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The Arecibo Stone

 The Cardassian writing system is largely based on pictograms derived from literal pictures of the objects they originally denoted. The pictograms are hard to recognize for the human eye, but for those who are familiar with the objects and this specific culture represented through the pictograms, it isn't hard to decipher. Most of the pictograms originate from everyday experiences – objects used in daily activities or social events that somewhat relies on common cultural practices.

As the Arecibo stone has been exposed to thousand of years of wear and tear, slight erosion makes it impossible to decipher all the characters. Hopefully it will be possible to complete the translation with the help of Hector Hernandez's recently received transmissions. 




Meaning of pictogram

Phonetic value

A carrot sitting down with a stick. The stick is used to fight off hungry insects


Expression of dislike

Fricative, nasal sound

A swan-like animal

No record..

No record..

No record..

An alien microphone used for singing songs about vegetables

Chomp chomp chomp chomp do-do-do do-do-do

Seems to be a ceremonial expression, which is said when meeting in bigger groups as a sign of mutual respect

A melodic series of sounds sung by at least two individuals

No record..

Possibly a tool used in space travel

No record..

Something that will help you fulfil your innermost wishes

No record..

Contours of two faces, the left one is upside-down


A social event or an exchange of conflicting opinions

An aspirated rolling sound

A gallows upside-down


Expression of delight

Its manner of articulation is plosive or stop, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract.

A bowl with a bundle of carrots


To start a family or to support your family

A quiet aspirated sound

A falling bird


To fall from the sky or to be too self-confident

A falling sound

A futuristic hook used for catching objects which are not in motion


To be unaware of the specific conditions under which you articulate a set of ideas

Fricative, a loud scream

A folded hand with no connection to the arm


Being confused

or not being able to decipher a communicative act

A quiet aspirated sound

A small piece breaking off a larger unit


Means something like: you are a part of me and I am a part of you

Pronounced the same way as in English, although the sound is even more crunchier

No record – someone suggested it could be a kind of tool

No record..

The sign is often written in conjunction with (see below), which suggest it's a broom. A broom that gets rid of the slammed fish in order to get to the point

No record..

A truncated cone


To speak

Almost like when you break a carrot in two

Another gallows, for execution of more than one at a time


Expressing concern on the state of things

Its manner of articulation is approximant, or occasionally fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a channel at the place of articulation that is usually narrow enough to cause turbulence.

A broken sprout in a flowerpot


No record..

A slight guttural sound or a chewing-like sound

Unknown fish slammed hard on the ground

No record..

Something that draws attention away from the central issue, much like the expression ‘red herring'

No record..

A broken stick


Not known..

A crisp guttural sound

Alien chair – thought to be suitable for mass production 

D or dj

A repetition of something with slight variations

The sound is often said twice in order to underline the repetitive aspect

Two juicy oranges hidden away in a hut in the middle of the night


To keep a secret


To beat around the bush

A short sizzle

A shadow of a carrot in the morning sun


signifying something which is only an image of a real object

A long rolling sound

A pick



Short ejective burst

A substance being poured into a flowerpot


To use fertilizer


to be overwhelmed with happiness

The ‘Yo' is almost silent which makes the word almost impossible to pronounce for humans


Lets take a look at some examples on how the language is translated.

These examples are excerpts from the actual inscriptions on the Arecibo stone and provide us with important evidence of the culture in which the inscription was formulated: 


Pronunciation: Huh Sh-Yodh

Meaning: If you are confused, you should start a family and be overwhelmed with happiness.


Pronunciation: krackk knaw Arrhg Hrrp Sh-Yodh knaw aai

Meaning: To speak is not good when you are unaware of the specific conditions under which you articulate a set of ideas, instead you should exchange your thoughts with others, start a family and be overwhelmed with happiness and stop being so self-confident.



Pronunciation: -- -- knaw zzhr

Meaning: Get to the point and stop beating around the bush.

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