Atlantean language

The Atlantean language is a constructed language created by Marc Okrand for Disney's film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The language was intended as a possible "mother language" and was therefore invented to have Indo-European word stock with its own grammar ("Production Notes").



The Atlantean language (Dig Adlantisag) is a historically constructed, artistic language put together by Marc Okrand for Disney’s 2001 film Atlantis: The Lost Empire and associated media,. The Atlantean language is therefore based both on historic reconstructions or realities as well as on the elaborate fantasy/science fiction of the Atlantis: The Lost Empire mythos. Here are the fictional bases upon which the Atlantean language was created: Atlantean is the “Tower of Babel language”, the “root dialect” from which all languages descended. It has existed without change since sometime before 100,000 B.C., within the First or Second Age of Atlantis until the present. This is when the Mother Crystal (Matag Yob) descended to Earth and brought enlightenment to the Atlantean people. It is preserved by the presence of the Mother Crystal in the same way that The Shepherd’s Journal, the City of Atlantis (Wil Adlantisag), the Atlantean people (luden), and especially its royalty (yaseken) are preserved, healed, and given extended blissful life .

To create this, Dr. Okrand took common characteristics of all world languages and applied them to the Proto-Indo-European language. His mains source of words (roots and stems) for the language is Proto-Indo-European, but Okrand also uses ancient Chinese, Biblical Hebrew, Latin and Greek languages, along with a variety of other ancient languages or ancient language reconstructions.

Writing systems

There are three identified writing systems for Atlantean:

1) Writers Script Adlantis
2) The Atlantean Alphabet ADLANTIS
3) Reader’s Script AHD-luhn-this

They are listed in order of creation. Okrand originally put together the language in Writer’s Script. For those many parts in the movie for which it was written, the filmmakers wrote it using the Atlantean Alphabet, created by John Emerson with the help of Marc Okrand. For those fewer parts of the movie for which it is spoken, Okrand devised a Berlitz-style notation which he hoped would make the Atlantean easier to read for the actors.


1) Spirits of Atlantis, forgive me for defiling your chamber and bringing intruders into the land.

2), Kelob.tem bet gim demot.tem net getunos.en.tem bet kag.ib lewid.yoh. (Okrand's original wouldn't have had periods; these are used for the translation below.)

3) NEE-shen-toap AHD-luhn-tih-suhg, KEH-loab-tem GAHB-rihn KAH-roak-lih-mihk bet gihm DEH-moat-tem net GEH-tuh-noh-sen-tem behr-NOAT-lih-mihk bet KAH-gihb LEH-wihd-yoakh.

(Spirit.Plural.Vocative Atlantis.Genitive, Chamber.Oblique you-plural-familiar.Genitive defile.Past-Perfect.1st-Person-Singular for and land.Oblique into intruder.Plural.Oblique bring.Past-Perfect.1st-Person-Singular for I-Dative forgive.Imperative-Plural.)

(Written boustrophedon, as if in Atlantean alphabet: )


Atlantean alphabet: use and sources

Writing systems correspondence and number of letters used
Here’s how they all correspond to one another. For sake of standardization, they are arranged according to a fan-composed alphabet. It is based on the oldest example of the Northern Semitic Abecedary as found in the Ugaritic language.

The Atlantean Alphabet as Used in the Movie
Readers Script a b g d e w h i y k l m u n o p r s sh t
Writers Script uh ah b g d eh e w kh ee ih y k l m oo u n oa,oh p r s sh t

20 letters of the Atlantean alphabet are used to write Atlantean in the media of Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The letters c, f, j, q, v, x, z, ch, or th have likewise been acknowledged by the filmmakers as not being used. They were created so that Atlantean might be used as a simple cipher code. They are all also based on diverse ancient characters, just like the rest of the alphabet.

Atlantean alphabet: use

There is no punctuation or capitalization in the Atlantean Writing System. These characteristics are based by Okrand on ancient writing systems. The Atlantean Alphabet is written in normal boustrophedon writing order. It is written left to right for the first line, right to left the second, and left to right again the third, to continue the pattern. This order was also suggested by Okrand, based on ancient writing systems, and it was accepted because, as he explained, "It's a back-and-forth movement, like water, so that worked."

Atlantean numerals and numbers: uses and sources

=Atlantean numeral system=

Joe Emerson, Marc Okrand, and the filmmakers also created numerals for 0-9. They are stacked horizontally, however, and hold place values of 1, 20, and 400. Their components are based on Mayan numerals and internally composed for the font (example above) like Roman numerals. If used according to the now-offline Official Website's directions, they are used, alternatively, like Arabic numerals .

=Atlantean numbers and suffixes=

Numbers and suffixes
Hindi Numeral Cardinal Ordinal Fractional Distributive
1 din one din.lag first din din.lop one whole din.noh one-at-a-time one-a-piece
2 dut two dut.lag second din dut.lop one half dut.noh two-at-a-time two-a-piece
3 sey three sey.dlag third din sey.dlop one third sey.noh three-at-a-time three-a-piece
4 kut four kut.lag fourth din kut.lop one quarter kut.noh four-at-a-time four-a-piece
5 sha five sha.dlag fifth din sha.dlop one fifth sha.noh five-at-a-time five-a-piece
6 luk six luk.lag sixth din luk.lop one sixth luk.noh six-at-a-time six-a-piece
7 tos seven tos.lag first din tos.lop one seventh tos.noh seven-at-a-time seven-a-piece
8 ya eight ya.dlag eighth din ya.dlop one eighth ya.noh eight-at-a-time eight-a-piece
9 nit nine nit.lag ninth din nit.lop one ninth nit.noh nine-at-a-time nine-a-piece
10 ehep ten ehep.lag tenth din ehep.lop one tenth ehep.noh ten-at-a-time ten-a-piece
30 sey dehep thirty sey dehep.lag thirtieth din sey dehep.lop one thirtieth sey dehep.noh thirty-at-a-time thirty-a-piece



Vowels and diphthongs
Chart of Atlantean vowels
pronunciation Readers Script Writers Script Example Meaning Example Meaning
/i,ɪ/ ee, ih, i i tikʌdɜ to be located alɪʃ child
/e,ɜ/ eh, e e wesɜr marketplace
/ej/ ay ey badɜg.bej best
/ɑ,ɘ/ ah, uh a makɪt.ɘg of the king
/ɑi/ i ay kaitɘn 7 cm
/o/ oh, o, oa o obɜs lava
/oj/ oy oy risojba squid
oo, u u kunɜt surface kʌt four

Atlantean's phonetic inventory includes a vowel system with the above five phonemes, a system common to many languages, such as Spanish. Most vowels have two prominent allophonic realizations, depending on whether it occurs in a stressed or unstressed syllable. Vowels in stressed syllables tend to be tense, and likewise unstressed ones tend to be more lax. Thus, for example, /i/ is realized as [i] or [ɪ] in stressed and unstressed syllables, respectively. Likewise, /e/ is realized as [e] or [ɛ], and so on. (/ɑ/ fits into this pattern as [ɑ] or [ʌ].) There are three diphthongs.

pronunciation chart of Atlantean consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Labiovelar
Nasal m n
Fricative s ʃ x
Approximant j w
Trill r
Lateral l
Where symbols occur in pairs, the left represents the voiceless consonant and the right represents the voiced consonant.


  1. Transliterated as sh in Writers Script and Readers Script.
  2. Transliterated as h in Writers Script (bibɪx, inner cover of Subterranean Tours) and "kh" in Readers Script.
  3. Transliterated as y in Writers Script and Readers Script.


Aside from the stressed-syllable-based vowel system, the only other example of phonology found in the entire language may be expressed as:

0 -> [m,n] in the context of [i,o/e]_-Person/Aspect Suffix


n -> [k,t] in the context of _ [i,o]


Word order

Atlantean has a very strict Subject-Object-Verb word order. There is never any deviation from the pattern. Adjectives and Genitive Nouns go after the nouns which they modify, post-positions go after the nouns or clauses which they modify, and modals go after the verbs which they modify and subsequently take all agglutinative suffixes. However, adverbs go before their verbs. Last of all are the interrogative particles. The given order of all parts of speech and particles is as follows in both an interrogative and declarative statement (a little redundant in order to use the whole sentence):

Sentence Order
Word Example English Gloss
Adverbs of Time, Manner, Location Log What
Time, Manner, Location Adverbial Nouns darim time
Instrumental Cased Nouns shayod.esh using.hands
Adverbs ser just
Adjectives our
Nominative Cased Nouns weydagosen Visitors
Post-positional Objects/ Oblique Cased Nouns keylob.tem (in) the chamber
Adjectives royal
Possessive Pronouns his
Post-position net in
Dative/Oblique Cased Nouns makit.tem The King
Genitive Cased Nouns of Relation of Atlantis
Post-Positions gom to
Accusative Cased Nouns neshing.mok.en.tem great contrivances
Adverb joyfully
Verb with Modal Verb bernot to bring
Modal Verb [stem.mood.tense/aspect.person/number] bog.o.mkem we will be able
Interrogative Particle du eh? (North Central American English / Canadian English)
Final Explanation
At what time will we visitors be able to use our very hands to joyfully give our great contrivances to the King of Atlantis in his Royal Chamber?

There are two given variations on the simple sentence order involving sentence connectors, also called connective particles. These are grammatical particles whose particular roles seen here occurs in Native American languages, among other languages. These Atlantean sentence connectors relate two clauses in a logical yet idiomatic manner which produces a complete thought in the same way that the equally complicated English sentence does. English doesn't use sentence connectors in the following ways, however:

Clause order 1, Example 1
Clause or Particle Example English Gloss
Initial Clause "Wil.tem neb gamos.e.tot..." "He sees this city..."
Sentence connector 1 deg (roughly) "for"
Modifying Clause duwer.en tirid. all foreigners.
Final Explanation
No outsiders may see the city and live. More literally, " 'He Who Doth the City See...' is meant for ALL foreigners.'

Clause order 1, Example 2
Clause or Particle Example English Gloss
Initial Clause, lud.en kwam gesu bog.e.kem Father, we cannot help these people
Sentence connector 1 deg (roughly) "and yet"
Modifying Clause yasek.en gesu.go.ntoh. they will help the Royalty.
Final Explanation
Father, these people may be able to help us. More literally, "Father, we can't help these people and yet they will help us, the King and Princess."

Clause order 2
Clause or Particle Example English Gloss
Descriptive Clause Ketak.en.tem sapoh.e.kik I view the lava whales
Sentence connector 2 yos (roughly) "then"
Action Clause lat nar badeg.bey tikud.e.tot dap? where is the best place?
Final Explanation
Where is the best place from which to view the lava whales?


There are seven cases for nouns.

Grammatical cases

Grammatical Cases
Number Name Suffix Example English Gloss
1 Nominative no suffix yob crystal
2 Oblique -tem yobtem the crystal give, in the crystal, to the crystal, etc.
3 Genitive -ag yobag of the crystal
4 Vocative -top Yobtop O Crystal!
5 Instrumental -esh yobesh using father
6 Unknown 1 -kup yobkup (something) crystal
7 Unknown 2 -nuh yobnuh (something) crystal


  1. With the exception of "mat", "mother", which takes the special Maternal Filial Suffix -tim. Note that the only other kinship term, "father", "tab", takes the usual -top.
  2. No translation given. As discussed in "The Shepherd's Journal" on the "Collector's DVD": ketub-kup (page 4) and setub-mok-en-tem (page 10), setub-mok-en-ag (page 5), and setub-kup (pages 1-4).
  3. No translation given. As discussed in "The Shepherd's Journal" on the "Collector's DVD": derup-tem and derup-nuh (page 5).

Other suffixes

Other Noun Suffixes
Grammatical Function Suffix Example English Gloss
Plural -en yoben crystals
Augmentative -mok Yobmok The Great Crystal

Nouns are marked as plural with the suffix -en. Case suffixes never precede the -en plural suffix. "-Mok" occurs after it.


There are five cases for pronouns.

Grammatical cases

Grammatical Cases
Number Name Suffix Example English Gloss
1 Nominative no suffix kag I
2 Accusative -it kagit me, whom was (sent), etc.
3 Dative -ib tuhib (to) me
4 Genitive -in tuhin my (my heart, karod tuhin)
5 Unknown -is kagis not translated


  1. No translation given. Appears in "First Mural Text" on the "Collector's DVD": tug-is.


Verbs are inflected with two suffixes, one for tense/aspect and the next for person/number.

Tense/aspect suffixes

Tense/Aspect suffixes
Number Name Suffix Example English Gloss
1 Simple Present Tense -e bernot.e.kik I bring
2 Present Perfect Tense -le bernot.le.kik you have brought
3 Present Obligatory Tense -se I am obliged to bring
4 Simple Past Tense -i bernot.i.mik I brought
5 Immediate Past Tense -ib bernot.ib.mik I just brought
6 Past Perfect Tense -li I had brought
7 Simple Future Tense -o bernot.o.mik I will bring
8 Future Possible Tense -go bernot.go.mik I may bring
9 Future Perfect Tense -lo bernot.lo.mik I will have brought
10 Future Obligatory Tense -so I will be obliged to bring

Further Examples of Tense/Aspect suffix morphology
-e sapoh.i.mik (SJ:10) I viewed sapoh.e.kik (ST) I view
-le (IS) strangly/he is being strange panneb.le.nen (IS) you are knowing peren.le.mot (DVD:MURAL) Untranslated. pasil.le.tot (IS) it is being sufficient
-se kaber (SJ:789) warn! we are obliged to warn
-i es.e.tot (ST) it is es.i.mot (SJ:10) it will be
-ib (IS) I had brought bernot.ib.mik (IS) I just brought
-li bernot.ib.mik (IS) I just brought (IS) I had brought
-o komtib.lo.nen (SJ:5) you will have found komtib.o.nen (SJ:5) you will find
-go satib.yoh (IS) move along! satib.go.ntoh (SJ:89) they may move along gesu.go.ntoh (IS) they may help
-lo komtib.o.nen (SJ:5) you will find komtib.lo.nen (SJ:5) you will have found
-so komtib.lo.nen (IS) you will have found (SJ:5) you will will be obliged to find
Mood suffixes

Mood suffixes
Number Name Suffix Example English Gloss
1 Imperative Mood Singular no suffix ( Bernot! Bring (it, you)!
2 Imperative Mood Plural -yoh ( Bernot.yoh! Bring (it, y'all)!
3 Passive Mood -esh (Im.tem bernot.esh.ib.mik. I just was brought (something).
4 Infinitive -e bernot.e to bring

Further Examples of Mood suffixes
Number Name Suffix Example English Gloss Example English Gloss Example English Gloss Example English Gloss
no suffix nageb.o.ntoh (SJ:789) they will enter Nageb.yoh (ST) Enter, y'all! Nageb! Enter!
-yoh gamos.i.mik (DVD:TRAVEL) I saw Gamos.yoh! (DVD:MURAL) May ye behold! gamos.e (DVD:MURAL) to see Beket! (ST) You're begged! Beket.yoh! (ST) Y'all are begged!
-esh pag.en (ST) you (are) thanked (short form) pag.esh.e.nen (ST)

you are thanked dodl.esh.mik (DVD:MURAL) Untranslated. kobden.en/hobd.esh.e.tot (IS)

command / he has doomed
-e wegen.os/wegen.e (IS) traveler/to travel wegen.os/wegen.e (IS) traveler/to travel gamos.yoh (DVD:MURAL) May ye behold! gamos.e (DVD:MURAL) to see gobeg.en/gobeg.e arms/to be an arm
Person/number suffixes

Person/number suffixes
Person Number Familiarity Independent Pronoun Suffix English Gloss
1st Singular - kag -ik I
2nd Singular - moh -en you
3rd Singular - tug tuh tok -ot he she it
1st Plural - gwis -kem we
2nd Plural Unfamiliar gebr -eh you-all (unfamiliar)
2nd Plural Familiar gabr -eh you-all (familiar)
3rd Plural - sob -toh they


Most of the vocabulary was made for the movie, so it relates to concepts that occur in the movie.

"Animal Life"

There are words for the bizaare animal life around Atlantis, creatures that resemble: ostriches (wemoten), purple lobsters (tuyeben), parrot lizards (yeragosen), lava whales (ketaken obesag), and multiple-eyed purple tigers (bahodmoken). There are about as many names for normal animal life as well, mostly sea creatures on account of their vehicles being fashioned in their shapes.

"Politics and Religion"

There are words for a few elements of the Atlantean political system: city (wil), king (makit), Your Highness (taneb), royalty/judges (yaseken), marker (keran), law (tamar), orderly (laridin), command (kobden), and foreigner (duwer).

There are words for religious and mythological concepts, given in : to defile (karoke), to forgive (lewide), to worship (yadluge), (the old religion: ) Mother Crystal or The Heart of Atlantis (Kerod Adlantisag; tok, it), Yob (Crystal), Peace (Weshekmol), Giants (gonosen), (the decadent religion: ) Lightning/ Odin/ Leviathan the Last of the Mighty War God(desses) (, literally "light.ning"; tuh, she), (Pre-1914 religion: ) The Great Flood (Mebelmok) and Nishen (Spirits).

"Adventure Words"

There are words for travel and discovery, such as to be located (tikude), to see (gamose), to discover (komtibe), path (ben), cave (tinemoshep), enclosed (digenmil), lair (pred), to continue (tenite), and to get somewhere (kwetipe)

Given the epic scale of the movie, there's a few words related to serious matters: to kill (gwenoge), to doom (hobde), to be finished (yodene), and to destroy (megide).

"Everyday Life"

There are also quite a few "normal" words, like to be (ese), in (net), on (meg/med), through (pak), and an assortment of modal verbs like to be able (boge). There is no word for "to have".

There is a very full set of measurements and numbers 1-10 with hints at formations for 20 and 30.

However, the majority of the verbs and words seem to be of an everyday nature: to travel along (satib), to come (mase), to walk (galeme), to rush (nuroshe), contrivance (neshingos), marketplace (weser), to cost (mohede), to listen (epkele), to think (kapere), to speak (bashebe), to understand (doyine), tree (denet), person (lud), time (nal/darim/konos), to worship (yadluge), entrance (mannal), chamber (keylob), shelter (tegul), and joyfully (gawidin).

"Family and Anatomy"

There are also a few basic kinship terms, namely father (tab), mother (mat), to be well (mat), and child (alish). "Mother" takes a special kinship vocative suffix: -tim, though "father" takes the usual -top. There are actually no words for man or woman.

Here's the short list of mostly human body parts: eye (okwep), heart (kerod), hand (shayod), arm (gobeg), tail (wibak).

"Mystery Words"

Half of the words have not been diciphered and probably relate to either the history or location of Atlantis as they occur in "The Shepherd's Journal". "The Shepherd's Journal", in reality, amounts to about 2 or 3 pages of actual text and 7 pages of dummy text which repeats fragments of the actual parts.

The vocabulary exhibits a limited yet well-balanced character.


  • Cynthia, Benjamin. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire : Welome to my World." New York: Random House: 2001.
  • Ehrbar, Greg. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." Milwaukee: Dark Horse Comics: June 2001.
  • Hahn, Don; Wise, Kirk; Trousdale, Gary et al. "2-Disc Collector’s Edition: Atlantis: The Lost Empire."
  • "Disney Adventures" magazine, Summer Issue 2001.
  • Howard, James N. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack" : Limited Tiwanese Edition. Taiwan and Hong Kong: Walt Disney Records: Represented by Avex: 2001.
  • Kurtti, Jeff. "Atlantis Subterranean Tours: A Traveler’s Guide to the Lost City (Atlantis the Lost Empire." New York: Disney Editions: 2001.
  • Kurtti, Jeff. "The Journal of Milo Thatch." New York: Disney Editions: 2001.
  • Murphy, Tab et al. "Atlantis, the Lost Empire : The Illustrated Script." New York : Disney Editions: 2001.

External links

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