Wikia

Memory Alpha

Vulcan language

Discuss75
36,849pages on
this wiki
Vulcan scripts
Six variations on the Vulcan script

The Vulcan language was spoken by the Vulcans of the planet Vulcan.

Vulcan names used among non-Vulcans were, at best, only approximations of actual Vulcan names; correct pronunciations using non-Vulcan phonemes, and accurate type-setting using, for perhaps the best example, the Roman alphabetical nucleus of the English language, of Vulcan family names had a tendency to defy non-Vulcan efforts to do either. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise", "Journey to Babel", et al.)

Written languageEdit

Vulcan writing ancient - pjem
Ancient Vulcan text
Vulcan burial robe
Spock's burial robe in his coffin

The Vulcan written language had several different forms, some of which combined with each other.

The primary version resembled terrestrial musical notes and was written in vertical columns running top-to-bottom, left-to-right. The primary Vulcan script consisted of a central staff, along which spirals, long and short dashes, and dots were written. (ENT: "The Seventh")

Logicians score card
Score sheet used by the Logicians in their baseball game against the Niners

In 2375, the Logicians, a Baseball team founded by Captain Solok of the USS T'Kumbra, wore uniforms with their names on the back in Vulcan script. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")

A more intricate version of the musical notation-like text was used in ancient times by the Vulcans. This type was written in the Kir'Shara, as well as engraved on the walls of P'Jem. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident", "Kir'Shara")

A more stylized version of this script appeared on the Promenade of Deep Space 9. (DS9 set decoration)

A second writing system consisted of simple squiggles, spirals, and dots and could be used separately or in tandem with the primary script. A sequence of several symbols from this script appeared on many forms of Vulcan clothing. This script was also written vertically. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; ENT: "Breaking the Ice", "Fusion", "Stigma", "Awakening", et al.)

A third cuneiform-like script appeared on Vulcan starship hulls and in some Vulcan homes and temples. This script appeared to run left-to-right like many Terran languages. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; TNG: "Unification II")

A dreidel-like children's toy (seen on Romulus) bore the "syllabic nucleus of the Vulcan language." (TNG: "Unification II")

Examples of spoken languageEdit

Pon farr
time of mating
Koon-ut-kal-if-fee
Marriage or challenge
Kar-i-far
Begin
Kroykah
Stop! or Enough! (TOS: "Amok Time")

Dakh orfikkel aushfamaluhr shaukaush fi'aifa mazhiv
Our ancestors cast out their animal passions on these very sands
Sha'koshtri korseivel bai'elkhrul-akteibuhl t'Kolinahr
saving our race through the attainment of Kolinahr.
Nahp - hif-bi tu throks
Your thoughts... give them to me
Kashkau - Spohkh - wuhkuh eh teretuhr
Our minds are joined, Spock... together, and as one.
T'Ish hokni'es kwi'shoret
I sense the consciousness calling to you from space...
Estuhl terrupik khaf - Spohkh
Your human blood is touched by it, Spock.
vravshal srashiv t'Kolinahr
You have not yet attained Kolinahr.
T'I kilko-srashiv kitok-wilat
He must search elsewhere for his answer.
I'tah tehrai k'etwel
He shall not find it here.
Dif-tor heh smusma, Spohkh
Live long and prosper, Spock. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
The scene which contained this Vulcan dialog was filmed in English and later translated into Vulcan by actor James Doohan. Doohan observed the actors' lip movements and created new vocal "sounds" for them to dub over their original English.

Gishen worla ihk-banut.
He's never what I expect.
Wakli ak'wikman - ot-lan?
What surprises you, lieutenant?
Ish-veh ni... komihn.
He's so... human.
Kling akhlami buhfik - Saavik-kam.
Nobody's perfect, Saavik. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Saavik wimish. Kup-stariben?
I am Saavik. Can you speak?
Dom - ki'sarlah
So, it has come
Dungi tu sahrafel?
Will you trust me? (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Chaya t'not
Expression of gratitude; equivalent to English "Thank you".
This is not translated on screen, but inferred from Hoshi's reply, "You're welcome".
Ponfo miran
Go to hell. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
This was not translated on-screen, but Mike Sussman provided the translation from his production notes.

Mal-kom
Serenity. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")
This may not be a real Vulcan term since it was only spoken in a dream fantasy experienced by Malcolm Reed. In this fantasy, Malcolm tells T'Pol that he dislikes his first name, to which T'Pol replies that she likes the name due to its similarity to the Vulcan word for "serenity".

Ti'amah!
Untranslated. (ENT: "Bounty")
T'Pol said this repeatedly while walking along the walls of the decontamination chamber during her artificially triggered pon farr
This was not translated on-screen, and Mike Sussman commented that it may not have been translated because it might have been intended to be an offensive comment.

Vokau.
Remember. (ENT: "The Forge")

Nirak
Fool, from the name of a famous Vulcan fool. (ENT: "Kir'Shara")

Ghishun tanfi bosh dwener?
Why is he here?
Pod Tucker avalde keru... Vulkanfi tozhi dawru.
Commander Tucker is my colleague... he wanted to visit Vulcan.
Falu nenvikh valdewizh sukfi lorun.
This is the first time you've brought a colleague home with you. (ENT: "Home")
The Vulcan dialog used in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and the ENT episode "Home" was translated by linguist Marc Okrand.

Other referencesEdit

Appendices Edit

Additional references Edit

Background Edit

Kuvak in robes
Kuvak in robes donning the Vulcan symbols of rata, tafar and tapan

The roots of the Vulcan language can be traced back to a memo that Gene Roddenberry sent to Star Trek: The Motion Picture's director, Robert Wise, on 19 April 1979. Roddenberry pointed out there were "many arguments" for the creation of such a language and suggested that, as the film also included Klingon language, "it may feel something like a 'cheat' to do the Vulcan scene in King James-type English." He additionally admitted that inventing a Vulcan language would take considerable work, before discussing how the language could be dubbed into the film, as required. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 198)

Rata ("concept"), Tafar ("discipline"), and Tapan ("process") are the background names for a trinity of symbols or letters that appeared together on several Vulcan robes, most notably by Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. A more poetic rendering of this trinity of concept, discipline, and process is "Branches entwined form the tree." (citation needededit)

The costume used for Dr. Strom in "Stigma" that displayed rata, tafar, and tapan symbols was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

Apocrypha Edit

The Vulcan language has also appeared in numerous non-canon works over the years, such as the following dialog from Spock's World:

Hwath ta-jevehih tak rehehlh kutukk'sheih nei ya'ch'euvh.
McCoy to Kirk (untranslated)
He' elef ka hij.
Oh yes you do. - McCoy to Spock
heya
Mountain
ekhwe'na meh kroykah tevesh.
Untranslated, possibly Old Vulcan.
Tviokh!
An insult, meaning Neighbor, but one you wish were under the ground instead of on it.

TOS fan folklore included the word pastak, supposedly the Vulcan word for peace. Fans wished one another pastaklan vesla, "peaceful thoughts". There was also a fanzine by this name.

The most extensive and influential Vulcan language developed by fans in the 1960s was that of linguist Dorothy Jones Heydt. It included roots, grammatical rules and syntax, and was used in her own stories and articles, then picked up by a number of other fan authors. The expression ni var, meaning "two forms" and originally referring to an art form in which two elements or aspects of a single subject are contrasted, was used as the title of a fan novella by Claire Gabriel which subsequently appeared (in substantially edited form) in the anthology Star Trek: The New Voyages. The story enjoyed immense popularity among fans as well as with Leonard Nimoy himself. The Vulcan ship Ni'Var, which appeared in an episode of Enterprise, was named after the story; the original association with Heydt's seminal conlang had been forgotten.

External links Edit

Advertisement | Your ad here

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki