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"Our finest poet describes it thus: Gallum galla gilla ma."

Vortigese[1] is the native language of the Vortigaunts. It is used by them for communication purposes and sometimes to help them conjure up their electrical attacks.


"As for the vorts, I think it's just the passage of time. The first ones were purely an exercise in creature design. For hl2 we had to figure out how to give them a voice...working with an actor who had never heard the first game and didn't have any associations with the original creatures."
Marc Laidlaw, on the vortigaunts' voice [2]

The language seems to consist of many words that start with the letter "G" (e.g. the All-Knowing Vortigaunt's phrase "Gallum Galla Gilla Ma"). As of now none of the word's translations are known, and considering how the Vortigaunts describe the language and its connection with the Vortessence, humans may never even be able to understand it fully. Most Vortigaunts are fine with talking in English but according to one in Half-Life 2, when they are just by themselves or they wish to say "unflattering" things about humans they go back to talking in Vortigese.

The language differs greatly from Half-Life to Half-Life 2. In Half-Life, it is rather hoarse and aggressive. On the contrary, it is soft and deep in Half-Life 2 and its episodes. No canonical reason has been given so far, but when asked via e-mail from a Facepunch user Laidlaw stated that the Half-Life version of the language was merely an exercise in creature design and the voicer for Half-Life 2 didn't know what they sounded like in Half-Life. Conversations in Vortigese occur simultaneously; in other words, Vortigaunts talking to each other will talk at the same time which creates even more confusion in translation.

List of appearances


See also