The Matoran alphabet is similar to the English alphabet, being a simple substitution cipher. In Mata Nui and Metru Nui, the letters and numbers are circular symbols. On Voya Nui and a secret laboratory on Bara Magna, these symbols are hexagon-shaped, but are otherwise identical, except for "K", which was identical at first, but was later changed to the rotated "Y" shape that it now has.
For the most part, the Matoran language is translated into English for our benefit. However, several terms usually remain untranslated (this list assumes that names of Kanohi masks are direct descriptions of their powers):
Slang and Miscellaneous Terms
- "Akilini-head" or "Kolhii-head" - a mild insult
- "Crosswired" - a derogative term used to suggest that someone is crazy.
- Bioquake - earthquake
- ____bones: To die as a result of something. Example: "Why did you get so close to the volcano? You could've been lava-bones!"
- "Brakas" - an insult referring to the insulted party's intelligence
- "Dermis Shell Weather" - Unpleasant weather conditions; referring to how Dermis Turtles can sense bad weather a few days ahead.
- "Mata Nui" - an exclamation of surprise. In English it translates to "Oh my god".
- Spiriah - Failure
- Roodaka - Treachery
- "Go to Karzahni!" - an insult
- "Manas Zya" - a vocal command Hydraxon used when he needed Spinax to attack someone
All sentient beings in the Bionicle universe use a special measuring system. There are three different units of length: the Bio, the Kio, and the Mio; comparable to the Earth units of Meters and Kilometers. A Toa is 1.6 Bios (7.2 Feet) tall.
- Bio - The smallest measurement used in the Bionicle universe. A bio is approximately equal to 4.5 feet or 1.37 meters in Earth measurements.
- Kio - A kio is the middle sized measurement in the Bionicle universe; equal to 1000 bio. Or, 4500 feet/0.85 miles, 1371 meters/1.37 kilometers in human measurements.
- Mio - A mio is the largest measure of distance in the Bionicle universe that we know of. It is equal to 1000 kio. Or, in human terms, 850 miles or 1370 kilometers.
For other units of measurement, such as lengths of time, Earth units such as hours and days are used. Sometimes Earth units of length are used in place of the Bionicle units above, so that the reader may understand easier.
Chutespeak and Treespeak
Two names for slang used almost exclusively by the Le-Matoran of Metru Nui (though the occasional outsider has picked it up). "Chutespeak" was its name in Metru Nui and "Treespeak" was used on Mata Nui. Chutespeak/Treespeak terms are made by combining two or more words into one, similarly to the real-world Anglo-Saxon practice of kenning. Although there are too many possible phrases to list, here are a few examples:
- Air-fly: Means the same thing as "wind-fly"
- Allseeing: Means the same as "hundred-eye"
- Anger-shouting: Yelling
- Answerfinding: To try to know more
- Battleflight: To battle on a Gukko or Kahu
- Bald-land: Open area with no obstructions
- Bear-fight: To fight an Ash Bear
- Bird-back: Flying on the back of a Gukko or Kahu
- Buzzflying: A Rahi with buzzing wings
- Clingtwiner: A twiner made of metal
- Cloud-sneaking: Under cover of the clouds
- Crazystorm: Means the same as "rain-fall"
- Darkthought: Thinking of a bad thing
- Disc-arm: Arm for throwing a Bamboo Disk or Kanoka
- Deep-hide: To hide
- Deep-wood: Throughout the forest
- Down-tree: On the ground
- Duty-quarrel: To quarrel about one's duty to Mata Nui
- Everquick: A Toa or Turaga's nickname when he/she wears a Kakama
- Evil-spread: The spreading of evil
- Fire-spitter: Ta-Matoran or a Toa of Fire (often used as an insult); term not exclusive to Le-Matoran
- Foot-walking: Same as Groundwalk, but likely exclusive to beings with established "feet". Used by Lewa when convincing Jaller and Takua to allow the former to guide the two through the jungles of Le-Wahi.
- Ground-walk: To walk
- Ground-bound: To fall
- Happy-cheer: making you happy (often used sarcastically)
- Happyluck: An exiting thing done
- Happy-proud: Proud
- Head-thoughts: Thoughts, an individual's mind
- Heart-swear: Solemn promise
- High-branch: High in the trees
- Highfly: Means the same as "air-fly"
- Home-realm: Home
- Hundred-eye: Good eyesight
- Kahu-tamer: To ride a Kahu
- Kahu-rider: Means the same as Kahu-tamer
- Know-nothingness: To know nothing but your name
- Makuta-son(s): Rahkshi
- Late-knowing: Ignorant until too late
- Leaf-dawn: Springtime
- Leaf-runner: A fast Le-Matoran
- Life-dawn: Youth
- Mysteryking: A Toa or Turaga that is mysterious
- Not-never: Never
- Open-eyed: Awake
- Past-late: Too late
- Rama-swarm: A pack of Nui-Rama
- Rain-fall: A storm, such as one created by Gali and Lewa, or any other Toa of Water or Toa of Air
- Quick-learning: To learn something very quickly
- Quick-soaring: To fly or levitate at high speed
- Quick-speed: being very fast
- Quick-run: To run quickly
- Same-hearted: Of the same heart, used when Lewa expresses his pain over the loss of Ta-Koro
- Sand-twister: A tornado of sand; a dust devil
- Secondthink: To think before doing
- Singsong: A positive term. Ex: "singsong Le-Koro"
- Slowthink: Stupid
- Sorry-bad story: bad news
- Spirit-lift: One who can lift the spirits of others
- Think-talk: think before talking
- Toa-heroes: Means the same as "Toa"
- Top-leaf: As high as the treetops
- Tree-bound: Unable to fly
- Tree-bright: A sentimental term for Le-Koro, seen through the leaves from below with the sun above
- Tree-launch: Take to the air on bird-back
- Trouble-danger: Danger, i.e. to face danger
- Up-tree: In the treetops
- Way-finder: Navigator
- Wind-fly: Flying with the wind or bird-riding
- Wind-riders: Bird-riders
- Wind-riding: Flying
- Wind-sprint: Move quickly
- Wrong-quarrel: To do something that angers another
- "Hordika" entry, Bionicle Encyclopedia
- "Dermis Turtle" entry, Rahi Beasts