Goa’uld: The Language from Stargate

a shot of space

The Goa'uld language is a fictional language featured in the popular science fiction franchise "Stargate." Created by the writers and producers of the show, this language is primarily spoken by the antagonistic species known as the Goa'uld, who act as the primary antagonists throughout the series. In this article, we will explore the unique aspects of the Goa'uld language, its origins, grammar, and some common phrases.

Origins of the Goa'uld Language

The Goa'uld language was created by the show's writers as a means to develop a distinct and exotic language for the antagonistic race. The language was designed to sound ancient and mysterious, reflecting the advanced civilization of the Goa'uld. While the exact origins of the language within the show's universe are not explicitly explained, it is implied that the language has been in use for thousands of years.

Grammar and Sentence Structure

Word Order

The word order in the Goa'uld language is predominantly subject-object-verb (SOV). This means that the subject of a sentence typically comes before the object and the verb. However, like any language, there are exceptions and variations depending on the context.

Verb Conjugation

Goa'uld verbs undergo conjugation to reflect various grammatical aspects such as tense, mood, and voice. The language features a rich set of verb forms to express different nuances of meaning.

Noun Declension

Nouns in the Goa'uld language are declined to indicate their grammatical case, number, and gender. There are different declensions for different noun classes, which determine the inflection patterns.

Tenses and Aspect

The Goa'uld language employs a complex system of tenses and aspects to convey information about the temporal and contextual nature of actions. It includes past, present, and future tenses, as well as perfective and imperfective aspects.

Vocabulary and Phrases

Greetings and Introductions

In the Goa'uld language, greetings and introductions play an important role. Common phrases include:

  • "Shol'va!" - Traitor!
  • "Kree!" - Bow!
  • "Jaffa, kree!" - Jaffa, bow!

Commands and Requests

The language also features phrases for issuing commands and making requests:

  • "Tal ma'te!" - Come here!
  • "Shak'nel!" - Attack!
  • "Kel'shak!" - Stand down!

Basic Expressions

Here are some basic expressions in the Goa'uld language:

  • "Ma'dek" - Thank you
  • "Sha're" - Love
  • "Kel" - Death

Goa'uld Technology Terminology

The language incorporates specific terminology related to advanced technology used by the Goa'uld civilization:

  • "Ha'tak" - Mothership
  • "Zat'nik'tel" - Energy weapon
  • "Sarcophagus" - Device used for healing and rejuvenation

Unique Features of the Goa'uld Language

Symbol-Based Writing System

The Goa'uld language is written using a symbol-based writing system. These symbols, known as hieroglyphs, represent specific sounds and concepts. The writing system adds an additional layer of complexity and mystique to the language.

Intonation and Vocalization

The spoken form of the Goa'uld language emphasizes certain syllables through intonation and vocalization. These tonal variations give the language a distinct rhythm and cadence, further enhancing its unique quality.

Linguistic Influence on Culture

The Goa'uld language has had a profound influence on the culture and traditions of the fictional species. It serves as a symbol of power, authority, and domination. The language is often associated with rituals, ceremonies, and ancient texts, contributing to the overall world-building of the series.

Evolution and Popularity

The Goa'uld language has gained popularity among fans of the "Stargate" franchise. Its exotic nature and association with the show's iconic villains have made it a subject of interest and study among enthusiasts. The language continues to evolve through fan communities and online resources dedicated to deciphering and expanding its vocabulary.


The Goa'uld language is a fascinating creation within the "Stargate" universe. Its unique grammar, vocabulary, and writing system contribute to the depth and richness of the show's narrative. Whether you are a fan of science fiction or interested in constructed languages, exploring the intricacies of the Goa'uld language can be a rewarding endeavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Goa'uld language based on any existing language?

No, the Goa'uld language is a constructed language created specifically for the "Stargate" franchise.

Can I learn to speak the Goa'uld language?

While there are resources available online for learning and understanding the basics of the Goa'uld language, it is primarily a fictional language and not widely spoken outside of the show.

Are there any known translations of the entire Goa'uld dictionary?

While there are efforts by fans to create comprehensive dictionaries and lexicons for the Goa'uld language, the official vocabulary remains limited to what was shown and referenced in the television series.

Are there any similarities between the Goa'uld language and ancient Earth languages?

The Goa'uld language draws inspiration from various ancient languages, including Egyptian and Mesopotamian, but it is not directly related to any specific real-world language.

What is the significance of the title "Goa'uld" in the show?

In the "Stargate" franchise, the title "Goa'uld" refers to both the species and the parasitic beings that inhabit host bodies. The language is named after the species and is associated with their dominance and control.