Introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield (“SwSh”) and used in the recent Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (“ScVi”), the Galarian & Paldean Language Alphabet is a unique series of characters which is intended to represent the language used by the people in the Galar and Paldea Regions, and can be found everywhere in the region: on various signs, storefronts, clothing, products, advertisement, random boxes… you name it, it’s on it. But what’s unique about it is that it is unlike any other language script seen in prior Pokemon series or even in real life, although it clearly has plenty of similarities with existing characters from existing languages.

But what exactly is the Galarian/Paldean Language Alphabet? Do the letters or words mean anything? Words tend to repeat, so surely they must mean something, right? Well, ever since the release of SwSh, I’ve already uncovered and deciphered a lot about it. And with the help of everyone at The Language Institute channel over at the PA! Discord, we’ve been able to unlock even more secrets. And yet despite all our work, there are still a lot MORE left to be uncovered and discovered. But here’s what we’ve been able to sort out so far:



Let’s get the basics out of the way:

I’m sure a lot of you are visiting this website for the first time and just want some straight-forward answers about it. So here they are:

  • The Galarian/Paldean Language Alphabet (“GPLA”) has 41 unique characters: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0123456789+?#!^
    • Want to download the font I made so you can write your own GPLA words on your own artwork? Click here!
  • Based on how these letters are used in various Galarian and Paldean text, it appears these characters also seem to represent both “UPPER CASE” and “lower case” letters, which are:
    • lower caseFHINOPUZ01256!^
  • GPLA is a unique script, which although appears to be based on existing letters from existing languages, they are generally completely new and unique… almost as if Game Freak intended for players to recognize them as some kind of human language, but one that celebrates all of humankind’s languages instead of just one.
    • Check out the “Character Inspirations” section below for more specific connections between GPLA characters and ones from other specific languages.
  • GPLA words do and don’t spell out actual existing words. And of the words they do spell, they don’t use the same characters many times. Putting it simply, the Galarian Alphabet is what I would call “consistent gibberish“.
    • This is a really difficult point to explain, because GPLA is very inconsistant in how it uses its letters. It’s almost as if Game Freak intentionally avoided making it understandable in order to prevent any potential claim that secret messages were being added into the game.
  • When GPLA words DO mean something, it tends to be proper names (characters, businesses, towns, etc) or Pokémon elemental types. These words are also rooted in Japanese romaji more often than not.
    • Names like Galar is GA9A4, Pokémon is ?wru#wt, Wedgehurst is M8EDDK, Milo is 94QQA7, Steel-type is WKDKJ8, and so forth… meaning that if you see those words in GPLA text anywhere, you can be certain it’s referencing them specifically.
    • Consider too that Milo’s Galarian name, 94QQA7, is based on his Japanese name YARROW. Same with the word for the Steel-type, WKDKJ8, which is based on the Japanese word for the type, HAGANE; note the two K letters for the romaji letter “A” in HAGANE.
    • Check out the Galarian Word List and Paldean Word List pages for examples of specific examples
  • Most of the time, however, GPLA words are meaningless… random letters thrown together mostly to allow Game Freak background artists to throw in GPLA text for its look but with none of its meaning.
    • In document design, we consider this “lorem ipsum” text… specifically, we use dummy text which look like actual writing but is devoid of any meaning in order to fill in empty blanks to give us an idea of what something will look like before any actual text is added.
    • Well GPLA is full of similar text, almost as if Game Freak gave those artists a list of Galarian text for them to just copy and paste into their artwork. Since it’s not intended to be recognized—like it doesn’t involve a character’s name or Pokémon type—then apparently they art staff doesn’t care if it uses meaningless text.
    • I’m trying to piece together what this dummy text is, in order to use it to determine what text is actually dummy or legit.
  • Even more frustrating is that even when it’s clear that a GPLA word is supposed to be something, the characters used in one word don’t always apply to another.
    • For example, GV+E 4REVX is clearly “GAME FREAK”, while GA9A4 BEWCVE is obviously “GALAR LEAGUE”. The G/G’s and E/E’s are the same, but….
    • If we accept “GAME FREAK”, that might mean the second picture spells something like “G***F *E**AE”
    • But if we accept “GALAR LEAGUE”, that might mean the first picture spells out “GU*E R*EU*”
    • So many words fall into this problem.
  • This is why I call it “consistent gibberish“: even if the letters don’t match up—such as how 4 is used for both “F” and “R” and V is used for both “A” and “U”—we can still recognize that there is some level of consistency used, even if it’s used only on a per-word basis. It’s not used absolutely at random.
    • However, it is unclear WHAT that potential consistency might be, such as if the artists were given free reign and thus a certain artist preferred to use one set of connections while another artist preferred another, or if this decision was made by those higher up.
  • One thing is definitely clear: when a word clearly represents something, that “something” always matches up one-to-one with either English or rōmaji, or at least some Latin script. For example:
    • English words — GA9A4 BEWCVE = “GALAR LEAGUE”, or
    • Rōmaji forms of Japanese words — 94QQA7 = “YARROW”, not “MILO”, the Turffield Gym Leader
  • Another reason why I don’t believe letters are used PURELY at random is the fact that some letters are clearly intended to be “lower case” letters, versus the other “UPPER CASE” letters. (More on that below.)

The fact that the letters don’t seem to match up to any single sound or value has made many people give up on it. But I think they’re just quitters! there’s more to the Galar language than other people give it credit for.

Other facts which I’ve uncovered so far include:

  • The letters themselves seem to be based on existing characters from various languages and scripts. After close analysis, the four scripts that seem to be represented the most are:
    1. Greek; or its descendants, like Cyrillic or Coptic
    2. Runic languages, like Futhark or Anglo-Saxon
    3. Japanese, mostly Katakana, sometimes Hiragana
    4. Korean hangul
    • Other characters are neither of these, and thus can come from Old English, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Georgian, etc. I plan on working on a guide which details the most likely inspiration for each character.
  • The shape of the characters are used consistently; some exceptions exist, however, but those are errors made by the artists or programmers more than unique elements of the language.
    • This covers if, say, a graphic element with Galarian letters on it was placed in reverse, or if a single character was drawn upside-down. I’ve also spotted a case where two “lower case” characters were placed one over the other to form a new characters, but I’m sure how intentional that was.
    • One exception to this is with the letter 0 , which I thought was a mis-drawn O. However, as I went through the game I started seeing more and more words with 0in it… they were few and far between, but they DID exist. So I decided to count 0 as its own character versus a variant or poorly drawn O.
  • Furthermore, the shape of the characters themselves don’t affect their apparent meaning.
    • For example, a post on 4chan/vp/ claimed that the character X has a different meaning because one X is thicker than another X which means it’s an “M” versus “S”.
    • Sorry Anon, but the only thing those different shapes represent is that it’s a different font or typeface used to type in Galarian (which is pretty dang neat IMHO).
  • Normal numbers (ie Arabic numerals) exist in Galar, so Route signs still use numbers 0 to 9.
  • Character frequency can also be used to determine some important facts about the Galarian language. For example:
    • If the Galarian letters were used completely randomly, the frequency of each character used would be basically equal.
    • Conversely, an alphabet used by a real language will use some letters significantly more than others (like how English uses E, O and T way more than Z, J, and Q).
    • But as it turns out, some letters are definitely used more than other letters. Specifically:
      • OE6AW are used the most (descending in that order)
      • PY40G?# are used the least (also in descending in that order)
      • The last four least used characters, 0, G, ? and #, are actually used SIGNIFICANTLY less then the other five. Like, the frequency of those first five characters decreases reasonably, only for the last four to bottom-out super fast. In fact, so far the character G only seems to be used when writing the word for “GALAR”, GA9A4, and not much else that I’ve seen.
    • Anyways, the fact that the Galarian character’s frequency of use is somewhere between “evenly used” (if it was random) and “some used significantly more than others” (if it was a true language) suggests that perhaps some of the element artists for SwSh had a specific intention to make the language look “recognizable”, while some artists simply didn’t give a crap and tossed together letters at random and then copied-and-pasted those letters in multiple places.
      • In fact, below is a perfect example of an example of an artist that was lazy and did the bare minimum to make it “look realistic”.

That’s literally the bullet-points versions of the Galar language and its alphabet. However, there’s still plenty to know! Check through my site archives to read some posts where I share some random thoughts about the script.

There is also a Galarian Word List page where I’ve written down every Galarian word I could find; in fact, I still haven’t reached the 4th Gym yet because I’ve been spending all my time with finding words! Anyways, the Galarian Word List also further discusses the idea that some words are intended to be specific words, such as how:

  • 1 ^OH = “1 car”
  • 2+ ^OHZ = “2+ cars”

The Word List will slowly determining if any particular word is pure “gibberish” or if it actually does have an intended meaning.

That’s it for now! Thanks for checking out my site and I hope you’ll stick around for more!

(Below this, you can read some of my older thoughts and ideas about the Galarian Alphabet, but I plan on removing it later, or replacing it with a more details breakdown of the above bullet points.)




Right now I’m still working out trying to get screenshots and other pieces of evidence to share with you guys… but for now here are two examples of the script, which in turn will explain my three hypothesis for the Galar alphabet.

Now the first piece of text was clearly intended to spell “Game Freak”. However, it’s super obvious to me that the first word in the green picture is supposed to be “GALAR LEAGUE”.

Note, inconsistent use of characters, like how the “G” of “GALAR” isn’t the same as the “G” in “LEAGUE”, can easily be handwaved because this is common in other languages; “C” can make both a “K” and “S” sound in English (Cola vs Cents), and G itself has two sounds (GIF vs GIF). So it’s possible that Galarian itself has similar sounds for different characters.

The problem with accepting one or the other is that…

  • if we accept “GAME FREAK”, that might mean the second picture spells something like “G***F *E**AE”
  • if we accept “GALAR LEAGUE”, that might mean the first picture spells out “GU*E R*EU*”

Now it’s possible that one is absolutely correct and thus the other really does intend to spell the other word. But even with in both cases in mind, they lead me to my three hypothesis:

  • HYPOTHESIS 1: The Galar alphabet is a simple cipher, where one symbol represents one specific letter of an existing language… and that language is perhaps English or Japanese. That is to say, words, once deciphered, spell out existing English or Japanese words.
  • HYPOTHESIS 2: The Galar alphabet is a simple cipher, where one symbol represents one specific letter of an existing language… and that language is a completely made up language (the “Galarian language“), thus with its own consistent rules. That is to say, words, once deciphered, spell out words in a unique “Galar language”, like “HABY” = “fire” or “ERT” = “gym”.
  • HYPOTHESIS 3: The Galar alphabet is complete gibberish and there is no consistent use of its letters to spell anything.

Examples of #1 is that I’ve spotted words which COULD be “GYM”, “INN”, “DAN” (as in, “Yell-dan”, Japanese for “Team”), the aforementioned “GALAR LEAGUE”, obviously “GAME FREAK”, etc.

Examples of #3 is the idea that the characters in “GAME FREAK” don’t spell “GALAR LEAGUE”, and/or vice versa. Likewise, I’ve seen other examples where the characters used in “GAME FREAK” don’t apply to words which might be actual words, producing gibberish instead.

I don’t have any examples of #2, but the fact that I consider #3 a possibility might just be that I didn’t do enough research and/or made mistakes and thus didn’t realize it was just spelling words in a unique “Galar language”.

Unfortunately, my research on this is still fresh. Afterall, I’ve only had the game for two days now, and I also deliberately avoided materials relating to it such that I wouldn’t be spoiled, and thus I’m certainly behind other people’s work. For example, there’s a Galar alphabet character tester website, complete with what appears to be the full alphabet. Take a look here.



On the other hand, one other fun part about sorting out the Galarian alphabet is seeing which languages and scripts any particular Galarian character comes from. Some of them are obvious, others less so, but I definitely would like to sort out what their inspirations were and share them with you.

Until I get some pictures up, I can at least share a few observations; the following are easily recognized, albeit in various rotations or are flipped:

  • There are obviously Latin characters in it, such as: Y = Y, M = M, V = V, X = X
  • The Old English character eth can be seen, albeit with its uppercase letter backwards: D = Ð, O = Ꝺ/ꝺ
  • Some appear to be Greek, such as: E = Ξ, B = Σ, + = Ψ
  • Cyrillic is used, particularly: L = Г, Y = Ч, W = Ф, R = Я, # = Л
  • Japanese katakana characters include: 9 = , A = , 7 =
  • As do Korean hangul characters like: K = , T = , V = ㅈ, 9 =
  • Quite a few ancient Germanic/Norse runic alphabet appear: B = , C = , R =
  • And finally it looks like these Hebrew characters were worked in: P N Gפ א ק

Of course it’s worth noting that these scripts share some characters between them—like Greek, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets all share similar characters—as well as how many of these comparison are similar albeit flipped or rotated. Fundamentally, however, it appears as if the whole goal of GPLA is to not be a completely new alphabet on its own, but to be a unique mix of all of the world’s major scripts, to further underline the universality and common ground we all share in our humanity.

Eventually I plan on making a handy little picture guide covering all the different inspirations for these characters, so keep an eye out for it here!

OK, that’s all I have for right now. I’ll share more of my research as soon as I work more stuff out.

Anyways, I’m a HUUUUUGE language nerd. Not so much in the actual speaking of them (tho not for lack of trying!) as much as in the actual development of new languages (ie conlangs, or constructed languages). Specifically, I’ve been making my own languages since high school, and in fact there’s one I’ve been working on one since even before PA! existed. So seeing that the Galar and subsequent Paldea Region uses its own alphabet like this was a great crossover between my loves in life.

Now personally I think it’s going to be a mix of both Hypothesis #1 and #3, tho mostly the latter. A lot of the text just doesn’t seem to link up at all, or is consistent only within itself… I’ll share what I mean later… and thus I feel like Game Freak simply just threw random characters together. Not to mention the controversy that Game Freak seems to have lied about all the work they put into it and/or refused to put into it, so it seems like an odd allocation of resources to have someone work out making up a new language and alphabet, or at least a cipher for an existing one, when just randomly generating “text” would be sufficient.