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Author Topic: Kryptonian Language  (Read 25871 times)
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SuperNate
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« on: December 30, 2005, 07:38:15 AM »

Hey...

I am wondering if anyone out there knows anything about translating English into Kryptonian.  From 'Smallville' we know what the character for the word 'hope' looks like.  Is that how the word is written or is it more like a Japanese character (a picture that represent a meaning/word?

I am looking to translate a few select words into Kryptonian for a tattoo and I want to make sure that the translation are as accurate as accurate can be when we're talking about a fictional language.

I viewed the alphabet and grammar pages on this site, but found little help in word construction.

Thanks!
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Psybertrack
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 03:40:16 AM »

When you say translate what do you mean?

Kryptonian is a dead language and so is ancient Egyptian.  

most people ,when they say "How do you translate the dead language of hieroglyphics (of ancient Egypt) into english?" actually mean: "how do you translate the written unknown language into written English?"
But maybe you mean you want the spoken language i.e . the pronunciation instead or in addition to the written language.

In either case, so far we've seen more than heard of Kryptonese.

I noticed there is some similarity between Kryptonese and interlac in the DCU's legion of s.h. stories(maybe just my imagination). I seem to remember seeing a chart somewhere of the Kryptonese alphabet. I will look through my piles of archives here at my fortress and get back to you.
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Psybertrack
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 05:23:54 AM »

ok. How to pronounce? on this site there is a language explanation with some info on kryptonese.
how to read and write?
answer:
Sometimes it is a letter for letter translation. Other times the symbols represent ideas or words or whole long concepts.  I suppose it is something like 1 and 0 on earth.  As an earthling you know when I say she is a "10" she is the most beautiful of females. When I say I have 10 oranges, you know what I mean. if you see a long series of 1's and 0's, like 110001100011 you might also know it is supposed t o say something in binary language. (I don't know what binary is but I think it is 1's and 0's to represent + and -  in a computer language). {my explanation is that of a layman}.  Anyway here are some links to some keys to the Kryponian language.
enjoy:

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/images/logos-emblems/kryptonian_alphabet.gif

http://superman.nu/a/bottle-city/kryptonian-guide-big-black.gif

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/images/smallville/Kryptonian-Translation.jpg

http://www.hideho.com/languages/kryptonese.jpg

http://www.supermantv.net/episodeguide/thirdseason/legacy/kryptonian.jpg

http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/g/j/gjt116/images/kryptoniankeysm.jpg

http://pics.livejournal.com/dopple/pic/003320z6

http://www.dailyplanet.stopklatka.pl/data/galeria/smallville/kryptonian.jpg

http://www.supermantv.net/superman/smallville/wallpaper/krypton.jpg
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SuperNate
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 05:41:20 AM »

I guess I didn't explain myself clearly enough.

What I am looking to do is take three or four words from English and translate them into the written language of Krypton.  My questions start with this: Is the written language of Krypton an ancient Egyptian-like heiroglyphic language, that is a language of picture-symbols (as depicted on Smallville) OR is it a word language wherein one letter succeeds another to form a word to be read directionally (ie: left-to-right).

Next, if it is a language as depicted on Smallville, how does one create a symbol (I would assume using the alphabet as referenced at the links in previous responses, but how???) to mean what they are trying to communicate?

Lastly, if the language is to be read directionally, does one use the sounds of the 118 letters and construct it to audibly match our pronunciation?  If sounds are how words are formed, that is the only logical conclusion that I can come up with...

I hope this is clear.
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Psybertrack
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 06:31:21 AM »

In some of the comics they use one of 2 alphabets of Kryptonian or Kryptonese language. One alphabet (I'll call this Classical Kryptonese ) uses 118 characters . This is the silver age Superman's language.
The other alphabet (I'll call this Protocol Kryptonese) has 26 characters and is also used on the tv show "Smallville" as well as in the new "Superman Returns" movie and some modern 80's to Present comics.
Protocol Kryptonese is a word language wherein one letter succeeds another to form a word to be read directionally (ie: left-to-right). Both in the comics are often used like simple one letter for one letter code type basis.  One character in Protocol Kryptonese looks like Superman's chest emblem with an 8 in it. This is the "S" in english.
It is linear transliteration. one to one.
Perhaps each symbol has a deeper more complex meaning also as does the egyptian heiroglyph of the scarab(I'll call this "kryptoglyphic".
I don't know what they are . Somebody said hope was one of them. I don't know .
I'm not an expert on the"Classical Kryptonese" but there are several pages on Kryptonian Language on this very site.
It discusses grammar, names, alphabet and shows screen captures of comic panels of krypton letters.

If you email me the four words, I will try to translate them into "protocol Kryptonese" on a one letter to one letter basis. But it will basically be the english with Kryptonese characters.

As far as I know nobody (yet) has written a complete Kryptonese Grammar book and given the complete language rules and audio tapes a la the KLINGON DICTIONARY of the Star Trek series. Nor have they expounded fully on the "Kryptoglyphic" meanings.

To pronounce it.  I have no idea. I have to go back and watch the episodes of Smallville where they spoke Kryptonese and watch it with the screen capture on it to get the details. etc.
I have heard that  Kal El means "star child ".

If it is a pictographic/heiroglyphic language like Egyptian there should be thousands of characters for all the ideas they correspond to . Pronunciation might be guessed at. But with dead languages it is hard to know how the speakers pronounced the words.

I'd suggest the 26 letter chart is the one to go by. This probably corresponds to 26 english letters. They also correspond to 26 basic ideas common to intelligent beings.  I suspect that using them along with characters not yet disclosed in the show (perhaps 3000 other characters) all represent the main ideas of language.
For instance in Aramaic, Aleph is "a" or "1" or represents "God".
Beth, is "b", or "2" and represents "house, dwelling "another" ,  "established" or "family"
gimmel is "g" , or "3" which means "work". This incorporates the philosophy of the near eastern man of ancient times who put his God first, and his Family second and his work third  when setting his priorities if life.

So a combination of 3 letters could be used to represent the three most important things in prioritizing life.

If you are trying to translate English words in a sentance to Kryptonese, I'd suggest you add some more characters and make a dictionary , or do a letter for letter transliteration.   I know the Tolkein books and the Klingon Dictionary each give excellent examples of fictional languages and how to make them up.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2006, 07:54:36 PM »

As Psybertrack points out, the symbols for the Kryptonian language that are used on Smallville are the same 26 characters that have been used in the comic books since the year 2000.  Those 26 letters can be seen here

http://superman.nu/a/History/VersionV/kryptonian.php

Whenever this character set has been used to portray Kryptonian,  the actual language used has been English, but written in this Kryptonian Alphabet.

The "Hope" symbol that you saw on Smallville was a glyph or sigil designed using letters from that  "protocol" alphabet.  The "P" and the "E" are pretty easy to find in the "hope" glyph.

The "kryptonian language" from pre-1986, the one that is a separate language with its own rules of grammar and it's own vocabulary; that uses the 118 character alphabet; was never actually portrayed with it's associated alien alphabet, but has only been portrayed in the comics using our Latin/English alphabet - as you can see in the comic panels here.

For more info, check out this page:

http://superman.nu/a/Encyclopaedia/kryptonian.php

The apparently defunct Kryptonese Language Project is fortunately still archived here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20050306080328/http://inventurous.net/kryptonese/

Has there actually been spoken Kryptonian on Smallville?

S!
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2006, 01:42:34 AM »

Most languages have more than 2000 words, way, way more.
Some primitive languages may need less than advanced languages.
In Japanese, the pronunciation is important.
In English , we have a vast resevoir of English words, jargon and foreign language borrow-words.
For basic, conversational Kryptonese you probably don't need more than 1000 words to convey most ideas.  26 words seems kind of slim. Perhaps it is a combination of symbols. in other words,
the Kryptonian "a" prededing one of the other 25 symbols means the first 25 words, the kryptonian "b" preceding one of the other 25 symbols means 25 more words. and so on. ignoring repeats that makes about 676 words. (the singles, a-z, and ab, ac,ad, ect) . For another 650 words you could have words preceded and followed by a certain character.
such as aba, aca, ada,ect.
How to pronounce them. I could only guess. this is just a suggestion if you are trying to make up a kryptonian language. Or you could add more pictograms meaning whole words . Japanese uses pictograms but have more than 26.
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1Superman4Me
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 08:37:56 PM »

well i know that two l's sort of look like an infinity sign... other than that not much. Smiley
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