Astria Porta written in the Ancient alphabet.

The Ancient's alphabet and numbers.

Ancient language or Alteran language, or simply Ancient, are the names given to the language spoken by the Alterans that consist of two factions: the Ancients, also called Ancenstors, and the Ori. The language was given to humans of Earth in the past where it eventually evolved into Latin, also known as classical Latin. Both languages are a little similar to each other.

The alphabet and numeral system used for Ancient language have a special design: symbols consist of squarish dots, and as a "complete symbol" there would be 24 squares with 8 on each diagonal row, except for the letter k. Just like the Latin alphabet in English, the Alteran alphabet has all of its letters, except that both f and u have the same symbol. Classical Latin, however, did not have j and w, but came later and can be used for names.

In Atlantis, the letters and numbers of the Alteran alphabet appear both upright and upside-down and variate in direction. This is likely an error in production - telling the correct way up is difficult if you don't know the language. From (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 2"), it's clear that Ancient text upside-down would be recognized by the Ancients and would be fixed, hinting that it is simply a goof.

Many words and frases in Ancient language have only been loosely translated, making the language more or less unclear.

Speakers[edit | edit source]

Several people at Stargate Command were successful in understanding written and spoken Alteran. Dr. Daniel Jackson was the one who unlocked the mysteries of the language, so that more could learn it, and gained an innate understanding after his Ascension and subsequent decension. Other people who are fluent in the language or at least understand it at a reasonable level are Jonas Quinn, Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Colonel Samantha Carter, Colonel Harold Maybourne, Dr. Nicholas RushEli Wallace, Dr. Adam Brody, Dr. Dale Volker, Dr. Lisa Park, Dr. Amanda Perry, Dr. Lindsay and several other. (SG1: "The Fifth Race", "Full Circle", "Fallen", "Avalon, Part 1", SGA: "Hide and Seek", "The Gift", SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Darkness")

Also, on two occasions, Lt. General Jack O'Neill was able to speak it after having the entire knowledge base of the Alterans downloaded into his mind through the Repository of knowledge; each time, the Asgard erased it to save his life (SG1, "The Fifth Race", "Lost City, Part 1", "Lost City, Part 2", "New Order, Part 2"). O'Neill and Teal'c may understand some Alteran as they were forced to learn and memorize it when they were stuck in a 10-hour time loop for several months (SG1: "Window of Opportunity").

To protect his computer systems, Anubis used elaborate ciphers coded in the oldest known Alteran dialect. Despite the Goa'uld's long known history of acquiring Alteran relics, the Tok'ra were unable to translate them. (SG1: "Fallen", "Prototype")

The Asgard have a significant understanding of Alteran, and have provided some translations of early Alteran to the SGC. (SG1: "Fallen")

Some of the Athosians have displayed knowledge of Alteran, and some give prayers in Alteran. (SGA: "Hide and Seek")

The Wraith language is derived from Alteran. (SGA: "The Gift")

Words upside down can have different meanings. Letters that can be turned into another while upside down are j and r. (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 2")

Words and sentences[edit | edit source]

As difficult as Ancient language can be, there are numerous words and sentences that are only loosely translated. The language heard spoken has never been subtitled in any Stargate show or movie, making it further complicated. Many characters who have spoken it have even pronounced it with an English accent, which complicates matters further. Ancient is, however, more or less similar to Latin, also called classical Latin.

Words[edit | edit source]

Ancient-Eng. or -Eng. Stargate transl. Latin-English Episode
a - NN (perhaps "from") a prep. - from (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
abicerum - give up abícere 3b - to reject (i.e. objects making it) (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
ad - probably to ad prep. - to NN
Adarus (probably a name) Adarus (probably a name) NN
admonitio - probably warning admonítio f. - warning NN
adventus - approaching adventus m. - arrival (past prt. adventus) (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
Alteran en. name (unknown in Ancient; stems from la. alter) alter adj. m., '-a, '-um - one of two (gen. sg. altérius) (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
ani (NN; perhaps "to be") inanis adj. - empty (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
anqui - NN (perhaps "searching around" or "ancient") anquirens - searching around (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
armeria - ark armarium n. - cupboard; arca f. - chest (SG1: "The Ark of Truth")
asordo - help adiumentum n. - help; ordo m. - order (i.e. structure) (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
astrum - star (astria might be in gen. sg., la. astrorum) astrum n. - star NN
Atlantus (also heard as Terra Atlantus) - Atlantis (i.e. the real one) Atlantis f. - Atlantis (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
atteret - perhaps he/she/it will destroy atteret - he/she/it will destroy (fut. of attérere) NN
attero - perhaps destruction attritus m. - destruction NN
Avalon - Milky Way Via Láctea - Milky Way (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
avernakis - perhaps universe universum n. - universe (SG1: "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2")
calium - sky caelum n. - sky (SG1: "Flesh and Blood")
circulus - perhaps circle círculus m. - circle NN
clava - key clavis f. - key (SG1: "The Quest, Part 1")
clementia - mercy cleméntia f. - mildness (SG1: "The Ark of Truth")
colonian - colony colónia f. - colony (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
comdo - please quaeso adv. - please; commodum adv. - just (i.e. about time); commodus adj. - comfortable (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
contagia - disease, contagion contágium n. (pl. contágia) - plague (SG1: "The Quest, Part 1")
conteget - (perhaps hide (imp.)) contege - hide (imp. of contégere 3a) NN
cosars (probably en. pl. of cosar) - legs crus n. (pl. crura) - leg (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
cruvus - wrong mendum n. - wrong; curvus adj. - curved (fig. "wrong") (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
curatio NN (probably "care" (i.e. noun)) curatio f. care (i.e. noun) NN
cus - NN (probably "custody") custodia f. - custody (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
de - NN (perhaps "about") de - about NN
deductavum - (to have been) taken away deductus past prt. (intens. past prt. deductatus) m., -a f., -um n. - taken away (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
degenerus perhaps adv. - perhaps degenerated perhaps degenériter - degenerated (adv. of dégener) NN
derentis - probably crazy demens adj. m. -ens f., -ens n. - crazy (SG1: "Lost City, Part 1")
deserdi - to desire desiderare 1 - to desire (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
destiterunt - perhaps they have stopped with an activity destitúerunt - they have stopped with an activity (perf. of destitúere 3a, "to stop with an activity") NN
deum - NN (perhaps "to worship", after deus m., "god", or "legacy", being heréditas f. in la.) NN (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
dilatium - NN dilátium n. - NN NN
disce - to learn díscere 3a - to learn (SG1: "Flesh and Blood")
domivaitus - master dóminus m., '-a f. - master (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
domi - perhaps living (or perhaps "home" (noun)) victus m. - living (or perhaps domus f., "home") NN
dormata - sleep dormire 4, dormitare 1 (intens. to dormire) (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
ego - I ego - I (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
ego - perhaps I need égeo - I need (pres. of egere 2, "to need") (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
enim - perhaps verily enim conj. - verily NN
etas - NN (probably "age" (i.e. a person's)) aetas - age (i.e. a person's) (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
eteri - eternal aeternus adj., -a f., -um n. - eternal (SGA: "Hide and Seek")
etium - yes etiam - also (syn. "yes"); ita [est] - [it's] like that, yes [it is] (yes in la. is more or less unclear) (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
euge - good eugae or euge (both arch. la. words) - bravo; bene - good, well (adv. of adj. bonus, "good") (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
ex - from ex prep. - from NN
falatus - ability facultas f. - ability (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
fargit - (to be) finished, done finit - he/she/it finishes (inf. finire 4); facit - he/she/it does (inf. fácere 3b) (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
fargus - finished finitus past prt. - finished NN
fervidus - boiling fervidus adj. - boiling; glowing (i.e. "glowing via heat") NN
fron - forehead, head frons f. - forehead (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
fugere - perhaps to flee perhaps fúgere 3b - to flee NN
fugit - perhaps he/she/it flees fugit - he/she/it flees (pres. of fúgere 3b) NN
glacius - ice glácies f. - ice (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
hic - here; place hic - here; this (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
illac - path, way illac adv., on that way (SG1: "Talion")
incursus - attack ímpetus m. - attack; incursus m. - attack (SGA: "Echoes")
indeo - I need indigeo - I need (inf. indigere 2); egeo - I need (inf. egere 2) (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
infin - infinite infinitus adj. m., -a f., -um n. - infinite; infínitas f. - infinity (SG1: "Memento Mori")
lacun - lost, hidden celatus past prt. - hidden; latens pres. prt. - be hidden (SG1: "Fallen")
locas - place locus m. - place (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
lume - glow lumen n. - glow (SGA: "Hide and Seek")
ma - NN (probably "my"); mia - probably my meus, m., -a f., -um n. - my; mi - my (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
machinus - machine máchina f. - machine NN
Merlin (en. name; aka Moros) NN (Merlinus, "Merlin") (SG1: "The Pegasus Project")
Morgan le Fay (en. name; aka Ganos Lal) NN (Morganis, "Morgan le Fay") (SG1: "The Quest, Part 2")
mundus - world mundus m. - world (SGU: "Common Descent")
nationis - NN (perhaps "people") natio f. - people NN
navo - new navus adj. m., -a f., -um n. - go-ahead (i.e. hard-working); novus adj. m., -a f., -um n. - new (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
neque - perhaps and not (intense sense) neque conj. - and not (intense sense) NN
netario - necessary necessarius adj. (adv. necesse) - necessary (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
novus - new novus adj. m., -a f., -um n. - new (SGU: "Common Descent")
nu - NN (perhaps "we") NN (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
nullus - perhaps no (i.e. none) perhaps nullus m., -a f., -um n. - no (i.e. none) (SGA: Whales)
omnes - all omnes (pl. of omnis) - all (SG1: "Flesh and Blood")
orbis - loop orbis m. - perimeter; orbit NN
Ori - Ori (in en. either sg. or pl. of "god") Deus m., dea f. - god (mpl. dei/di); Ortus past prt. (pl. -us; v. oriri - to rise) (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
pare - fathers patres (pl. of pater) - fathers (SGA: "Hide and Seek")
perennial - disaster perennis adj. m., -is f., -e n. - long (i.e. about time) NN
pervenerunt perhaps perf. - perhaps they have come into a state perhaps pervenierunt - they have come into a state (perf. of pervenire) NN
prius - perhaps before prius adv. - before (meaning "before" is in arch. la., repl. by ante) NN
populi - people pópulus m. - people NN
porta - gate porta f. - gate (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
puta - to think (i.e. consideration; or perhaps "example") putare 1 - to think (i.e. consideration; or perhaps puta f., "example") (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
qua - NN quod - which (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
renin - kingdom regnum n. - kingdom (SG1: "Talion")
ruber - red ruber adj. m., rubra f., rubrum n. - red NN
sanctus - holy sanctus adj. m., -a, f., -um, n. - holy (SG1: "Beachhead")
Sau - Star Sol - Sundisc (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
separerunt - separated separaverunt - they have separated (perf. of separare 1) NN
subo - under sub prep. - under (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
sunt - built sunt - they are (pres. of esse) NN
statim - NN (probably immediate) statim adv. - immediate NN
tectum - NN (perhaps "roof") tectum n. - roof NN
tempus - time tempus n. - time (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
tempo - temple templum n. - temple (SGA: "Hide and Seek")
Tenara - Land of the Young Tener adj. m., '-a f., '-um n. - youth-like (SGU: "Common Descent")
Terra - Earth Terra f., Tellus f. - Earth (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
thessara - treasure thesaurus m. - treasure (SG1: "Memento Mori")
tua - you (or perhaps "your" (sg.)) tu - you (sg.) (or perhaps tuus m. adj., -a f., -um n., "your" (sg.)) (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
uno - one unus m., -a f., -um n. - one (SG1: "Flesh and Blood")
veniunt - came (probably "they come") véniunt - they come (pres. of venire 4) NN
ventio - wind (probably "coming" (i.e. noun)) ventus m., ventio f. - coming (i.e. noun) (SG1: "The Quest, Part 1")
veo - NN NN (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
verimas - truth veritas f. - truth (SG1: "The Ark of Truth")
vi - NN (can be found in Italian, meaning "you" (pl.)) NN (SG1: "The Fifth Race")

Phrases and sentences[edit | edit source]

Ancient Latin
Lat. transl. from Eng.
Eng. Stargate transl. Episode
A veo a ma cus. NN (perhaps lit. A _ a mea custódia.) NN (perhaps lit. "from _ from my custody") (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
Armeria Verimas Arca Veritatis Ark of Truth (SG1: "The Ark of Truth")
Astria Porta Porta Astralis (porta f., "gate", astralis adj., "which has to do with stars" ; astrum n., "star"; perhaps lit. astrorum (gen. pl.) porta in reason that astrum exists already) Stargate (perhaps lit. "'stars' gate") (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
Astrum atteret mundus. NN (perhaps lit. Astrum mundum atteret.) NN (perhaps lit. "The star will destroy the planet.") NN
Clava Thessara Infin Clavis Ad Thesaurum Infinitum. (or probably lit. with abl. clavis thesauro infinito, same meaning) - Key to infinite treasure. (SG1: "Memento Mori")
Calium videri esset. Et terra rus ad sidera tollere vultus. Ex uno disce omnes. Caelum videre iussit, et erectos ad sídera tóllere vultus. Ex uno discit omnem. (also said by Ovid) Heaven was seen. And the countryside will lift its face to the stars. From one, all will learn. (loosely transl. by Daniel as "When you see her, you see the sky, and those on earth must lift their faces toward the stars." (SG1: "Flesh and Blood")
Domivaitus vestul motobilum. Magister incertorum praeteritorum. Master of uncertain past. (SG1: "Window of Opportunity")
Comdo asordo. Quaeso adiuva. Please help. (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
Ego indeo navo locas. Locum novum indígeo. I need a new location. (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
Enim lupin purnum pravus intus. Enim peccatorem corruptum intus purábitur. (perhaps lit. enim lupus pure pravus intus, "verily the wolf pure (i.e. plainly) distorted from within") half-transl. as Verily, the corrupted sinner will be cleansed from within. (SG1: "The Ark of Truth")
Fugere destiterunt qua ad... Foras currens ante contingis... (perhaps lit. fúgere destitúerunt..., "they have stopped to flee...") Running away before reaching... NN
Fugit circulum. Omnem finit necesse est. (perhaps lit. fugit círculum, "the circle flees") All must end. (perhaps lit. "the circle flees") NN
Illac Renin Regnum Viae Kingdom of the Path (SG1: "Talion")
Mia clementia, denar esto. Grátiam habe. Caecus eram, sed nunc vídeo. (or perhaps lit. mea cleméntia, _ istud, "my mildness, _ this") Have mercy. I was blind, but now I see. (SG1: "The Ark of Truth")
Neque prius. Non finiebant. (or perhaps neque prius, "and not before") They didn't stop. (or perhaps "and not before") NN
Nu ani anqui etas hic qua vi deum. ...anquirens aetas hic qua... (vi can be found in Italian as "you (pl.))" Perhaps "_ _ searching around for an age, here which _ _." Or as more believed "We are the Ancients. This is the place of our legacy." The four last Ancient words Dr. Daniel Jackson offered a less likely translation: "a piece of our leg", but this was disregarded due to the former translation (i.e. "We are the Ancients...") being more accurate given the context. (SG1: "The Fifth Race")
Nullus temporis. NN (probably tempus nullum, "no time") NN (probably "no time") (SGA: "Whales")
On na matta netario. Hoc recte necesse non est. This is really unnecessary. (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
Pare lume tempo eteri. Patres lucis templi aeterni. Fathers of light of the everlasting temple. (SGA: "Hide and Seek")
Praclarush Taonas Pérditus Igne Lost in Fire (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2")
Perennial adventus. Calámitas advéniens. (perhaps lit. adventus perennis, "long (i.e. about time) arrival") Approaching disaster. NN
Pervenerunt degenerus. Usus revéniens. (perhaps lit. degenériter pervenierunt, "they have come into a degenerated state") Recurring use of. NN
Sanctus Ori. Sacrati sunt "Orti". (probably lit. sancti "orti", "holy ori") Hallowed are the Ori. (SG1: "Beachhead")
Statim admonitio Adarus. NN (probably statim admonítio Adari) NN (probably "urgent warning from Adarus") NN
Statim curatio. NN (probably statim curátio, "immediate care") NN (probably "immediate care") NN
Statim conteget dilatium. NN (probably scutum expándimus necesse est ut mundum bene protégere) NN (probably "we must extend the shield to encompass the planet") NN
Tectum de nationis incursus. Scutum [omnis] captum/superatum fit. half-transl. as The shield of [all] being overtaken/overwhelmed. NN
Tua puta ego. Te credo. (perhaps lit. tuam putam égeo, "I need your example"; puta f., "example", puta adv., "for example") I believe you. (SG1: "Avalon, Part 1")
Ver Isca NN (perhaps lit. veris esca, "bait of spring") NN (perhaps lit. "bait of spring") (SG1: "Crusade")
Ver Omesh NN (perhaps lit. veris omen, "omen of spring") NN (perhaps lit. "omen of spring") (SG1: "Line in the Sand")
Verus Gen Bre Terra Veritatis Regalis Land of royal truth (en: perhaps lit. "ground of true family" (verus gen gen. sg. & bre nom. sg.); la: perhaps lit. verae gentis brévia.) (SG1: "Morpheus")
Vis Uban Locus Valetúdinis (or perhaps lit. "vis urbs" (vis gen. sg. & uban nom. sg.)) Place of Great Power (or perhaps lit. "city of force" or "force city") (SG1: "Fallen")

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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