Minbari script

A Sample of Minbari script

The following is a partial list of Minbari words and phrases along with a brief explanation of their meaning in English. Where possible, the specific Minbari dialect from which the word originate will also be specified.

Glossary of WordsEdit

  • Ahel: Ahel translates into English as "continuous fire". It is phonetically identical to the English exclamation "Ah hell".[1]
  • Ailecococ: The name of a small fish and the pleasure one gets meeting someone for the first time.[2]
  • Almara Meal: A traditional meal from the Almara Archipelago on Minbar that bears a resemblance to Earth couscous and is traditionally served with Ulabon.[3]
  • Alyt: Alyt is a Warrior Caste military rank comparable to an Earth Brigadier General.[4]
  • Anla'shok: Anla'shok can be loosely translated into English as "Ranger". That is to say one who ranges (travels) over a region to protect the area.[5]
  • Beeba: A plant that produces an organic oil, broadly comparable to Earth olive oil and which has an equally similar culinary use.[3]
  • Chayva: Chen translates into English as "seven." [6]
  • Chudomo seeds: A bean-like seed pod akin to Earth haricots vert.[3]
  • Deh-f'hurst: A term that loosely translates into English as "I yield to your authority".[7]
  • Denn: A root word that means "fight" or "battle".
    • Denn'bok: A traditional weapon, roughly translates into English as "fighting pike".[8]
    • Denn-shah: Denn-shah can be loosely translated into English as "fight to the death", or just "to the death".[9]
  • Entil'Zha: Entil'Zha is not actually a Minbari word, at least not in its entirety. The specific phrase is believed to be of Vorlon origin and first entered Minbari vocabulary during the First Shadow War.[5] However, the word does contain the "Zha" word component which in other Minbari words usually is a reference to "the future," so Entil'Zha's true meaning should be "the one who creates or guides the forces creating the future".[10]
  • F'hursna: F'hursna is an honorific given to the Master teacher of the Denn'bok.[5]
  • Fane: Fane literally translates as a small temple or shrine, though it's actual usage refers to a specific clan as Minbari see the family unit as a shrine to their beliefs.[4]
  • Flarn: A soft green food served in small cube portions and is traditionally served to honor visiting guests.[3][11]
  • Gal'sha: A plant that produces hard oily seeds similar to Earth hazelnuts.[3]
  • Glivinn: A traditional dinner of the Third Fane of Chudomo that may only be prepared and eaten on Valen's Day.[3]
  • Glomo: A plant with fruit that can be compared to an Earth zucchini (courgette) .[3]
  • Gokk: A domestic pet, similar to Earth Cats in demeanour.[12]
  • Heefa: Heefa translates as "passionate love-making".[4][13]
  • Hylax: A plant with seeds that resemble Earth red potatoes.[3]
  • Ingati: A fierce animal, much respected for its courage and a sought after hunting trophy. Broadly similar to an Earth grizzly bear.[4]
  • Isil'zha: Isil'zha is a Minbari word which usually means change, changing the future, or coming of a new age.[14][15]
  • Jenn: A plant with a bulb-like structure with a distinctive taste and consistency very much like Earth garlic.[3]
  • Klenn-Sha: A Worker Caste dinner that is traditionally eaten on every third day during the autumn season, alternating with Klenn-Fha and Klenn-Jha. Often followed by a dessert of Yun-Yun.[3]
  • Kloo: An animal with meat that tastes similar to Orion yogtree or Earth chicken. It is commonly used to make a stock that serves as a flavor base for several Warrior Caste recipes.[3]
  • Madagon: A very aggressive six legged animal about the size of an Earth Great Dane. It features include sharp spines on its back and a double set of teeth.[4]
  • Mora'dum: Mora'dum translates into English as "the application of terror." Most likely a word from the warrior caste's language.[8]
  • N'Kai: N'Kai is a usual word in Minbari languages as it appears in all ninety seven Minbari dialects and sub-tongues yet it never means the same thing twice. As such it can mean many different things including but not limited to "sand", "father" and "boot". The word is pronounced with a sharp tongue-click after the "N" sound.[16]
  • Na: Na translates into English as "one" or "first". For example "Anla'Shok Na" means "Ranger One".[5]
  • Nafak'cha: Nafak'ch roughly translates as "rebirth ceremony".[17]
  • Ni: Ni translates into English as "no", "negative" or "don't".[18]
  • Nusental: Nusental translates into English as "you're welcome."[19]
  • Owala paste: A strong spicy condiment very similar to Earth dijon mustard.[3]
  • Pil'sha: A type of herb with similar properties to Earth parsley.[3]
  • Premurr: A simple flatbread favoured by the Worker Caste during their min-morning prayer break.[3]
  • Qual: A type of fruit that comes in several varieties such as qual'fha and qual'nha, which are themselves similar to Earth red and green peppers, respectively.[3]
  • Raalon: An undomesticated beast specifically raised by the Worker Caste to be hunted and slaughtered for food by the Warrior Caste. Raalon meat tastes somewhat like Earth lamb and secretes a milk like fluid that is harvested and used in several recipes.[3]
  • Rak'ka: Angry, Annoyed, Furious, Upset, Enraged (severity indicated by volume).[20]
  • Rylla: A plant that produces shelled seed pods similar to Earth peas.[3]
  • Satai: An honorific used exclusively by each of the nine members of the Grey Council.[21]
  • Sech: Sech translates into English as "teacher" though it has a stronger cultural connotation than the English equivalent and is a title that commands great respect and is the mark of someone who has achieved mastery of their given subject or vocation. In the words of Sech Durhan "Any Sech would rather resign from his position and give up the ancient art forever than teach its ways to the unworthy."[5]
  • Se n'kai: A kind of fruit. In the thousand years since Valen's time, Se n'kai trees had become far less prevalent than they once were. It is traditionally used in the ceremony to install a new Entil'Zha, though it is not essential.[5]
  • Sha'chai: A non-alcoholic drink that has no intoxicating effects on Minbari, but for humans it is even more potent that Bor'Kaan. Humans that wish to sample Sha'chai are first required to provide proof of medical coverage.[3]
  • Sha'neyat: Sha'neyat can be loosely translated into English as "death destroyer".[5]
  • Shag-toth: Shag-toth translates into English as "soul hunter." [21]
  • Shai Alyt: Shai Alyt is a Warrior Caste military rank comparable to an Earth 5-star General, or Joint Chief of Staff.[4]
  • Shaal: Shaal is an honorific title, granted to a person who has made a major achievement, usually a lifetime achievement.[4]
  • Shan-fall: The third movement of preparation and mutual understanding. One of many Minbari courtship rituals where a prospective couple will spend the night together discovering one another's centers of pleasure, with great deliberation prayerfully, with respect and meditation, while a group of close friends or family wait outside to pray and meditate and ensure that things do not go too far. (Not to be confused with Heefa.)[22]
  • Shu-Nali: Shu-Nali is a particular type of design aesthetic and was the basis for the "Liandra" type vessels.[23]
  • Slenn: A type of herb with similar properties to Earth thyme.[3]
  • Stavo: Stavo translates into English as "good work".[24]
  • Taalor: A domesticated beast with meat that is akin to Earth beef.[3]
  • Temshwee: A small, blue, bird like creature.[5]
  • Tet: Tet translates into English as "nine." [6]
  • Ti'la: Ti'la can be loosely translated into English as "poet song." [13]
  • Tulba Pod Salad: A customary mid-day meal for Religious Caste Minbari.[3]
  • Tuzanor: Tuzanor comes for the ancient Na'sen dialect of Adronato and translates into English as "City of Sorrows."[5]
  • Tyr: A plant that produces summer fruit similar to Earth squash.[3]
  • Ulabon: A great sea fish from the Almara Archipelago.[3]
  • Valen's herb: A type of herb with similar properties to Earth basil.[3]
  • Valeria fruit: A type of fruit that cam be compared to an Earth plum tomato.[3]
  • Vi drosh: Vi drosh translates into English as "I'm sorry."[18]
  • Vo: Vo translates into English as "five." [6]
  • Weel: A sea bass-like flying fish from the strait of Weel favoured by the Warrior Caste.[3]
  • Xenn: A citrus fruit with a bitter, lemon-like flavour.[3]
  • Wysa: A plant that bares a nut akin to Earth almonds.[3]
  • Yedor root: A taproot type plant with taste and texture comparable to Earth carrots.[3]
  • Yl'fost: A sweet crystalline organic compound, equivalent to Earth sugar.[3]
  • Yla: A leafy vegetable with leaves that are the primary ingredient in yla leaf cake.[3]
  • Yun-Yun: A fattening dessert typically enjoyed by members of the Worker Caste after dinner.[3]
  • Zassa: A plant that produces very spicy pepper-like fruit that resembles Earth jalapeño chili.[3]
  • Z'ha'dum: Z'ha'dum translates into English as "death of the future", or "the dark future".[10]
  • Zerka: A small, rare ceremonial plant that is spun into thread used only on very special garments.[24]
  • Zhu San: Zhu San translates loosely into English as "Are you all right?"[18]

Glossary of PhrasesEdit

  • "Enfalli nus fi dromo en calli fen": This phrase loosely translates as "stand by as we go aboard and inform us immediately if you pick up any transmissions."[25]
  • "Enzi drak, bin voo grodler zik": This phrase translates as "And next time, use a much bigger needle".[24]
  • "Fayzen shok": This phrase translates as "Ahead full".
  • "Flok sha": This phrase translates as "Engines at full." [26]
  • "Nachass....duweena": The exact meaning of this phrase is unclear, although it is used to order a computer to play the sounds of rain falling on a roof.[27]
  • "Ni moshna": This phrase translates as "Don't be (sorry.)"[18]
  • "Nascen Fek": This phrase loosely translates as "check weapons systems."[28]
  • "Nih sakh sh'lekk, sleem wa": Adronato phrase meaning "I am your friend in peace".[29]
  • "Ne tawa, ness-ah": This phrase loosely translates as "set course" or "set course for...".[6]
  • "Nisi du zafann drok": This phrase loosely translates as "Ready forward weapons”.
  • "Nuzin falani...en alis mi dron": This phrase translates as "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever met." NOTE: this phrase does not mean "My words are inadequate to the burden of my heart." [19][28]
  • "Seh'lick sakar": This phrase loosely translates into English as "soul sick".[30]
  • "Si dramani": This phrase loosely translates as "cease fire".[1]
  • "Si dromo": This phrase loosely translates as "order confirmed."[28]
  • "Ve nessa n'fallen ": This phrase translates as "I know what's coming."[18]
  • "Zak dosh, ninty-vo komma shok": This phrase loosely translates as "turn thirty degrees to port." [31]
  • "Zin feeli ek al Human": This phrase translates as "Give me a moment with the Human.".[24]

Notes on Minbari LanguagesEdit

  • The Minbari have a sum total of ninety seven dialects and sub-tongues though the three major languages are Adronato, Feek and Lenn'a.[16][29] While all Minbari generally understand all three languages, it's considered a taboo for a member of the Warrior or a Religious castes to speak in the language of the Worker caste. The Worker caste on the other hand have no such taboo as they are often required to interact with members of all three castes as part of their jobs as workers.[5]
    • Adronato is the language of the Religious Caste and is by far the most demanding of the three, possessing an intricate set of grammatical rules that change from situation to situation, depending on who the speaker is addressing and what the topic of conversation is. Non native speakers find it to be far too easy to say the wrong thing to the wrong person in the wrong grammatical way in the religious-caste dialect.[5]
    • The language of the Warrior Caste tends to be much more straightforward and vigorous compared to the other dialects, while the language of the Worker Caste has a simple and unadorned style.[5]
  • No Minbari language has a corresponding word for "goodbye". All Minbari phrases that are used for partings contain within them the possibility of meeting again, in some way, shape, or form.[32]
  • "Zha" is a component that appears in several Minabri phrases and usually refers to "the future", though it's exact meaning changes depending it's use as either a suffix or a prefix and what other component makes up the full phrase. For example "Isil-zha" normally means "changing the future" while "Z'ha'dum", with the broken "zha" means the "death of the future".[10]
  • "Shok" is a component that appears in words and phrases relating to travel and direction.


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