Galactic Trade Standard (also known as Waylonics or GTS for short), is the common language used in the signage often seen around stations.
To quote from the manual, GTS is "a language simple enough that it could be learned quickly, but diverse enough to cover anything that traders might want to say to one another."
What do all those symbols mean?
GTS is made up of two alphabets, one consisting of phonetic sounds, and another made up of pictograms representing ideas you will meet in the Vendetta Online environment.
The "A-Z" alphabet does not, in fact, contain several of those letters, and has added several new ones. The missing letters are C, Q, X, and Y. Added to the list are the sounds CH, NG, and TH.
Some of the pictograms look like what they stand for, and are easier to reason out their meaning. For instance, the symbols for "Ship" and "Heavy Ship" look like overhead views of the Centurion and Ragnarok respectively.
How do I read this language?
GTS is read from left to right, top to bottom. In general, when there are pictograms, they are representing the bulk of the sentence, with the phonetic alphabet representing words that do not have pictograms, or are proper nouns. You will never find a sign in Vendetta Online that has only pictograms. Refer to section two for a tutorial in GTS grammar.
Are there any players who can read the language without aids?
Actually, yes. Back when the signs were first introduced to the game during its Alpha stages (somewhere in the 3.3.x period) along with the accompanying modular station, several players took it upon themselves to decipher the many signs that had appeared. Included among the team were the players Lemming, newbie, Roguelazer, StarFreeze, Tempest, and Verdandi, as well as the devs a1k0n and Waylon, who gave hints along the way.
Progress was slow at times, and at least two complete rewrites were made to the translated letters and pictograms. In the end, however, the team didn't "win the race"... Guild Software added an appendix to the end of the online manual that revealed the entire phonetic alphabet as well as the entire list of pictograms.
Using this, a few of the players decided to fully decipher the signs for grammar. They succeeded, and the results have been lost forever.
At one point, interest in GTS was so high that several font models were made by players, including a calligraphy-style font that mimicked the use of a pen on paper.
When GTS was introduced to the game people created fonts that copied the symbols. There are three popular fonts:
- This font, created by Newbie, is a copy of the vendetta chat font with GTS characters.
- This font, created by Cale, is a handwritten style font of the GTS symbols.
- This font, is a recreation of the print characters seen in VO signage.
- This font, created by Red Otter, a 'rougher' version including all Phonetic and Symbolic characters.
Ingame GTS Signs
Galactic Trade Standard Primer
This is a basic introduction to the grammar of the GTS signs found in Vendetta Online. Parentheses separate spelt-out words.
Lesson 1: Simple Signs
Transliteration: (CH A N B O K A) Commodity
Translation: Chanboka Commodities
In this case, the assumption that "commodity" is plural is safe because otherwise the sign would not make sense.
Lesson 2: Moderate Signs
Transliteration: (S A N D A R) One (ordinal) In Ship Repair
Translation: Sandar - First in (at) Ship Repairs
The ' indicates that the numeral preceding it is an ordinal. (first, second, third, etc.) The "in" symbol could make sense interpreted as either "at" or "in", so this is indicated. The sign makes slightly more sense with "repair" in the plural.