The Gallifreyan Dictionary
I'm a chronic fanfiction author for the 10th Doctor (seriously, I think I have a problem...). Back in 2009 I wrote a fanfiction called Dreams. During it, I realised that I wanted to be able to have a written form of Gallifreyan, rather than using a sentence like "The Doctor spoke in his language"... etc to completely skirt around the topic. So that terrifying day I started to compile a Gallifreyan dictionary for writing purposes. What I churned out well-recieved, so I kept using it.
Ever since, I've been inserting snippets of the language into fics, so much so that I've now built up a dictionary, and I keep getting good feedback for it. Several people have asked me to put it somewhere, but I've always been reluctant to put it anywhere because 1. It's not entirely comprehensive and inevitably there are words missing which I haven't need yet and 2. Tis a little bit terrifying showing this to other people...! But I think it's got enough flesh now.
What it looks like
Here's a couple of extracts from my own stories, in "Xeno" and "Dreams" the Doctor's head is compromised and he can't understand English. In "Echoes" the Doctor's brother and the Master choose to confer in Gallifreyan for a confrontation. Unfortunately the links are to FF.net as I haven't put my stuff on here (there's a lot, and I dread it...!).
Jack shot a look to the others, and went back inside the toilet.
"Oh geez," came Jack's voice from behind the door. "Look, just relax…"
"Qi'af plak! Jaike, ei'riiala y'eon'baina ei'alok'eon'n!"
It hurts! Jack, I swear if you laugh I will hurt you!
"Let me help…""Jhu qe'plak!"
But it's burning!
"I get it, it hurts, look, just finish what you're doing… Just piss! You know! Whoosh!"
Donna got the distinct impression that he was making some sort of inappropriate gesture."N'lei'eon lera holah'ei'jert!?" the Doctor shrieked.
Did you just tell me to piss!?
"Wee! Urinate! Just get it out."
I hate you!
My mother warned me about people like you.
"Doctor, can you understand me?"
He blinked. "Eon'af'haal'ei y ei'i manai'eon, eon'af'o? Prea guijo'o," he said tiredly.
You're asking me if I can understand you, aren't you? Well obviously not.
"Ei'looi ce so eril ce'opina," Brax spat into his face as the Master's eyes opened.
I see the weed found a backbone.
"Ei'verrga'qe aluba eon'palo joh'ei n'terr tara korkkug ko piha'ce'era," the Master shot back, that sickening smile reappearing.
I ripped it from your brother when I imprisoned and tortured him for a year.
Brax fumed, his eyes shooting through with fire. "Eon'af erro. Eon'af'ih!"
You're lying. You're weak!
Brax didn't move his gaze from the Master as he addressed his brother. "Theta, qe'af orre?"
Theta, is this true?
The Doctor swallowed nervously. He didn't answer the question directly. "... Naqu lei'o g'eh ko, Braxiatel," he begged, his voice trembling with pain.
... Please don't hurt him, Braxiatel.
Braxiatel was shaking now with pure rage. "Eon staazula!" he screamed in the Master's face, and slapped him viciously.
Brief overview of how it works
It's the simplest language construction I could come up with (basically my dream language for being so easy...!).
It follows the basic English pattern of subject-verb-object for my own ease. Something I wrote was "N'ei'lei'o manai" which means, "I didn't understand", so I'll break it down. It's so painfully simple.
- The "n'" before the sentence signals past tense for the entire sentence ("'n" after the sentence is future tense; no "n" means it's present).
- Ei = I/me.
- Lei = to do (there's no need to conjugate verbs at all).
- 'o means the previous word was a negative.
- Manai = covers all the words that mean "understand", "comprehend" etc.
- The apostrophes between the words indicate they're all together, eg. I can't do = Ei'i'o'lei, You don't want = Eon'lei'o'oh, I think I = Ei'fami'ei. There's no particular hard and fast rule using that, it's just to make it a little more alien.
Harsh words, like pain (alok) and hate/awful/extremely bad (anim) have consonant endings to make them sound more harsh. Nicer words just sound nicer - pleasure (kola) and love (mina). Also you may notice that quite a lot of words that are direct opposites of each other ("anim" and "mina" for hate and love), are just their counterpart backwards.
But I always maintain that even though these are the words I write down, the alien language has many syllables and sounds that aren't familiar to a human ear so there's actually no way of writing them down.
The dictionary is ever evolving with new words being added whenever needed, so if you would like to use it and invent/need a word let me know so I can add it! :D
I also apologise for my terrible categorising so feel free to correct me of where I put stuff. :D
Find the dictionary here (links to Google Docs)
Thanks for reading, I'm really happy for anyone to use it who wants to, just credit and let the readers know where to find it in case they want to use it themselves.