The concept of Hyrule having languages and alphabets of their own has actually been a staple in the Zelda world for quite some time.  A Link to the Past was technically the first game to mention that there were ancient texts that were only legible with a keen eye and a vast intelligence (or just the Book of Mudora), the language wasn’t fully fleshed out and was just a repetition of a few symbols.  Ocarina of Time gave the Hylians their own alphabet, but, much like the Wind Waker alphabet that succeeded it, the alphabet was based upon the Japanese kana syllabary and not the standard 26-letter Latin alphabet the Western world is familiar with.

But it turns out that Twilight Princess wasn’t actually the first Zelda game with a Western-style alphabet.  And with the help of Hyrule Historia, Zelda Universe forum member Sarinilli has shown us that those honors go to the Gerudo alphabet back in Ocarina of Time.

And now you can download the font to speak Gerudo like all the cool kids.  Hit the jump for more details!

The Gerudo alphabet has actually been staring at us all this time, but the discovery of it actually meaning something didn’t take place until very recently.  The problem all this time is that there wasn’t much of the Gerudo text in the game, making it therefore pretty impossible to figure out if it actually meant something.  What’s more, given the fact that the Hylian alphabet represented the 46 basic mora, few would have guessed that a different alphabet would map to the English 26-character alphabet.

Hyrule Historia calls the alphabet “Gerudo’s Typography.”  The alphabet is based upon the standard A through Z, has a few characters of punctuation, but the numeric system of the alphabet is more strange than anything else.  The book only reveals the numbers for one and five, leaving the rest of the digits absent from the book.  It’s possible to speculate the fact that the write numbers in a format similar to Roman numeral in groups of V and I; however, there’s no clear indicator for a zero in order to leave out units when skipping places.  It could also mean that those are the only digits, and that to express large numbers, you have to write a lot of fives.

Or it could be that we just don’t have a complete symbol table here due to the constraints on fitting it into the margin of the page.  Or maybe this is Miyamoto’s secret attempt to troll us.  You can decide.

You can download the font from Sarinilli’s deviantArt page.

Sarinilli, you’re one of our Zelda superheroes.

  • I'm officially proclaiming Sarinilli as ZU's Font Expert! Another amazing job done by him or her.

    • bastian

      Her. 😀 Yup, she's amazing.

      • You guys… ♥ :3

      • LinkedTHRULife

        Wow. She's REALLY smart.

  • It's possible that the Gerudo use a "hexanary" numeral system, somewhat like octal (0-7) but instead only counting (0-5).

    • TeHero

      Yes, that is what I believe as well. However, being that there are only 5 numbers with no Zero, I would assume it might rather be 0-4, as zero is still a number as well. Most people are still thinking in a base 10 system.

  • Sakusu

    With the number system;
    If it is only 1's and 5's that DO exist, this would be very interesting.
    You wrote "you have to write alot of fives." but look at it from a mathematical perspective;
    To get today's year (2012), we could write it something like this;
    1+1, 1-1, 1, 1+1.
    I know, very stupidlooking. But what if miyamotos choice is not for a complete language, but rather a language completing itself?
    I'm very tired so I might regret this post in the morning.

    • Sam

      I'm not a linguistic, and I don't use math very much, but I do understand your stupidity.

  • Casual Vader

    No screen shot of the language in OoT? I am disappoint. (Mostly because I didn't even know there was any kind of writing in the Gerudo Desert besides Hylian)

    • Vio

      You mean the Haunted Wasteland, right? I think most of it is in the Spirit Temple. I always assumed that was a more ancient langauge than Gerudo, but maybe not.

  • Harrison Garrett

    I thinkthere's quite a bit of it in the room of the twinrova fight. Maybe the big circle in the middle was a compass? I'll have to check that out

    • Merq

      Good guess, it was a compass. It has some gibberish in a circle, but also four separate letters, N,S,W,E.

    • Zachattack8888

      Cool! I didn't even notice that! O.o

  • GoldenGengle64

    Huh, it won't download on my Mac. :/

  • Pingback: Noticias Zelda | Todas las Noticias Zelda()

  • fiercedeityfan

    she's also got zoran and goron fonts too!!

    • I had made a bunch of fan fonts ages ago… Goron is based on some stuff from official art, and Zoran was just what I thought made sense. x3

  • Zachattack8888

    Sarinilli, you're a total champ. <3 😀

  • supergiraloz

    wow, i only found out that hylian was a proper language a year ago and now this? i thought i knew everything about OoT -_-''

    also i think i have this number system down, it could be that it's done like the standard tally mark system where for each number 1-4 you put a line and with the fifth you put a line through the first 4 and then to add more you put more lines separate from the 5.

  • Sanguiluna

    I don't know about you guys, but I propose that from now on, every new news article on the ZU front page should always have that pic of Gorko the Goron announcing the headline!

    • Daniel G


  • Pingback: Zelda lexicon expands, Gerudo language translated and fontified - Techn0city()

  • thanks for share!

  • And now you can download the font to speak Gerudo like all the cool kids. Hit the jump for more details!