The Tenctonese alphabets were created by Joe Hawthorne, a sign writer in the
Fox art department, and were most likely based on Pitman Shorthand. The
alphabets are used in the Alien Nation movies, book and TV shows to write various signs.
The signs are generally in English and transliterated into the Tenctonese alphabet,
rather than in the Tenctonese language. The numerals were developed by Pete Chambers,
president of the Alien Nation Appreciation Society.
The Tenctonese language was originally created for the 1988 Fox film
Alien Nation. The first version of the language was invented by a USC
film school graduate Van Ling, who used sounds from such languages as
Chinese, Samoan and German to make Tenctonese sound Alien to English
The version of the Tenctonese language used in the TV shows was created
by Kenneth Johnson and his daughter Juliet. They used a lot of English
words spelt backwards or with their syllables scrambled.
The font used on this page was created by Jeff Lee
Alien Nation (the movie)
Thought-provoking, witty and entertaining, this action-packed blend of science fiction and police drama finds Los Angeles the new home of 300,000 humanoid extraterrestrial. When a gang of these Newcomers kills a police detective's (James Cann) partner, he sets out to solve the crime with his new partner (Mandy Patinkin) - the L.A.P.D.'s first Newcomer detective. But the unlikely pair soon uncover a far more dangerous threat to society.
An introduction to the Tenctonese alphabets (includes free fonts)
Bureau of the Tenctonese language
Information about Alien Nation
Futurama Alien Alphabet,
Halo Covenant alphabet,
Hylian syllabary (Old),
Hylian syllabary (Modern),
Standard Galactic Alphabet,