Cthuvian, which is also called R'lyehian, is a fictional langauge created by H.P. Lovecraft. It is spoken in a fictional universe called Cthulhu Mythos . This language has an unfamiliar phonology compared to Human Language . It appeared in The Call of Cthulhu , a short story written by Lovecraft.

Feeling excited, right? Let's get started.



Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasals m n ng
Stops p b t d k g
Fricatives f v s sh th h
Approximants r l y w
Front Mid Back
High i ' u
Mid e a u
Low ä

Since R'lyehian is an alien language, it has a weird syllable structure , CCCCVCC. Terrible, right? The 'h' can be used in two ways:

  • When it follows a consonant, it softens its pronunciation. So, "ph" sounds like "f".
  • It also stands on its own and sound as "ha", "hu" etc.
Yog sothoth


R'lyehian nouns, verbs and other parts of speech are indistinguished from one another. This language is a fusional language, means prefix+noun+suffix construction are common. Prepositions are also prefixed, "ph-" is a prefix for "beyond". "ph'shugg" means "beyond the earth". There are other prefixes such as "ng-" (and then), "mg-" (still), etc. The last repeated syllable changes the noun from singular to plural. So, "n'gha" means "death" and "n'gha-ghaa" means "deaths". The past tense is made by adding the prefix "nafl-" to the verb. So, "sll'ha" means "you are giving (offer)." and "nafl'sll'ha" means "you gave (offer)". Although the word order  is free, sometimes the object get prefixed to the verb, which is awkward.



A famous sentence in "The Call of Cthulhu " in Cthuvian language is given below:

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn": ("In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming.")

Literally translated as:

"Over the limit (dead), still dreaming, Cthulhu, (at) R'lyeh, (in) the residential place (palace), lies."

The Cthulhu Mythos is different from our world so word-to-word translation from English to R'lyehian is not possible.



A poem from "The Burrowers Beneath ":

  • Ya na kadishtu nilgh'ri stell'bsna Nyogtha,
  • K'yarnak phlegethor l'ebumna syha'h n'ghft,
  • Ya hai kadishtu ep r'luh-eeh Nyogtha eeh,
  • s'uhn-ngh athg li'hee orr'e syha'h.

The provided translation is:

  • I knew nothing at all, I petitioned Nyogtha,
  • We shared our thoughts beside the darkest pit,
  • I know now the dark wisdom Nyogtha imparts,
  • This dark pledge I seal with my immortal soul.

A sentence from "Dead of Night":

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthugha Fomalhaut n'gha-ghaa naf'lthagn."

("Over the limit (dead), still dreaming, Cthugha, (at) Fomalhaut, (wanting) deaths, lied.

A sentence from "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward":

"Y'ai 'ng'ngah, Yog-Sothoth h'ee - l'geb f'ai throdog uaaah."

  • Translation is unknown for the above text. It says something regarding Yog-Sothoth.

Words and Phrases[]

Word/Phrase Type Meaning
shugg noun earth
c- prefix we, our, us
f- prefix they, their, them
ph'nglui adjective, adverb dead, paralyzed
mg- prefix yet, but, still
cthulhu fhtagn phrase cthulhu is waiting
ftaghu noun covering
nafl- prefix subjunctive marker
syha'h adverb forever, always
bug verb go, leave for
k'yarnak verb share
hai adverb at present
ilyaa verb await
suffix temple, place
ron noun cult
wgah'n verb being in
suffix moment
uaaah interjection used to end the spell


"Utility Cthuvian Dictionary " for understanding R'lyehian.

My construction of the Necronomicon