In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, there is some strange rune writing that is used a lot. I've heard that it references Goethe's Faust, at least in the first few episodes, and it's used in displaying the names of the witches as well. Is there any comprehensive guide for what each symbol means, or a list of quotes together with translations?

  • I'm trying to remember, where else were these "runes" used outside of the name?
    – TheLQ
    Dec 24 '12 at 23:03
  • @TheLQ Mostly in background images inside of the witches' barriers, but there are a lot of them. From the link below, if you follow to the runes in episode 1, there are many examples from just that episode: wiki.puella-magi.net/Runes:Episode_1
    – Logan M
    Dec 24 '12 at 23:12
  • Wow, I'm stupid. Forgot that the entire witch ambush sequence is full of them :-)
    – TheLQ
    Dec 24 '12 at 23:23

Deciphering the runes was by no means a simple task. And as such there was quite a bit of history behind it as different people attempted various ways to decrypt it. In the end, the runes were found to be a substitution cipher for German.

A full guide to deciphering the runes in Madoka as well as a complete translated list of all their appearances throughout the Puella Magi series can be found here.

If you want to take a shot at decrypting them yourself, use the chart below. This will transliterate the runes into German - after that you're on your own. :)

Madoka Runic Alphabet Reference Key

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