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It should be little surprise, given a moment's thought, that distinct Cybertronian languages exist. The Transformers did not go about speaking English or any other known Earth language long ages ago on their distant metal world. Though the records of such conversations are frequently translated for us, we should not forget that these conversations originally flowed in odd electronic syllables past strange metallic lips, or were etched by alien hands long eons before the first humans painted muddy shapes upon dark cave stone.

History

The Transformers cartoon

Quintesson Writing

So it's true. The Pyramids were built by aliens.

The first language used by the Transformers was likely the Quintesson language inherited from their former masters. It can be seen upon the walls of the Quintesson dimensional transporter room. It rather resembles Egyptian hieroglyphs. Madman's Paradise

AncientAuto

Ancient Autobot, on the other hand, eschewed pictures of birdies.

Ancient Autobot was the language used by the ancient Autobot colonists that fled Cybertron in the distant past. Most modern Transformers (or at least the Decepticons) could not read it. Cosmic Rust

The controls of the Plasma Energy Chamber were labeled in Ancient Cybertronian, which Spike Witwicky did not recognize. The Rebirth, Part 1

In contrast, the language used by the Autobots when they first awoke in 1984 was easily learned. Spike Witwicky learned to read Modern Autobot after only knowing the Transformers for a single day. (Autobots and humans could also converse freely on their first encounter, though the hows and whys aren't addressed onscreen.) More than Meets the Eye, Part 2


Note: However in the episode "The Golden Lagoon", Beachcomber uses a built-in translation program in an attempt to translate bird song, without much success. Presumably, all Transformers possess this translation program and not just Beachcomber. It's possible that when Teletraan I was first reactivated and went about scanning earth "life forms" that it also scanned and translated Earth languages. It could have also downloaded it into each Transformer as it repaired them, explaining why both the Autobots and Decepticons could speak English right off the bat.



Shattered Glass

The Around Cybertron news program featured both advertisements and a news scroll at the bottom of the screen written in Autobot text. Hasbro Transformers Collectors Club #28

An Autobot stellar spanner was marked CWP274 in Autobot characters.

Elsewhere, a box in the Decepticon Base was marked 'fragile' in Decepticon characters. Blitzwing Bop





Notes

  • "...For All Mankind" uses the Star Wars Aurebesh script to represent Cybertronian writing.
  • In the late 90s, Jim Sorenson created a full "Ancient Autobot" font based loosely on the symbol writing seen in "Cosmic Rust," and a "Decepticon Graffiti" font based on Runamuck and Runabout's graffiti seen in the Marvel comic. Both these fonts have gone on to see official use in Transformers media; Agoracer and Agoraptor used the fonts associated with their respective factions for The AllSpark Wars game; the Decepticon font hwas used as part of the Revenge of the Fallen video game; and the Autobot font was used to hide hidden messages in Sorenson's AllSpark Almanac series of books, as well as on Banzai-Tron's Timelines toy, on Burger King's Transform Your Way promotion, as a part of the Around Cybertron news broadcast, on the cover to "All Hail Megatron" volume 3, in Rescue Bots and in Age of Extinction.
  • For the War for Cybertron video game, High Moon Studios created their own Cybertronic alphabet also based on the symbols from "Cosmic Rust". It appears in various places through the game series, and was used on the Torchbearer toys.
Autobot Translations

Autobot Characters

Decepticon Translations

Decepticon Characters


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