain? d M ssd so?
Why don't we continue this study? fso d F rsoml-dr' fm sd?
Let's not go there, d So frf lm,.
It is necessary never to act unwisely in order not to be sick, Lso fld fsol dsfd md d ffdr.


Solresol shortens phrases to make them logical, clear and easy to understand for all peoples:

1º Negation is indicated by a single word that is not repeated many times unnecessarily. [This relates to a quirk of French grammar irrelevant to English speakers (except those who use double negatives). I have left the French originals to furnish example sentences.]

Je ne veux pas partir, Dr d fsf fsor. I don't want to leave.
Nous n'allons jamais là, Dr' frf ls lm. We never go there.
Tu ne comprends pas leur lettre, Dm d flf rs fdm. You don't understand their letter.

2º One must be wary of phrases or constructions where one finds idioms and metaphors with figurative meanings; these phrases will not be understood by foreigners.
Solresol must restore the proper, true, simple, clear meaning with precise words.


Do not say: get the drift [of], but: understand, flf.
Do not say: how are you doing? but: Are you well? rdff?
Do not say: pass away, say: die, rfmd.
Do not say: have every hair in place, say: be correct, frm srso.
On ne dira pas: feel hollow, say: be hungry, dsod.

3º One always places the adjective after the substantive.
So one never says: joyful baby, unhappy friend, honest citizen, good food; but:

Baby joyful, dmfso sosr.
Friend unhappy, mds sosm.
Citizen honest, sdrd dfsso.
Food good, dlfr fl.

Fasi Sifa

Solresol uses these two words to indicate four modifications of the same idea.

Fs (much, very) placed before an adjective is augmentative.
Example: fl, good; fs fl, very good.

Fs placed after an adjective is the superlative.
Example: fl fs, extremely good, the most delicious.

Sf (little, slight), placed before an adjective is the diminutive.
Example: Sf fl, somewhat good.

Sf placed after an adjective is double diminutive.
Example: fl sf, not very good, almost bad.

It is the same for substantives.

Ssr, wind Sf ssr, slight wind, breeze
Fs ssr, gale Ssr sf, faint breeze, gentle breeze
Ssr fs, very strong wind, violent tempest,
violent hurricane, cyclone


To express a certain indeterminate amount, a vague quantity, Solresol omits the partitive or indefinite words, as well as the article in the singular.


I would like some beer and a pastry, becomes: I would like beer and pastry, dr mfl dsfr r dsrs.
Give [me] a meter of muslin, becomes: Give [me] meter muslin, rml rdd lsorf ldld.
The enemy has a very large number of troops, becomes: enemy has troops much (in the superlative), Sdm fmso fmfr fs.

To sum up, Solresol makes expression of thought concise and gives a brief, clear, true and precise translation that is perfectly accessible to all nations.

Different kinds of writing

In Solresol one can write in many ways:

1º In all letters: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.

2º Omitting the vowels (except the o of sol to distinguish it from si): d, r, m, f, so, l, s.

3º In notes on a musical scale of just three lines, without knowing music;


4º With the first 7 numbers, representing the seven notes, the numbers being known in all countries.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.

5º One can also write in a special Solresol stenography. This stenography, invented by Vincent GAJEWSKI, is composed of only seven signs, one for every syllable:


NOTE. - These signs must be connected to form every word:
Mister, sso.........-

Language, sorso.....-

Want, fsf...........-

Give, rml...........-

Accomplish, dsf.....-

Experience, mssod...-
A double note is represented by crossing the sign:
Printshop, llmd.....-

December, rrs.......-

People who do not have the same letters that we do form the larger part of the earth's inhabitants, for example: Armenians, Russians, Turks, Egyptians, Persians, Arabs, Indians, Japanese, Annamites, Chinese, etc., etc., cannot write to us with French writing; these people cannot even decipher our French letters; but they can write very well in Solresol and read the musical scale, or in stenography that is extremely simple.

For our part, we can read what they write or write to them by the same means.

Different ways of communicating

One can make himself understood in the Universal Language Solresol, not only by speaking out loud, but also without speaking, by night or by day, from near or far, on sea or on land.
This language provides a means for deaf-mutes of all countries to communicate with each other, with the blind, and with everyone else; and it does so likewise in many ways.
It can be spoken, written, silent and hidden; it can be practiced through mime, telegraphy, visual signs, stenography, sound, telephony, maritime signals and music:

1º It can be spoken aloud and no one will find its pronunciation difficult, in any country;

2º The preceding chapters give the five sorts of writing, all very easy;

The Universal Mute or Sign Language can be practiced by tracing in the air, with the hand, the seven stenographic signs. These signs are so simple that it is very easy.

(For do, it is necessary to make a fist representing a ball or point. For the repeated notes, one makes the same sign two times with the hand.)

4º One can practice Solresol by touching with the right index finger the following places on the left hand:


One can see that the three extended fingers replace the three lines of the musical scale:


5º If communicating with someone who can hear, one can practice the Universal Language by making any kind of knocking or beating sound:

One knock for d.
Two knocks for r.
Three knocks for m.
Four knocks for f.
Five knocks for so.
Six knocks for l.
Seven knocks for s.

6º If dealing with someone who is familiar with music, one has an additional possibility, because he can practice Solresol by playing slowly, one by one, the notes on any kind of musical instrument, separating every word as needed;

7º The Universal Language can be practiced in some hidden way, that is to say covertly or secretly, in many circumstances.

First case. -- To communicate the words he wishes to express, a deaf-mute can take the hand of a blind man and alternately press the fingers, as in the mute Universal Language;

Second case. -- Two people facing each other at a distance, as for example from one window to another, across a street or a square, can communicate using the stenographic symbols in such a way that only they can see them.
In this manner, a prisoner can, through the bars of his window, express his thoughts to the outside world, and vice-versa.

9º One can make use of Solresol at sea, to communicate from one ship to another, or from a ship to a seaport, or vice-versa, and again in many ways:

First way. -- By displaying from a distance enlarged versions of the stenographic signs or the first seven numbers--hollowed out and illuminated, if at night.

10º Second way. -- At night, by displaying bright lanterns or fires of these seven colors:

red for d.
orange for r.
yellow for m.
green for f.
blue for so.
indigo for l.
violet for s.

(These are, in order, the seven colors that one sees in a rainbow.)

11º Third way. -- At night, by shooting rockets of each of the seven colors listed above, always separating every syllable as needed, then pausing briefly between every word;

12º Fourth way. -- If one is something of a musician, he can be understood perfectly day or night by playing the notes, one by one, on a musical instrument loud enough to be heard to the required distance;

13º Fifth way. -- By knocking, whistling, sounding or beating a drum, a bell, a whistle, a hunting horn, a pistol, a rifle, a cannon, etc., depending on the distance, always one blow for d, two blows for r, three blows for m, four blows for f, etc.

Those persons who wish to support the useful exposition of SOLRESOL are earnestly requested to join the «SOLRESOL» Society (6 francs per year).

Write to the Treasurer: Sso LAROY, 103, Rue de la Temple, Paris.


Here, in alphabetical order of the French word, are 400 words that we believe are the most indispensable to learn for normal use.

All the others words are found in the Double Dictionnaire de la Langue Universelle by François SUDRE, the price of which is 5 francs.

[Including the dictionary here would be redundant; purists may check the French original, while everyone else will likely prefer either the English-Solresol or Solresol-English dictionary.]

[M. Vincent GAJEWSKI, professor, d. Paris in 1881, is the father of the author of this Grammar. He was for thirty years the president of the Central committee for the study and advancement of Solresol, a committee founded in Paris in 1869 by Madame SUDRE, widow of the Inventor.]

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Copyright © 1997, Stephen L. Rice
Last update: Nov. 19, 1997

Originally published as