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Harakeke posted a topic in Stormlight ArchiveGreetings, friend. You may have noticed that many of the illustrations in the Stormlight Archives contain strange markings. I have determined that these markings are writing, and I have undertaken to decipher their messages. Crazy? Perhaps. But these markings are not simply decorative. They contain information about the Cosmere, hidden in plain sight. In The Way of Kings, we are introduced to the Alethi script. This is the writing system used by female scribes and scholars in Alethkar, understand? It shows up in the labels of Navani’s Notebook: Since the novel was first published in English, the labels were also “translated” into English, but Alethi letters were used to preserve the feel of the original diagrams. Each symbol stands for one letter – however Alethi has some letters that are not found in English (Th, Sh, Ch), and English has some letters that are not found in Alethi (C, Q, X, W). In Words of Radiance, we learn more about the languages of Roshar. Alethi script reappears, with greater variety. Navani’s Notebook again provides straightforward diagram labels directly transliterated from English into Alethi: (Translation credit goes to cris34b: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6418-navanis-notebook-page-406-translation/?hl=navani) Shallan’s sketchbook provides more cryptic text, friend. First spotted and translated by jcoop513, the text here is hidden, and is written phonetically so that each letter is an approximation of how it sounds when spoken aloud. Based on the context, this is most likely a page of Jasnah's notes that Shallan appropriated to use as sketchpaper. Note that the transliteration of Jasnah's writing is very different from that of Navani's. Read aloud, the passage would be thus: Translation efforts are ongoing at http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6619-shallans-drawing-page-354-alethi-script-translation-spoilers/. KalynaAnne traced over the partially-obscured letters by hand and was able to reconstruct several missing words: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6487-thaylen-and-alethi-glyph-translation-glyph-key-revised-418/?p=233114 Alethi is not the only language spoken on Roshar. That would be crazy. The Map of the Southern Frostlands introduces us to the written language used in Thaylenah: As with Alethi script, the Thaylen in this illustration is simply transliterated English, and can be deciphered using the following key: Thaylen people are renown for smashing their consonants together when they speak, and this is reflected in their writing. Written Thaylen has no vowels and is written vertically, understand? Both the Alethi and Thaylen pages include numerals. Just as many different nations on Earth employ Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) is quite possible that all Vorin peoples (indeed perhaps most inhabitants of Roshar!) use the same numerals, even if their written languages differ. The numbers are written as follows: And now we come to glyphs, friend. Glyphs are written in syllables, with each syllable corresponding to a certain subcomponent of the glyph. Glyphs can be written three ways: a “standard” blocky form with syllables somewhat similar to Thaylen consonants, a “radial” form in which the glyph is warped to form a circular shape, and a “calligraphic” form in which the glyph can be warped into any shape. Often, the shape of a calligraphic glyph is reminiscent of the word it contains. Extra lines that do not represent syllables can be added to enhance the effect. For instance, a bookseller might advertise the name of his shop with a glyph shaped to resemble a book, understand? Many men in Alethkar are illiterate, relying on their wives or sisters to read documents to them aloud, but most can recognize certain important glyphs based on their shape alone. Alethi glyphs are not simply transliterations of English, but represent words in the Alethi language. The esteemed jofwu has compiled images of all known glyphs in another thread. Edit: The next bit is obsolete, as of Oathbringer. See p.519 for a key directly from the Calligrapher's Guild, courtesy of Nazh. My efforts to decipher the Alethi glyphs are ongoing, friend, but I present here what I speculate thus far: Please refer to the further pages in this thread for the latest developments in the 17th Shard's ongoing efforts to decipher these glyphs. Original first post, for posterity: