The Vulcan written language has several different forms, some of which combine with each other.
The primary version resembles terrestrial musical notes and is written in vertical columns running top-to-bottom, left-to-the right. The primary Vulcan script consists of a central staff, along which, spirals, long and short dashes and dots are written. (ENT: "The Seventh")
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 second writing system seems to consist of simple squiggles, spirals and dots and can be used separately or in tandem with the primary script. A sequence of several symbols from this script appears on many forms of Vulcan clothing. This script is also written vertically, and vowels are ommited as being unnecessary, and instead are suggested with "h"s. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, ENT: "Breaking the Ice", "Fusion", et al.) See a transliteration of this script at the Vulcan Language Institute- Golic Vulcan Common Script.
A third cuneiform-like script appears on Vulcan starship hulls and in some Vulcan homes and temples. This script appears to run left-to-right like many Terran languages. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; TNG: "Unification II")
Basic Vulcan Grammar
In Vulcan sentences, the verb usually comes first, followed by the subject and then objects. However, subjects and objects can occasionally be completely dropped from a sentence if they are implied from context. Definite articles do not exist, being perceived as unnecessary and therefore illogical. Indefinite articles and possesive pronouns are also often ommitted for the same reason. Prepositions usually take the form of prefixes; the word “of,” for example, is a “t” affixed to a noun with an apostrophy: “t’Veh” thus means “of (the) one”. This is also the reason that several female Vulcan names start with “T’,” such as “T’Pring,” meaning “of (the) cloth.” There are two major types of verbs in the Vulcan language: weak and strong. Weak verbs are formed with a word root and the suffix “-tor,” such as in the verb “Dif-tor,” to live long. Strong verbs can be regular or irregular. Irregular verbs can take any form, like “estuhl,” to touch, or “pstha,” to search. Regular srong verbs always end in “au.” Verbs are not conjugated, and there are different suffixes and prefixes attached to imply tenses depending upon the dialect.
Examples of spoken language
- Marriage or challenge
- Stop! or Enough!
- 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.
- The scene which contained this Vulcan dialogue was filmed in English and later translated into Vulcan by actor and linguist James Doohan, thus making "Scotty" one of the originators of the Vulcan language! 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.
Saavik wimish. Kup-stariben?
- I am Saavik. Can you speak?
Dom - ki'sarlah
- So, it has come
Dungi tu sahrafel?
- Will you trust me?
- Ponfo miran
- Go to hell.
- 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".
- Fool, from the name of a famous Vulcan fool
- 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.
- The Vulcan dialogue 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.
- When the USS Enterprise encountered a Melkotian buoy in 2268, it spoke to the crew in their native languages, which included the Vulcan language, as heard by Spock. (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")
- Star Trek Movies:
- TOS: "Amok Time"
- VOY: "Gravity"
- 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.
- ekhwe'na meh kroykah tevesh.
- Untranslated, possibly Old Vulcan.