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Digging through the past for answers is a constant theme in Warframe, whether we’re uncovering Archwing technology or simply working to keep Orokin relics from the hands of the Grineer. Amongst those efforts have been many community projects to search for clues that would help decipher the history of the Orokin and culture of the Tenno. Few have even discovered proof of something lurking within the walls Orokin Derelict ships.
Although the Grineer and Corpus written language was cracked long ago, Tenno script has largely gone unnoticed until the efforts of a few dedicated community members. Watching the process of Tenno language decoding has been extra exciting on our end, especially in seeing how close you’ve all come. But the teasing has gone on long enough, and with incredibly creative forum members like NearlyDedicated posting learn-it-yourself script courses the time has come to unveil the secrets of the Tennobet.
While many community members successfully worked out the placement of consonants and vowels it was the phonetic spelling of Tenno words that made it difficult to fully break down the language. Having to not only figure out how each word is assembled is a difficult enough task on its own, and as we can see MolganVK and StallordD came pretty close!
Another wonderful primer comes from drJia, who had even touched close to a few numbers! He even takes one step further by breaking down the script into more phonetic sounds, adding TH and SH into his Tennobet breakdown. Well done!
Much like how the Corpus and Grineer written language is very much representative of each faction’s attitudes, the Tennobet was created to help create a better visual balance between Tenno brute force and elegance. The process began with taking a full list of English consonants and vowels, breaking down which sounds are most often used in our day-to-day speech.
For example, the sound ‘K’ is very similar to the letter ‘C’ unless ‘C’ is working to accompany other softer letters. ‘CH’ works very well with words like chair and teach, but that doesn’t really mean that Tenno would need the letter ‘C’ to exist for what we know as the word ‘Cookie.’ In this case we could easily spell out kookie and (within the contest of the sentence) still have a good idea of what the word is.
Creating the Tennobet was a challenge of finding which letters, or consonant pairings, could be eliminated to create a more free-flowing written language. Once the base consonants and vowels were established we could then work out a script that incorporated this new lettering in a way that represented the visual aesthetics of Tenno culture.
The end result is the Tennobet as we see it today. A beautiful sophisticated cursive used by a warrior race known more for their prowess in combat.
How we write and use our words speaks volumes of our culture, and forum members like drJia, MolganVK, and StallordD were definitely on the right track in their quest to learn more about Warframe’s lore. A huge congratulations to everyone for (pretty much) cracking the code, and we hope the full primer helps in your quest to unlock the secrets of the Tenno.
The full details of a language could even reveal how some Tenno weapons may hold secrets of their own. Perhaps a particular pair of painfully persuasive puncturing pincers?