The Bajoran written language consisted of square symbols which were composed of thick lines. There were a large number of different symbols which could be used in any of eight rotations (flipped and rotated each and every way). Bajoran tended to be written in horizontal lines, although it could be written vertically. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")
Bajoran writing was said to be ideographic, that was, each character represented a single thought or word pictured. Most forms of written Bajoran shared some root ideograms, as evidenced by the Reckoning Tablet. Each ancient Bajoran symbol translated into a pair of nearly identical modern Bajoran symbols. (DS9: "The Reckoning") Bajoran books are opened from left to right, though it is not clear that this is related to the direction of writing. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil").
Keiko O'Brien's classroom featured a chart depicting the English, the Ferengi, the Cardassian, and the Bajoran alphabet. The chart listed some twenty-five Bajoran language symbols. (DS9: "The Nagus", "In the Hands of the Prophets", "Cardassians")
Established words and phrases
- Amoran - banished (DS9: "The Assignment")
- Balik(am) - "go away" or "get lost!", written and pronounced like the Filipino word for "go back", which would also fit as a translation as seen on the scene (TNG: "Ensign Ro")
- Bantaca - name for a traditional spire made out of thousands of interlocked stones, marked with the coordinates of the town or city they represent (DS9: "Rapture")
- Boryhas - term for ghosts or spirits of the dead (TNG: "The Next Phase")
- D'jarras - ancient Bajoran caste system (DS9: "Accession")
- Duranja - lamp for the dead: candle suspended by chains from four pillars (DS9: "Shakaar")
- Ha'dara - Home of light (VOY: "Flesh and Blood")
- Ha'mara - religious festival to celebrate the arrival of the Emissary of the Prophets (DS9: "Starship Down")
- Itanu - ceremony carried out when a child reaches the age of fourteen (DS9: "Accession")
- Kejal - freedom (VOY: "Flesh and Blood")
- Kosst - to be (DS9: "The Assignment")
- Peldar Joi - greeting used during the Gratitude Festival (DS9: "Fascination")
- Shawn - swamp, rhymes with Irish name Seán (DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin...")
- Ranjen - a monk, usually a title given as an honor (DS9: "The Reckoning")
- Prylar - a monk or priest (DS9: "The Collaborator")
- Vedek - a senior member of the Bajoran clergy (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
- Kai - a leader of the Bajoran clergy (DS9: "Emissary")
- Kosst Amojan - also known as Koss'moran, another name for the Pah-wraiths; translates as the banished ones (DS9: "The Assignment")
- Pagh - the life energy, eternal energy or soul of a person (DS9: "Emissary", et al.)
- Pagh'tem'far - a sacred vision granted by the Prophets (DS9: "Rapture")
- Kellipate - a measure of distance (DS9: "Progress")
- Tessipate - a measure of land area used on Bajor (DS9: "Progress", "Children of Time")
- Kerripate - a fraction of a tessipate (DS9: "Children of Time")
- Raka-ja ut shala morala... ema bo roo kana... uranak... ralanon (NAME)... propeh va nara ehsuk shala-kan vunek ...
- (do not let him walk alone... guide him on his journey... protect... the one named (NAME)... take him into the gates of heaven... )
- Ahn-kay ya, ay-ya vasu. Coh-ma-ra, di-nay-ya..
- Tesra Peldor impatri bren. Bentel vetan ullon sten..
- Jia'kaja, tre'nu'tol'a rem... La'por i'lanu kos... I'nar tan'a'tali nor....
- Zhia'kala, tar'eh anu suur... te'von, aka'lu rez... ka'vor, mat'ana kel..
- Boray pree hadokee. Tolata impara boresh. Preeya (GROOM'S NAME), Preeya (BRIDE'S NAME), abrem varo atel..
- lata impara no takash... with humility and gratitude, we accept this gift... Veshanoo yavar ha iktasho... the sacred Orb of Prophecy.
- (Prayer leader) Tera dak ihsehelm ran embah... (ALL) de-ram ta-MEEN!
- Meeh rak Dorah Pah-wran... Ee-toi... Velah-slah... Pah-wran amar... Pah-wran Evak-too...
- Tarna pur-ono ull-kess pah-ran. lano ka'la bo'shar lanu.
- Meek rak dorrah Pah-wran... Yelim cha ono kosst amojan... shay ta-hel ter-rah no'vala de-ram... aka'lu far che...
The spoken Bajoran language was often written by Ronald D. Moore. "I just make it up," he laughed. "I do it phonetically so it has a certain rhythm and sound in my head that I can tag as the way Bajorans sound." In scripts, Moore also provided an English translation of each verbalized use of the language, for the benefit of the actors. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 244)
The Bajoran script was designed by Doug Drexler, who was senior scenic artist for the Deep Space Nine series.
In ultimately unused dialogue from the first draft script of DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil", while Dukat (disguised as Bajoran farmer Anjohl Tennan) was trying to help Winn Adami in her attempt to understand the Book of the Kosst Amojan, Adami skeptically commented, "Since when does a simple farmer know how to read ancient Bajoran?" In reply, Dukat claimed, "I can pick out a few words," though he was thereafter dismissed by Winn.