Shen Language

In the Shen language, called Shengwah, there are roughly 17 phonetic letters. Though, some scholars would state there are technically 18, since the ’ is considered a gutteral stop/pause. The Shen call the ’, a yungwa. Also, the 5 vowels have various intonations similar to those heard in Terran languages of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, to name a few.

Romanization Shengwah name Character Pronounciation
Aa “Ah-oo” “ah”, as in arm or alms
Ee “Eh-wah” “eh” as in egg or edible
Ii “Ee-gwah” “ee” as in the ‘ea’ of ‘leaf’
Oo “Oh-moo” “oh” as in oval or own
Uu "Oo-wah “oo” as in the double oo in ooze or zoo.
Bb “Boo-eh” “bh”, a soft ‘b’ sound, as in ‘adlib’, or ‘vibe’
Dd “Ah-oo-dah” “dh” soft almost breathed d, as in ‘adder’
Gg “Geh-wah” the “g” is pronounced as a gutteral ‘g’, like in ‘igloo’, where there is somewhat of a gutteral stop right or click before the ‘g’ is pronounced. ‘Geh-wah’ is often followed by the letter ‘ah-weh’ (w).
Hh “Hoo-ee” very air version of “h”. Like in ‘holy’, where a breath of air comes right before the vocalized ‘h’.
Ll Lah-wah “L”, like in ‘lion’ or ‘lemon’.
Mm “Mah-moo” “m”, like in ‘moon’
Nn “Neh-oo” “n”, like the ones in ‘none’
Pp “Poh-ah” “p”, more like the second ‘p’ in ‘purple’
Rr “Ah-roo” “rh”, like in ‘arrow’
Ss "Ah-shoo “sh”, not an ‘s’ sound, but an ‘sh’ sound, like ‘shoe’.
Ww “Ah-weh” “hw”, very breathed ‘w’, like in ‘whale’ or ‘when’
Yy “Eh-yo” “yh”, like both ‘y’ in ‘yo-yo’ or the one in ‘yellow’.

Naming Conventions

Shen are given a birth name which is used as an individual identifier throughout their life.

During the first stage of their life they take on the “elder” name of a parent or mate. After reaching the second stage of maturity, the take on an elder name of their own.

Some examples of transliterated Shen names:

Birth Names: Melu, Lesunai, Apani, Suryawa, Hinahya, Dilan, Moadra, Haimani, Amboha, Wanu
Elder Names: Lenanyari, Mesiloa, Arohani, Irlani, Rayuda, Nomeli, Emega, Nemale, Naroha, Penwili


There are two known dialects used by the Shen that humans have interacted with. Hostilities have been observed between ships transmitting the two dialects, on the rare occasions they interact.

The dialect known as P’ulong Shengwah is a slow, rhythmic language characterized by the use of the yungwa. It seems to be more widespread among the Shen encountered near human space, particularly in the Spinward and Coreward systems, though it is unknown whether this is simply a regional or cultural preference.

A second dialect, called Shengwah Shalidah, is a quicker, more fluid language that doesn’t display the use of the yungwa. Communications in this language seem to come from a subculture localized in the Trailing regions of space.


P’ulong Shalidah
Ang gida sa milya andam aron sa pag’addo. Ga’ugalingon nga libro gidugod gibudang sibil bug’os nga buda. Ba’awid ang agong siya sa sunod sa dili madugay. Gini lamang naghulad buhada dili. Ay handa na gami milya maring siya pagunda. Sariling mga aglad ilagay sibil ganap na bulag puwid. Gumanda ba ang aging susunod na siya sa lalong madaling panahon. Naghinday Nag basda do magawang.

Shen Language

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