The Alteran alphabet, used by the Ancients and the Ori.

Ancient is the name given to the language spoken and written by the Alterans and their descendants, the Ancients and the Ori. The language is fairly similar to Latin spoken on Earth. Unlike in English and Latin, there are not separate letters for “F” and “U,” both are represented by the same symbol.


Several people at Stargate Command were successful in understanding written and spoken Ancient. Daniel Jackson was the one who unlocked the mysteries in that language, so that more could learn it. Other people who are fluent in the language or at least understand it at a reasonable level are Jonas Quinn, Rodney McKay, Elizabeth Weir, Samantha Carter, and an unnamed Air Force Linguist. (SG1: "The Fifth Race", "Full Circle", "Avalon, Part 1") (SGA: "Hide and Seek", "The Gift")

Also, at two occasions, Jack O'Neill was able to speak it, after getting huge amounts of information from the Ancients' Repository of Knowledge, but the Asgard were forced to erase it from his memory, and he never retained any knowledge. (SG1: "The Fifth Race", "Lost City", "New Order")

Daniel Jackson further expanded his knowledge of the Ancient language when he ascended (SG1: "Fallen").

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

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

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

Words upside down can have different meanings. (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 2")


Latin Ancient Pronunciation English Episode
Adventus Adventus Ad-ven-tus Approaching, coming Window of Opportunity
Alii Alteras Al-ter-as Alterans, (The) Others Avalon
Amici Amacuse Am-a-cu-se Friends Lost City, Part 2
Antiqui Anquietas An-qwee-e-tas Ancients The Fifth Race
Arcarum Veritas Armeria Verimas Ar-me-ri-a Ve-ri-mas Ark of Truth Stargate: The Ark of Truth
Adservio Asordo A-sor-do Help The Fifth Race
Astrum Porta Astria Porta As-tri-a por-ta Stargate Avalon
Atlantis Atlantus At-lan-tus Atlantis Lost City, Part 2
Ave, Vale Aveo A-ve-o Goodbye, Farewell Lost City, Part 2
Clavis Clavia Cla-vi-a Key The Quest, Part 1
Clementia Clementia Kleh-men-ti-ah Mercy Stargate: The Ark of Truth
Colonia Colonian Co-lo-ni-an Colony Window of Opportunity
Commodo Comdo Com-do Please The Fifth Race
Contagio Contagia Con-ta-gi-a Disease, contagion The Quest, Part 1
Cruris Cozars Ko-zars Legs The Fifth Race
Curvus Cruvis Krew-vis Wrong The Fifth Race
Deductus Deductavum De-duc-ta-vum (To have been) Taken away Window of Opportunity
Demens Derentis De-ren-tis Crazy, Insane Lost City, Part 1
Desiderare Deserde De-ser-de Desire, Seek, Wish The Fifth Race
Deus[1] Ori Or-i Ori, gods Avalon
Discere Disce Dis-ke To learn Flesh and Blood
Dominus Domiwaitus Doh-mi-wa-tos Master Window of Opportunity
Dormire Dormata Dor-ma-ta Sleep Lost City, Part 2
Egeo Indeo In-de-ow (I) Need The Fifth Race
Ego Ego E-go I The Fifth Race
Aeternus Etere E-te-re Eternal Hide and Seek
Eu Euge Ee-u-jee Good The Fifth Race
Facultas Fallatus Fal-lat-us Ability The Fifth Race
Finitus (est) Fargit Far-git (To be) Finished, done The Fifth Race
Fron Fron Fron (Fore)head The Fifth Race
Glacies Glaciuse Glac-ee-u-se Ice Lost City, Part 2
Hic Hic Hic Place, Here The Fifth Race
Illac Illac Il-lac Path, Way Talion
Incursio Incursis In-kur-sis Attack, invasion Echoes
Infinitus Infinitas In-fin-i-tas Infinite Memento Mori
Lateo Lacun La-kun Lost, hidden Fallen
Locus Locas Lo-cas Location The Fifth Race
Lumen Lume Lu-me Light Hide and Seek
Merlinus Moros Mor-os Merlin The Pegasus Project
Novus Navo Na-vo New The Fifth Race
Necesse Netario Ne-ta-rio Necessary Avalon
Nos Nou Noo We The Fifth Race
Omnis Omnes Om-nes All Flesh and Blood
Patri Pare Pa-re Fathers Hide and Seek
Perditus Ignis ProclarushTaonas Proc-lar-ush Ta-on-as Lost in Fire Lost City, Part 2
Putare Puta Pu-ta Believe, Think Avalon
Regnum Renin Ren-in Kingdom Talion
Sanctus Sanctus Sanc-tus Hallowed, sacred Beachhead
Ita Vero Etium E-ti-um Yes The Fifth Race
Sol Sua Su-ah Sun Window of Opportunity
Sub Subo Su-bo Under, Below Lost City, Part 2
Sumus Ani A-nee To be The Fifth Race
Tempus Tempus Tem-pus Time Window of Opportunity
Templum Tempo Tem-po Temple Hide and Seek
Terra Terra Ter-rah Earth Lost City, Part 2
Thesaurus Thessara The-sar-a Treasure Memento Mori
Universus Avernakis A-ver-na-kis Universe The Fourth Horseman, Part 2
unus, una, unum uno u-no one Flesh and Blood
Ventus Ventio Ven-tee-oh Wind The Quest, Part 1
Veritas Verimas Ve-ri-mas Truth Stargate: The Ark of Truth
Via Lactea Avalon A-va-lon Milky Way Avalon
Videmur[2] Videum Vi-de-um Legacy The Fifth Race
Vis Urban Vis Uban Vis Or-ban Place of Great Power Fallen

Phrases and Sentences

Ancient English Episode
Aveo, Amacuse. Goodbye/Farewell, my friends. Lost City, Part 2
Clava thessara infinitas Key to infinite treasure Memento Mori
Domiwaitus westul motobilum Master of the uncertain past Window of Opportunity
Comdo asordo. Please help. The Fifth Race
Ego deserdi asordo. I seek/desire help. The Fifth Race
Ego indeo navo locas. I need a new location. The Fifth Race
Ex uno disce omnes. From one, all will learn. Flesh and Blood
Hic qua videum. The place of our legacy.[3] The Fifth Race
Illac Renin Kingdom of the Path Talion
Mia clementia, denar esto Have mercy. I was blind, but now I see. Stargate: The Ark of Truth
Nou ani Anquietas. We are the Ancients. The Fifth Race
On na matta netario. This is really unnecessary. Avalon, Part 1
Pare lume tempo eteri Fathers of light of the everlasting temple Hide and Seek
Sanctus Ori Hallowed are the Ori Beachhead
Tua puta ego. I believe you. Avalon, Part 1


  1. Not a direct translation.
  2. Videum: Not a direct translation. Videmur is Latin for we are seen, we are understood, we are recognized, referring to the passing-on method of the Ancients' Repository of Knowledge. The German word for Knowledge, Wissen, is derived from the same root: the Proto-Indo-European word *wid- meaning to see, or metaphorically to know.
  3. Dr Jackson offered a less likely translation "A piece of our leg", but this was disregarded due to the former translation fitting more accurately given the context.