Agori language reverse engineering

Stemming from the inspirational discussions about the runes on Artakha’s armor for the art contest - questions regarding written Agori language have been brought forward.
There are several potential clues, as to what it looks like. Here in this topic, we will discuss the most concrete and compelling sample we have in canon - a written analysis from the point of view of a Baterra (found in comic Fall and rise of the Skrall).
Here are screenshots of the BiomediaProject version, and scans of a physical copy kindly provided by CalamitousT:



The goal of this topic is to try and reverse engineer something similar to a writing system and/or language.
This is for two reasons: (1) to spark a discussion and effort enriching our understanding of G1 canon, (2) to provide an inspiration to all the artists working on Artakha (Meet the Maker canon contest).

Some of the initial observations: the symbols are repetitive aka there seems to be a letter/syllable system at work here, not just a bunch of unique graphemes. Repeated usage indicates meaning.

Given the average number of symbols per letter/sentence, it is more probable that each symbol is either syllable or a word, instead of individual letters. This language might be hieroglyphic.

Meaning of certain symbol groups can be inferred as they are pointing to specific objects.

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well… it could also be meaningless gibberish

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Very constructive :laughing:
It most likely is, but that is the point - to make sense of it.

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I see two approaches to take:

  1. We could start by looking at the context of where the words pop up and trying to figure out what they’re saying:

  2. Taking a page from the notebook of The Great Sherlock Holmes, we start (assuming these are English words written in a different alphabet) by isolating the most commonly-appearing symbol out of the bunch, and identifying it as the most commonly-used letter in the English alphabet, the letter E.

Edit:

Per your observations, @ToaKebaka, we can:

  1. We can try to figure out (assuming the characters represent syllables instead of letters) what syllables they could be.
  1. Assuming each symbol represents a whole word like in a lot of far-eastern languages, figure which words each respective symbol could be.
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Also the biggest part of text is really hard to read from these scans. Hopefully we can find some that are clearer

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are we assuming that this language uses a phonetic alphabet?

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I agree completly with first point. The fact these symbol groups directly describe something can be of an advantage for us.

Regarding the second point,

Exactly, the right thing to ask. As I expressed before, I think it is more likely that this system is more similar to hieroglyphs based on the small number of graphemes per sentence. Or alternatively each grapheme corresponds to a syllable, but probably not individual letters.

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that being said I doubt the writers actually went full Tolkien and designed a totally new language that wasn’t phonetic.

Even lucasfilm didn’t do that with Aurabesh.

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I will try to identify as many unique graphemes as possible and recreate them in some accesable format. That will provide a point of reference for the future.

Some quick analysis on the text box with lots of small symbols:

There are 148 symbols total, in 16 rows.
Rows 1-5 have 9 symbols, rows 6-7 have 10 symbols, 8-13 have 9 symbols, 14-15 have 10 and 16th has 9 again.
Some of the lines (such as 4+5, 12+13) seem to be repeated, though this is really hard to tell due to quality.

Yeah, this is probably a case of just sybol design, without any meaning behind it. But that is part of the fun!

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if the symbols directly rapresent letters we could start thinking about what the 2-letter word in pic 4 means which, from what i saw could be 1 of the (almost)130 2-letter words in the english dictionary and from there we could try to guess what the short groups of words mean like the top one in pic 1 or in pic 3

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I think it is much more likely that each symbol represents a word. Once I finish the list of symbols we can start guessing which words those are.

For example the window in picture 1 clearly describes the weaponry of the Skrall (unsurprising since Baterra are programmed to attack armed individuals), so we can associate some of the symbols with words related to weaponry etc.

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I mean, this graphic novel used stock images of Raanu and Zesk as members of the Rock Tribe, I wouldn’t treat it as the most accurate source of canon info. And given that the Toa Hagah were able to decipher part of the text written in Agori underneath Metru Nui, and what we saw in TLR, I think it’s safe to assume that the Agori language is much more similar in writing to the one Matoran use.

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maybe this isn’t agori but the programming language that the great being used to create the baterra (which doesn’t make sense because the matoran language is just what the beings in the matoran universe are programmed in and it wouldn’t make sense to use a prioritary programming language just for the baterra)

Ok so knowing how the artist literally used stock photos of sets in this graphic novel I assumed he might’ve done the same thing for this Baterra language, and would you look at that, all I had to do was to type “alien language font” in Google to find out it’s actually Klinzhai from Star Trek:

Klinzhai_alphabet

I think we can go home now.

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Haha, was just considering the same thing myself, given the few resources that would have gone into the GN.

Although of course now we need to transcribe everything!

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well… that lasted long

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What Toa Hagah were able to decipher was Agori language, but written in matoran lettering.

Your find is helpful but it doesn’t mean we can go home. Just because existing font is used doesn’t mean we cannot make sense of it.
Have you tried to actually read the text in this?

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(Please verify)

First line under ‘the hunt today…’:
THAMX
KLINGONFBD

Two letters above Skrall front & side view:
XO

Three symbols by Skrall close-up:
456

Next to then inside the circles:
FL [L is rotated 90]
7890

And that box of symbols? Yeah, no.

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Yes, and Skrall face reads 456. Also the line pointing to Skrall profile is “fl”, with “l” being rotated. So there are some extra rotated symbols here.

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this can mean only two things:

  • total gibberish
  • it can mean something but its encrypted

edit: the presence of the word KLINGON makes me doubt the second option

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