Updated Apr 03, 2012 at 09:08PM EDT by GFreeze.

Added Feb 07, 2010 at 12:38AM EST by GFreeze.

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Moonspeak is a somewhat derogatory internet slang term for any non-English language text. Though the term can be used with any language other than English it is typically only used with languages using a non-Latin alphabet, particularly Japanese. [1] Another usage has the term describe anything the reader finds unintelligible regardless of language, e.g. technical or legal jargon.


The Origin of the slang term is uncertain, there are currently two common explanations, more exist, but these are most common.

Turn-A-Gundam’s Moon Race

In the anime Turn-A-Gundam Earth’s moon had it’s own race, with their own distinct language. Fans would referred this language as moonspeak. [2] Typically using it when complaining about their inability to understand an episode of the show simply because they couldn’t understand some of the text. How much influence fans of the show had in the spread of term on the internet is nearly indeterminable.

Moon Language in The Tick

On 4chan’s /b/ board a anon posted a picture from a The Tick comic book in which The Tick is fighting ninjas who are speaking Japanese. In response The Tick tells him he doesn’t understand their “moon language”. [3] This thread has since been lost as it didn’t initially attract much attention, but according to Google insight it was probably either from October of 2004 or July of 2007.

“Moon language” ultimately never caught on and was eventually replaced by the shorter, more casual, term “moonspeak”. Which was soon used to refer to more than simply Japanese.


The term soon gained widespread usage on 4chan where it was primarily being used to refer to non-English threads. However, it didn’t take long to spread and soon the term was being used on various internet forums among other websites. The term became especially popular among Anime fans.


There are a few other terms associated with moonspeak.

  • Moon: Another way of saying moonspeak.

  • Moon Runes: Used to refer to individual non-Latin symbols. [4]

  • Taco Speak: Used to refer to Spanish exclusively.[5]

Usage Examples

External References

[1]Wikitionary – Definition of Moonspeak on Wikitionary / Posted 4-2-2012
fn2. Urban Dictionary – Definition of Moonspeak on Urban Dictionary / Posted 4-2-2012
fn3. Lurkmore Wiki – Definition of Moonspeak on Lurkmore Wiki probably NSFW because of ad-content / Posted on 4-2-2012
fn4. Urban Dictionary – Definition of Moon Runes on Urban Dictionary / Posted 4-2-2012
fn5. Urban Dictionary – Definition of Tacospeak on Urban Dictionary / Posted 4-2-2012

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