Revised Handy-Dandy English-Martian Colloquial Phrase List

Rendered Phonetically and With Literal Translations

Note: Martians consider it a mandatory act of politeness on your part to try to use their verbal language before using telepathy, so make the effort should you ever have to address one of them. In this respect they are much like the French. Render your delivery as flat and robot-like as you can. Also, make sure you include the indicated body language in your communications, as gestures figure importantly in their language.

Warning! Do not attempt to speak with a molting Martian under any circumstances! It will be hypersensitive to sound, and you may suffer some extremely painful bite wounds as Martians tend to revert quickly and without warning to their prehistoric warlike behavioral modes when annoyed. While healing, the wounds itch unbearably for weeks, and the scars will be permanent.


Hello. (Greetings. Good day.)
skirrr graack-k ch-kih shiiik clak
Translation: (Not) [(This self) (bites)]. (Mandibles closed).
With your right hand, make an "OK" sign next to your mouth.

How are you?
ka chu'gak greek-tsk rackt yert
Translation: (Query) [(Carapace) (of other self) (condition equals)]
Run your left hand first down and then up your ribcage once.

Very well, thank you.
graack-k virzkchuh speehk
Translation: (This self) (in loose sand) (basks).
Make a single breaststroke motion.

What is your name?
ka greek-tsk pikt yert
Translation: (Query) [(Of other self) (egg smell) (equals)]
Point to your nose with your left index finger.

My name is...
graack-tsk pikt yert
Translation: (Of this self) (egg smell) (equals)
Point to your nose with your right index finger.

You’re looking good today.
chu’gak zeek greek-tsk
Translation: (Carapace) (shiny) (of other self).
Momentarily cover both your eyes and your forehead with your palms facing you.

Your armpits are particularly fragrant.
chik-kak skirrr graack-k psstsst greek-tsk
Translation: (Pectoral folds) (not) (malodorous) (of other self).

Flare your nostils to the greatest possible extent and hold the tip of your left index finger to the end of your nose for a minimum of 5 seconds. Emphasis may be added opening your eyes as widely as you can.

Note: Use this complimentary greeting cautiously as it is reserved for only those occasions when you are flattering a social superior of either sex or ingratiating yourself before attempting to mate. Insensitivity with respect to whom you are speaking could result in a most unpleasantly fatal social blunder.

How may I be of assistance?
ka graack-k eewak spahk greek-hss
Translation: (Query) [(This self) (from packed sand) (extricates) (other self)].
Make a quick scooping motion with your cupped right hand.

Would you like to take a seat?
tsek wirk greek-tsk poktkexz
Translation: (Yes/No) [(backside) (of other self) (insert here)]

Indicate where you'd like the Martian to sit with the middle finger of your left hand.

Note: When posing a question likely to result in a yes or no answer, begin with "tsek" rather than "ka."

Would you care for a peanut?
tsek graack-k ku-kakk pitk strrrk greek-hss
Translation: (Yes/No) [(This self) (Earth herb) (good-tongue) (offers) (other self)].
Display a peanut in the palm of your right hand and avert your eyes while waiting for the Martian to take it from you.

May I ride in your saucer?
tsek graack-k spek-wiktok skackzt tz klixk'twik
Translation: (Yes/No) [(This self)(through continuum) (tunnels) <agent: warp machine>]
Simply point to the saucer with the middle finger of your right hand.

I don’t understand you. Please speak slowly.
skirrr graack-k chertl greek-hss greek-k shiiik vir skir-akk smek
Translation: (Not) [(This self) (vibrates harmoniously with) (other self)] (Other self) (mandibles) (in) (not-eat mode).
Clench your left fist and slowly open and close it once.

This isn’t working. Let’s try telepathy.
yarp ch’dock tssicks karkt scut
Translation: (Tongue) (malfunction). (Antennae) (now) (engage).
Make antennae on each side of your forehead using your index fingers.

I’m sorry, but I must go now.
graack-k truktik greek-hss screek dakdak zzzzt yekkat viereek tet
Translation: (This self) (before) (other self) (spiracles dilates). (Yekkat) (with hunger) (approaches).
Cast a quick glance over your right shoulder.

Goodbye. (Farewell. So long.)
skirrr graack-k ch-kih greek-tsk wirk
Translation: (Not) [(This self) (bites) (of other self) (backside)].
Pinch the web between the thumb and index finger of your left hand with the thumb and index finger of your right.

Please excuse me. I did not mean to give offense.
skirrr greek-k skack graack-tsk chu’gik graack-k whirrr-chick tssicks
Translation: (Not) [(Other self) (splits open) (of this self) (carapace)] (This self) (retracts) (antennae).
Use your left hand to give a karate chop to the back of your right hand.

Please do not vaporize me. I have a family.
skirrr chwak piz graak-tsk piktta graack-k karbt
Translation: (Not) [(atomize) (this self)]. (Many hatchlings) (this self) (produces).

Face your right palm out and alternately tap it rapidly several times with the index and middle fingers of your left hand.

Note: Martians have virtually no sense of "family" whatsoever, but since any individual Martian may have studied human family affinities from our commercial or public television broadcasts or through direct observation, begging for your life based on an appeal to kinship obligations or feelings is at least worth a shot.

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