The following is my own set of notes that I compiled after examining
the material on the Fortress of Solitude pages regarding Kryptonese.
Of course, it's pure speculation, but it might interest you.
1: "-o" pluralizes--but what to do with words that already end in "o"?
2: "Doubling a letter" indicates "strong emphasis", but what sound
change does "doubling a letter" represent?
3: Genitive case can be formed by removal of an internal vowel? (Rao
4: Language may have at least two genders: masculine and feminine
(professions can be feminized by substituting the first vowel with "y"),
but this could be a relic, much as we have "actor/actress" in English.
Oddly enough, the generic word for "leader" is "drygur"--could Krypton
originally have been strongly matriarchical?
5: Most known names of professions end in "-ar" or "-ur" (but what
about molium?), "-ar/-ur" could be a suffix meaning "one who", but
consider "hatuar" (asbestos), named for Hatu-El. Perhaps -ar/-ur could
be a more general suffix denoting "of", thus a "bethgar" is not "one who
rules" but "one who is of rulership" (presuming that "beth-" means
rulership). Perhaps the suffix is -ar/-ur/-um.
What rules might govern the assignation of suffix?
The following take -ar: amp-, beth-, byth--, dend-, hatu- ("zetyar",
"day", is presumed to be of a different origin based on phonetic cues).
The following take -ur: dryg-. Takes -um: moli-.
Provisional rule: If root ends in a back vowel or more front-ish
consonant, the root takes -ar. If root ends in a back consonant, the
root takes -ur. If the root ends in a front vowel (or a palatal?), the
root takes -um
6: It appears that adjectives may follow their nouns (Kal-El from
kal--child and el--star means "star child" not "child star", for
example). But note following construction: Drygur Molium: Leader of
the Science Council. From Drygur: Any leader, and Molium: Member of
Science Council (Kryptonian ruling body). This appears to contradict
the Kal-El construction if "leader" is considered an adjective (leader
councilmember), but it might not if the construction "Drygur Molium"
actually means "Leader of the Councilmembers"--but no pluralization of
Molium occurs, so that may be unlikely. However, in either case,
Kryptonian might not use "of" in the senses that English does but
instead relies upon word order. Perhaps Molium is a collective noun,
referring both to individual members and to the council as a group.
7: What does the suffix "-u" do? Combining with "tanth" gives
"tanthu"--nonhuman being worthy of respect--a "tanth" that is not a
person, in other words. Could "-u" mean "like", "similar to", or "near
8: Language appears to combine both isolation and inflection.
The only known sentence of Kryptic and its "translation":
"yrubb orutoo da yreemb uyon -- kryptoniu awyrr!"
"the use of his native tongue is a respectful acknowledgement of
The "translation" is most likely a paraphrase, not a translation. But
let us presume that Bruce Wayne did a close paraphrase. If the trend of
"reversing" in respect to the use of English is general for Kryptonian
(we have no evidence it is, but it's fun to play that way), and
Kryptonian is similar to Earth languages in having very short words for
"to be" and its conjugations, I propose the following first-pass
yrubb orutoo da yreemb uyon kryptoniu
of tragedy tomorrow (adj.) is acknowledgement respectful kryptonian
Now, let's do some really wild speculative grammar.
We first know that the tragedy and the day are unique. Why does
"orutoo" end in -o? I propose that it does not end in -o but ends in
-oo, the original root being "orut", and the -oo denotes some type of
prepositional phrase. It would be cumbersome for the adjective to mark
this, so perhaps "yrubb orutoo" refers to "tomorrow (adj.) tragedy" and
the reversed (from a Kryptonian standpoint) word order could be typical
of a prepositional phrase, but this is just speculation. Likewise,
translating "kryptoniu" as "kryptonian" is really falling for a simple
similarity. "Kryptoniu" could just as easily mean "to use krypton-talk".
yrubb orut -oo da yreemb uyon
tomorrow tragedy (prepositional phrase) is acknowledgement respectful
kryptonian to use
Anyway, presuming my second pass isn't too far off, we see a few things
It's (p)VOS! (p) referring to major prepositional phrase.
(VOS: Verb Object Subject word order).
Seems strange to you, Kryptonian?
To its nuances lovely are unaccustomed you merely.
To it understand and adore, time given, will learn you.