ZRymohed kryptanÁ Kryptonian Writing

Kryptonian writing is comprised of a combination of alphabetic and ideographic characters. The alphabet is used to write the majority of the language, while the ideographs are relegated almost exclusively to the bound morphology of the language (e.g. verb tenses), particles, and adpositions.

The Basic Alphabet

The basic 33-letter alphabet is comprised of 24 consonants and 9 vowels. When written, the consonants are arranged into 8 "rays" arranged around the "hub" containing 3 columns of vowels for a total of 11 lines to represent the 11 Kryptonian virtues (the Girod). In addition, each letter on the outer portion finds its "pair" on the exact opposite side of the arrangement; for example, for the top (and bottom) three rays voiced and unvoiced pairs are formed. This arrangement is very similar to the arrangement of the Kryptonian flag. The two were, in fact, made at nearly the same time, and the designs were intended to reflect one another.

Basic Kryptonian Alphabet

Let's Say Our ABCs!

Just as with pretty much any alphabet you'd find on Earth, the Kryptonian letters all have names. Here is the basic alphabet in the most common listed form (although different list arrangements do exist). The listing blow shows the Kryptonese equivalent, the IPA pronunciation (where more than one character is present, more than one pronunciation is possible depending on phonetic context), the character in the font that the letter is mapped to, and the name of the letter (in Kryptonese).

IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet

Instead of spending tons of time reinventing the wheel in trying to describe speech sounds—attempts that would probably fail anyway unless you are a native speaker of my dialect of English—I will rely on IPA throughout this site. Perhaps it seems that I'm asking a lot, but it's not as hard to learn as you might think, and it definitely comes in handy for more than just Kryptonian. Wikipedia, for example, uses it for all of it's word pronunciation guides. I can't stress enough how beneficial learning IPA can be.

What is IPA? IPA is an internationally standardized alphabet used to write speech with a one-to-one correspondence between sound and character. For example, [kʰɑə], [kʰɑɹ], [kʰɑɾ], [kʰaː], [kaɽ], etc. are all valid dialectically distinct pronunciations of the word "car."

Usage: Common practice, observed throughout this site, is to place IPA between square brackets "[ ]" to distinguish it from normal writing. Transliterated writing (in this case Kryptonese) is set apart with forward slashes "/ /".

Resources: There are several great resources online for learning IPA. A good place to start is the Wikipedia page on IPA. Another excellent resource can be found on the Paul Meier Dialect Services website which contains interactive IPA charts (click a symbol to hear the sound)—they even have an interactive diphthong chart with both American and British English diphthongs.

s
Name / usah /  :: 
Kryptonese / s /  :: 
IPA [ s ]  :: 
Font s
S
Name / shah /  :: 
Kryptonese / sh /  :: 
IPA [ ʃ ]  :: 
Font S
T
Name / tho /  :: 
Kryptonese / th /  :: 
IPA [ θ ]  :: 
Font T
p
Name / pah /  :: 
Kryptonese / p /  :: 
IPA [ p ]  :: 
Font p
k
Name / ku /  :: 
Kryptonese / k /  :: 
IPA [ k ]  :: 
Font k
h
Name / khao /  :: 
Kryptonese / kh /  :: 
IPA [ ç x ]  :: 
Font h
t
Name / te /  :: 
Kryptonese / t /  :: 
IPA [ t ]  :: 
Font t
c
Name / chao /  :: 
Kryptonese / ch /  :: 
IPA [ ʧ ]  :: 
Font c
f
Name / fah /  :: 
Kryptonese / f /  :: 
IPA [ f ]  :: 
Font f
l
Name / lah /  :: 
Kryptonese / l /  :: 
IPA [ l ]  :: 
Font l
r
Name / uhr /  :: 
Kryptonese / r /  :: 
IPA [ ɹ ]  :: 
Font r
m
Name / mah /  :: 
Kryptonese / m /  :: 
IPA [ m ]  :: 
Font m
i
Name / i /  :: 
Kryptonese / i /  :: 
IPA [ i ]  :: 
Font i
E
Name / e /  :: 
Kryptonese / e /  :: 
IPA [ e ]  :: 
Font E
A
Name / a /  :: 
Kryptonese / a /  :: 
IPA [ æ ]  :: 
Font A
O
Name / rao /  :: 
Kryptonese / ao /  :: 
IPA [ a͡ʊ ]  :: 
Font O
e
Name / eh /  :: 
Kryptonese / eh /  :: 
IPA [ ɛ ]  :: 
Font e
U
Name / uh /  :: 
Kryptonese / uh /  :: 
IPA [ ʌ ]  :: 
Font U
u
Name / u /  :: 
Kryptonese / u /  :: 
IPA [ u ]  :: 
Font u
o
Name / o /  :: 
Kryptonese / o /  :: 
IPA [ o ]  :: 
Font o
a
Name / ah /  :: 
Kryptonese / ah /  :: 
IPA [ ɑ ]  :: 
Font a
n
Name / on /  :: 
Kryptonese / n /  :: 
IPA [ n ]  :: 
Font n
R
Name / rri /  :: 
Kryptonese / rr /  :: 
IPA [ r ]  :: 
Font R
w
Name / wah /  :: 
Kryptonese / w /  :: 
IPA [ w ]  :: 
Font w
v
Name / vo /  :: 
Kryptonese / v /  :: 
IPA [ v ]  :: 
Font v
j
Name / jah /  :: 
Kryptonese / j /  :: 
IPA [ ʤ ]  :: 
Font j
d
Name / dah /  :: 
Kryptonese / d /  :: 
IPA [ d ]  :: 
Font d
G
Name / ehgheh /  :: 
Kryptonese / gh /  :: 
IPA [ ʝ ɣ ]  :: 
Font G
g
Name / gah /  :: 
Kryptonese / g /  :: 
IPA [ g ]  :: 
Font g
b
Name / bo /  :: 
Kryptonese / b /  :: 
IPA [ b ]  :: 
Font b
D
Name / ahdhah /  :: 
Kryptonese / dh /  :: 
IPA [ ð ]  :: 
Font D
Z
Name / zho /  :: 
Kryptonese / zh /  :: 
IPA [ ʒ ]  :: 
Font Z
z
Name / zah /  :: 
Kryptonese / z /  :: 
IPA [ z ]  :: 
Font z

Don't stop there! There are many more characters used in Kryptonian writing; please read this section's sub-pages for more information.

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