Category: Lore

Khelish: The Quarian Language

It’s possible quarians spoke different dialects before the Morning War but are now speaking one language named Khelish. We’re lucky enough that we know some words and sentences from Khelish, unlike other alien languages that are still a bit of a mystery to us. During an AMA on Reddit, Catherine M. Valente, the writer of Annihilation, explained that she used Hebrew as a model language for Khelish. 

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The Elcor Language: a Symphony in One Sneeze

What Do Elcor Perceive?

Elcor’s sense of smell is extremely powerful. With a whiff of their surroundings, they can receive a flood of information about their location and the people around them. An elcor can even smell a corpse from miles away, as seen in the book Annihilation. Some situations can even be painful to them due to sensory overload.
The information they receive has to be interpreted. It still allows them to get a good understanding of their homeworld and other places they travel to, like the Citadel. 

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Translators 101

What are translators? How do they work?

Humans in the Mass Effect universe converse in different languages (Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Swahili are among the noted ones). Aliens, meanwhile, also have multiple languages and dialects. All species use a translator, which allows for simultaneous and accurate translation. To make the translator work, every species first provides glossaries and linguistic rules. Since languages are constantly evolving, regular updates are made.

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Trilogy Lore: Publishing the Table of Contents

Hello everyone!
We are releasing our table of contents for the trilogy lore today.

What it is, exactly?
Well, when we created MEL we were aware that the Mass Effect wiki was a fantastic source of information. We didn’t want to copy it. Our goal was to provide a contextualized and complete analysis of the Mass Effect lore. For that, we needed a good foundation to work on, and that’s the table of content that we’re publishing today.

How did we work on this?
We tried to take everything into account, including information we couldn’t completely verify and information we still don’t have (though the lack of information is information in itself!).
We had a lot of discussions within the team about how to word section headers and possible entries, and we are confident that we have made the table of contents as intuitive as possible. It was a collaborative effort, and we are lucky to have the fantastic team that we have! 🙂

So, what now?
Now we are going to work on writing lore articles by using our table of contents as a sort of base structure, as well as using all the canon sources we have to do research (one of those sources being the transcripts we are publishing).
It’s a big job, no doubt MEL’s biggest work in progress…
Keep in mind this is only for the trilogy. We still have to do the same type of work for Andromeda.
Mass Effect is also not a closed canon. We can always edit the table of contents and/or entries… But at the end of the day, you can think of it as if we’re writing a book called “The Lore of Mass Effect.”

If you have any questions please read below first!

Can I join you guys and work on this?
Yes. Contact us at

If I do join you, do you expect me to work on all entries?
No. We believe in letting people work on what fascinates them. If you don’t care for a specific species, we don’t want you to gather information and write a lore article about them. However, if you feel passionate about a specific Mass Effect theme, species, technology, and you feel capable of writing an informed and complete lore article about it, contact us.

What if I’m more of the “gathering information” type?
Contact us too. We can always use help with that!

Can I give you feedback about your table of contents?
Sure! Send us an email at or contact us on Tumblr.

We are very excited to be sharing this with you, and hope you love it as much as we do!


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