Picture of How to write Circular Gallifreyan (Dr. Who)
I am not a Dr. Who-fan, or a Whovian. I have never seen more than two episodes of the series. I do love the Gallifreyan way of writing.

The way of reading and writing is fairly simple, a few basics:

- Direction of reading/writing is, starting from  the bottom, counterclockwise
- Every seperate circle represents a word
- Within each circle, different combinations of circles and lines represent letters
- A vowel that directly follows a consonant, is drawn within that consonant

For a more exact explanation, I used this site: http://www.shermansplanet.com/gallifreyan

Step 1: Step 1: Preparation

Picture of Step 1: Preparation
I make sure I have the alfabet at hand, which makes it way easier to check back if you need to. On two different pieces of paper, I have the main signs (first image), and the vowels and punctuation marks (second image).

I look for quotes I like, for instance from movies or series I love. Here, I chose for a quote from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire: "Babbling, bumbling band of baboons"

I take a new piece of paper, and write the quote on it (just for reference). Under it, I draw the amount of circles I need for this quote (third image). The circle for 'of' is intentionally smaller, because it only has two signs in it. Words like 'a', 'the', 'me', etc. are easier to leave small.
kNasad5 months ago

Can someone please help me to translate this?

AndrewR12 kNasad3 months ago



that's left to right

mgivens204 months ago

I know you did this a while ago, but as a GINORMOUS HP fan, I'd have to give you kudos on your choice of phrase to write!

pizzazzles5 months ago

lol because i'm so stupid and too lazy to get the chart you made, do you think you could make an alphabet chart like this one i found from another tutorial? (and, of course, another for punctuation etc) i'm not saying your chart is not understandable, but it's just one of those things i actually understand and then the next second i completely forget like a total dork. (or you could revamp this tutorial because i'm not sure i completely understand, no offense x3 (it's also pretty old anyways so why not, haha))

fadingroar made it!11 months ago

I just set my GF a little challenge, she has to translate a simple sentence, if she cannot on time... she'll have to play videogames with me one full day :P

(it's in Spanish... under the Galifreyan haha)

runder23 made it!1 year ago

Took me a bit of time, see if you guys can understand what i wrote here.


Bow ties are cool!

Thanks for the guide! I'm going to be doing a lot of this; I need some stuff to hag up on my walls in my bedroom.
Photo on 10-6-13 at 9.51 PM.jpg
TinaTT2 years ago
Wow...just wow. In less than 2 hours I'm obsessed! Thanks for the indtructable, let me see if I got it...
araymond12 years ago
"Winter is coming"? :)
dorotea2 years ago
Hi, er, I was just going to mention that someone actually created this, has a website for it (shermansplant, which you mentioned- they actually ask you to get permission before using it.), etc- if you wanted to use it you should have asked permission. Also, I suggest using a protractor and being a bit more careful when drawing, these look a bit inexact and I think the writing's really intended to look neater. I'm glad someone took time to make an instructable for this, though.
monsterlego2 years ago
Cool! i got started right away!
yoyology2 years ago
I think it's safe to say I'm now obsessed with Circular Gallifreyan. In the past few days I've joined a subreddit devoted to the writing system, and I've created at least three images featuring it.
Tomdf yoyology2 years ago
Those look pretty dang sweet!
mlangevoort (author)  yoyology2 years ago
I absolutely LOVE it <3

I love the third one the most :3 Gave me a nice puzzle, but it was very readable. Chapeau~
Tomdf2 years ago
o.O Those things are words?! Years and years of seeing em' and I never even began to think they were actual letters. I'm freaking out, this has blown my mind.

I tried reading those instructions but it made my brain itch. I'm guessing that there is a lot of artistic liberty with the arrangement, like you can rotate a word any way you want?
Tomdf Tomdf2 years ago
OK, it took me an hour, but I think I've figured it out. What does this say:
bannana phone - gallifreyan.jpg
mlangevoort (author)  Tomdf2 years ago
In principle, you start at the bottom of the circle and work your way counterclockwise.

I don't know if it is right, but what I could read is 'Bannana Phane'. I really like the way you arranged the lines though. Very nice~
Lol, dang it. It does say "bannana phane", doesn't it. I screwed up that second word, it is suppose to be "phone".
This is fun! I'm going to write/draw something ridiculous complicated. I did decode the one on the last page btw, but I don't want to spoil it for others.
Thanks for showing your work and this crazy script!
yoyology Tomdf2 years ago
Your Gallifreyan is good, but your English needs a little work.

The word "banana" has no double letters.
Tomdf yoyology2 years ago
What?! No that can't be...
Ah fishsticks, that is embarrassing.
mlangevoort (author)  Tomdf2 years ago
Complicated is fun, but sentences that are too long can be a pain up the backside xD

And you are very much welcome :3
A programmed translator is available from here. just type in what you want said and it draws the picture. useful if you want to check you're accuracy, or if you're too lazy to learn the code but like the designs. 
yoyology2 years ago
Thank you for doing this! You make my geeky little heart happy.

Is there a way to indicate which way is up? If this is on a fixed object like a wall or TARDIS control panel, it's not necessary, but on a piece of paper that could be easily turned upside down, I can see it being a problem.

I'm working on my name in Gallifreyan as we speak! I'll post a picture when I get it done.
mlangevoort (author)  yoyology2 years ago
I guess you can use punctuation marks like a period to mark where the sentence ends, and thus where it begins. I don't really have this problem, cause weirdly enough I recognize with my own handwriting which way is up or down, and I haven't had the chance to show it to someone in person.

I'd love to see how it turns out; everyone makes different combinations, especially with the lines :D
I like gallifreyan, too, and I like the looks of your designs.

This is not "official", or is it? Not that it would matter seeing how it turns out believable and makes it fun if you can actually read them.
mlangevoort (author)  Dominic Bender2 years ago
There is no official circular Gallifreyan, but the alphabet made by Loren Sherman is the most standard used :)

I'm just happy it looks believable :D I like to have my room full of these weird signs xD