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This pattern appears in the Babylon 5 season 3 episode ‘Walkabout’:

Vorlon ship with writing

(It appears on the side of Kosh’s ship.)

Does anyone know what it means/what it says, and whether it is in Vorlon?

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    According to the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 page for this episode (midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/062.html) JMS himself had this to say: Q:: Will we ever find out what was written on the side of Kosh's ship? A:: What, do I look like someone who can speak Vorlon? Oh, sure, a few words, mainly "Where is the bathroom" and "What's that smell?" but to translate something like that...pfsh, please. A:: (Answer: probably not.) Q:: What did the ship say? A:: "Welcome to Hawaii." Jan 26, 2015 at 14:18
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    Hmmm looking into the vorlon letters it appears to say John .E?KA less than amazing
    – MrDobilina
    Jan 26, 2015 at 14:21
  • So at least we know it's vorlon - that should answer part of the question!
    – Einer
    Jan 26, 2015 at 14:33
  • @MrDobilina: I think Thunderforge was suggesting that the body of your question suffers from being mainly made up of spoiler tags, not that @alexwlchan’s title included spoilers (which it really doesn’t). Jan 26, 2015 at 16:00

3 Answers 3

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During the show's run, J. Michael Straczynski answered this question on IRC in a facetious manner:

What was the message?

"Welcome to Hawaii."

There was apparently a hideous malfunction...they never talked about it thereafter....

jms

According to the Lurker's Guide page for Walkabout, he gave another response as well, but I haven't been able to find it on JMS' official IRC archive:

Will we ever find out what was written on the side of Kosh's ship?

What, do I look like someone who can speak Vorlon? Oh, sure, a few words, mainly "Where is the bathroom" and "What's that smell?" but to translate something like that...pfsh, please.

(Answer: probably not.)

This second quote does clearly state that the message is in Vorlon, which answers one of your questions. Given JMS' evasion of what it means and the second quote having him specifically say that we will probably not ever get an answer, it seems clear that if there was a translation that we were never intended to know what it was. One more mystery in the wide universe that we will never know.

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The writing on the Vorlon ship reads "John Teska". John Teska was the senior computer animator at the time. sourced from imdb

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    Can you add a link to the source please?
    – Möoz
    Jul 1, 2015 at 4:40
  • As previously stated @pete, it cannot translate to that given the knowledge we already have of vorlon letters. pre15.deviantart.net/318d/th/pre/i/2007/113/0/c/… Meaning it translates to John .E?KA
    – MrDobilina
    Jul 2, 2015 at 8:32
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    I don't think that IMDB or a Deviant Art are reliable sources for an answer like this. Aug 25, 2015 at 13:28
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I just used the Vorlon Substitution Cipher (located here), and it says "John Teska."

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    Umm... This appears to be the same alphabet referenced above, and it's pretty clear that according to it the text translates as "JOHN .E?KA" (Besides which this answer, and the correction, are both already posted above.)
    – DavidW
    May 25 at 23:03

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