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Old 02-16-2010, 06:04 PM
RedEyeSky's Avatar
RedEyeSky RedEyeSky is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: England
Posts: 11
Narn dictionary I've been working on

Hi, I just joined because I've been working on a Narn dictionary, and I wondered the following:
  • is there already a substantial Narn language dictionary anywhere that my googling didn't turn up?
  • would anyone here be interested in commenting on the work I've done so far? My work so far is below - and I'm specifically interested in canon uses that contradict a meaning I have given, or words and terms that I have missed out.
It's not, I rather regret now, all complete with Wikipedia-esque sources for each word: I began this as a casual intertest, and most of it was put together over many bored hours from numerous online sources, many I think referencing the RPG manuals, which I don't have, and other published works of that kind. I only have the 9 Boxtree series tie-in novels, and DVDs of the series.

But none of the words have been made up completely by me, and the meanings have been attached because they seem correct in at least one context elsewhere.

To backtrack on every meaning and find the source would take this from the realm of "fun hobby" into "painful chore" - so I'm hoping if I've got something there that contradicts a canon interpretation elsewhere, someone will point that out, as opposed to me being able to demonstrate my sources for each word. This is a flaw, and I'm posting here before I compound it any further.


Anouri û a precious metal
Bas û warrior, soldier
Bin - sneaky
Bok û fields, fertile land
Breen û meatballs
Burella û wind catcher (used to trap moisture û they rot quickly)
Chur û physical enjoyment
DÆ û female, mistress, matriarch, first
Dag û carrying, carrier
Dak - middling, progressing towards, in progress
Dakka û cowlike animal
Dar û sky, canopy, covering, tent-like
Darka û righteous, obligation
Dath û acceptance, pacifism, weakness, surrender
Davu - sorry - apology
Deyr û bringer
Dru û lost, mad, bereft of virtue
Du û night
Dul - sleep, dream
Eth û essence of, smoke
Fitlop û goatlike animal, eaten on feast days
Frazi û lightning, storms
GÆ û Divine, godhood, godhead (in personal names, indicates person follows a religion)
Geketh û chesslike strategy game, escalating take of pieces by skill and stealth
Gorith û righteous force
Goth û legion, army
Halak - compassion, just treatment
Ini û kill
Ja û home (specific to a person's own house)
Jak û head of a household
Jareth - defender
Ka û body
Kal û strong
Kan - war
Kar û oath (taken in relation to the People) from root Kha
Karith - guardian
Karn û art, artist, entertainer
Kha û the People, aka Narns
Kini - killer, one who kills
Ko û no, denial, not, resistance
Kos û rule of law, justice
Lan û life
Lon - spirit (of a thing or person)
Lorn û joy, ecstacy, heaven
Loth - proceed
Lukrol û meaty stew
Makur û knives, daggers
Mitlop û tripe dessert with berries
N' - male, father, final
Na û honour of, honourable, proud
Ni û strong, strength
Nic û hammer, strong tool
Nok - patriarch
On û solitary ferocious animal
Pa û death
Phroomis û ritual dish of your enemyÆs skin
Q' - world, realm of, material being of
Quan û the divine/Kha interface, like the state of transfiguration in Earther theology
Ri û exchange, payment, service, duty, what is owed
Ree û water, also in metaphors of water-like
Ron û eliminate, decimate, destroy utterly
Ryddi û sherry-like drink
Sha û warrior, righteous killer
Sho û drawer of blood
Shon û blood in an honour situation
Shrack û expletive - anger, disgust, surprise
Shtag - shut up
Silsop û cake-like bread
Sol - leader
Stat û barracks
Suk û beginner, new
TÆ û rising strength, growth, progress
Ta û highest, best
Tagro û sweetish alcoholic drink
Tak û very, excess, superlative
Tar û life
Taree û strong liquor, analagous to whiskey
Tchot û be silent, caution*
Tehn û explore
Tesh û map, mapmaker
Thalen û type of tradition
Thenta û many
Thentus - allied
This - hireling
Tok û fight, battle
Tokti û martial art
Tol û literally, stopper û used for soldiers
Toleth - knot
Toth û eternal, order of things, order of society
Tyrpa û frozen dessert
Tza û actual blood, gore, wounds
Uarthonn û disease
VÆ - soul
Val û piglike animal, meaning often servant, "animal of", not always derogatory
Var - wanderer
Vin û of
Vopa û skilled, right way, excellent
YÆ û eternal
Zhen û sir/maÆam, addressing a superior*

*Jan, re your script notes on this in the post below, I'm staying with this one - see the edit on my post below.



* I've made a few leaps on the meanings for some words - though none I think fly in the face of credibility. I love B5 and have over the years come up with a few theories about Narn psychology, culture & worldview, and I've used those to inform my choices where meaning was otherwise ambiguous.

* I've left out, for the most part, the endless apostrophes that seem to be all over alien words in all sci-fi, as they don't represent actual glottal stops in most cases, which is what they're meant to be. There is to my mind no more need for an apostrophe in Kha Ri as spoken by characters in the series than there is for the Earther term car wash. They're only truly correct in my opinion (open for rebuttal) for single letters such as G', N' and so on.

* One single site I found says that Kha Ri (Narn governing council) means "the voicing", when my interpretation of it as kha = "the People" (aka Narns) ri = "contract, duty" fits better with the fact the resistance leaders after the first occupation called themselves the Kha Ri - "the People doing their duty/giving payback" (firstly to the Centauri, then later to their citizens)...

And also my meaning doesn't utterly contradict "the voicing" (think of the Earther term "Spokesman" which we all know means more than a man who speaks) - I did also at some point find a few places that backed my own interpretation, but again, sadly didn't think to note them at the time I began this.

* I found scripts online at but Narn words don't seem to be rendered, such as the scene in S1 "Midnight on the Firing Line" where G'Kar and the Narn weapons advisor have a brief exchange in their own language, so I've worked phonetically there (such as the last entry, Zhen, which is how the advisor seems to address G'Kar).

* For the rest, I've either disassembled names taken from Narn military terms found online and cross-referenced them with what I had already, extrapolated from names used in the series and books (not by relating them just to characters in the series, which would be ridiculously limiting - but which seems popular on some sites...) or generally tried to untangle implied meanings found elsewhere.

If you've read this far, thank you! - and any constructive comments or criticism would be most welcome!

"Chance favors the warrior."

Last edited by RedEyeSky; 02-18-2010 at 01:28 AM.
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alien languages, dictionary, narn

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