Having proven your worth in NASA's test, you are allowed to work on the alien message. NASA experts tell you that they suspect that the language is a transcription of our letters/words written left to right. They need your help to figure out this writing system and how to get from English letters/words to this language. Use the provided Rosetta Stone for that. Return to them the rules of this writing system so that humans can interpret future alien messages. Do this and they'll even let you write the first message back to them! Be aware, this is not easy; it's already driven half of NASA's linguistic and cryptography experts crazy. Good luck!

Rosetta Stone





Accepted answer will be the first answer that provides all rules for this writing system that you can determine from the Rosetta Stone and can prove it by transcribing a short message of your choosing to the aliens. I recommend cooperation: if you see a pattern but can't get the rest, contribute what you have, maybe it will be useful to the others. There are several rules to find.

  • $\begingroup$ Two thousand rep, exactly! Congrats! $\endgroup$
    – Illyasviel
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Illyasviel Thanks! You could always make it 2005 if you like the puzzle ;P $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ 2010 a space oddessy $\endgroup$
    – moonbutt74
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 14:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @moonbutt74 Well, not quite all the details have been solved yet, but for the way vowels are handled, this was inspired by diacritics used in Arabic and in J.R.R. Tolkien's elven language Tengwar that function similarly. Denoting the first letter of words instead of separating with spaces was just an attempt to imagine a creative way of distinguishing each word from the next (and has the advantage of saving space). The rest came about as ways to try to "improve" our writing. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 20:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, he's missing a few character mappings, but he has the understanding based on his Rule #7. He also correctly encoded his message to the aliens. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Contributing Notes:

Rule 1:

For vowels, A=2, E=4, I=1, O=8, U=6. All vowels are powers (not sure if I use the correct word)

Rule 2:

Y is 5 if y sounds like IE, add the values of I and E (4+1).

ex. YEARLY sounds like YEARLIE

ex. JAZZY sounde like JAZZIE

Rule 3:

If two vowels will repeat or in tandem, you will put an asterisk ( * )

ex. EE in EXCEEDINGLY = 4*

Rule 4:

If vowels will repeat twice, enclosed it in parenthesis

ex. UEUE in QUEUE = (64)*

Rule 5:

If the letter after a space is a vowel, put "X"

ex. CIRCUS ACCIDENTS = X is seen

ex. QUEUE UP = X is seen

Rule 6:

If the letter after a space is a consonant, use "!" after the first letter

EDIT: Added new rules:

Rule 7:

If the a letter sounds like another letter in a word, you can use its conversion in alien language.

ex. C(english) = P(alien) and S(english) = N

CIRCUS -- first C is N(alien), second C is P(alien) and S = N(alien)

Now for EXCEEDINGLY, you can hear the hard C in first syllable that is why there is a P(alien) and N(alien) because of the soft C in second syllable.


enter image description here

  • There are many sounds of C:

sounds like TS, so in alien it is GN

  1. second C used in CIRCUS ; first C in ACCIDENTS

sounds like K, so in alien it is P

  1. first C in CIRCUS ; C in EXCEEEDINGLY ; second C in ACCIDENTS

sounds like S, so in alien it is N

  • Q is P since it sounds like K.


  • X is P since it sounds like K.


  • I guess X can also be N if used as S like XEROX or XYLOPHONE

My Message to the Aliens:


  • $\begingroup$ Can you provide a mapping from English letters to Alien (as you mentioned, some rules may affect this) $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ So the asterisk is a double letter? n*4* = ee $\endgroup$
    – moonbutt74
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ @NeedAName hold on, I'll create a mapping $\endgroup$
    – Mekalikot
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 23:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @moonbutt74 e is 4 that is why there is 4*, N* I think is double S. If you pronounce EX-CEE-DING-LY, it sounds like there is two S. In my mapping, S = N(alien) $\endgroup$
    – Mekalikot
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 1:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow, impressive work! $\endgroup$
    – Hackiisan
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 5:10

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