Supergirl Episodes 306 and 307

Monday, December 4, 2017  |  Comments: 4

A couple more lines of Kryptonian have made their way onto the show. Given the current story arc, I wouldn't be surprised to see more before the season is over.

Still no credit, though. :/


Episode 306: Midvale

In the episode, actress Izabela Vidovic delivers the quick one-liner (a bit mumbled) that sounds like /ukzhim r?? zhezhu/ (I still can't make out that middle word very well). Given that the subtitles indicate that this is supposed to be the sentence "I love you, Mom," I think we can see what they were going for here.

The word for (familial) love is /ukiem/, and the word for mother is /ieiu/. The IPA for those words is [ukjem] and [jeju] respectively. I think that the actress (or whoever informed the actress) didn't realize that [j] in IPA is like the English /y/ as in "you". Instead it was pronounced like the French /j/ as in "je t'aime" (which would be [ʒ] in IPA) resulting in the pronunciation that we got on screen.

Once again, the grammar is pretty off (I don't expect someone only looking up words in a dictionary to get the grammar right regardless of the language). Here's a breakdown of a proper translation:

  1. First of all, just a reminder that Kryptonian has a strict Verb-Subject-Object word order.
  2. With our noun /ukiem/, "love", we need to add a verb-suffix to make it act as a verb in our sentence: /-odh/
  3. We can omit the subject, "I".
  4. We do need the object, "you", and the object particle, /w/, with it. In this case, since this is intimate, informal speech, we would use the non-neutral, feminine form of "you": /rrip/.
  5. We end our sentence with the vocative "Mom". When the vocative appears at the end of a sentence, you need to use the vocative particle: /eh/. Note that, since we are using "mother" as a proper name, we would use the proper noun punctuation when writing it.

The final translation, then, is as follows.

Adapted from Supergirl, Season 3, Episode 6 (2017)

Translation: Open     Gloss: Open Pop-up
I love you, mom.

Episode 307: Wake Up

Another spoiler warning... at the end of the episode we see Odette Annable deliver the line /khahp nahn ehswit/ which is subtitled "I have awoken". First off, I did not have a word for "awake" in the dictionary, so I'm happy to use theirs (I've added it already). Given that we have a pretty well-spoken, mostly correct Kryptonian sentence (only word order is off). With the correct word order (and object particle) it should be:

Adapted from Supergirl, Season 3, Episode 7 (2017)

Translation: Open     Gloss: Open Pop-up
I am awake.

Now, here's the really interesting thing with what was spoken on screen: the actress used the masculine form of "me" instead of the neutral or feminine forms. Could this mean that she is being inhabited by some other entity? Does it reveal the nature of her awakening somehow? Only time will tell. Alternatively, since the IPA for the neutral form (which is what I would expect in this situation) is [xʌp], it's possible again that what we are seeing is just another mispronunciation ([ʌ] sounds like the "u" in "cut", not like the "a" in "father").

Comments (4)

  1. Candice:
    Feb 03, 2018 at 09:45 AM

    I'm super excited to see you mention (and correct!) the Kryptonian in the show. Do you know what they were going for in 2x02? It comes across as "khao shuh" but the closest I could figure was that it could/should have been something like "ehrosh :bem"? I'd also be interested in your take earlier in the ep when J'onn speaks Kryptonian at the Fortress. :) Thank you!! I reference your site easily once a week.


    1. Ellen:
      Oct 29, 2020 at 06:06 PM

      according to the episode, it's translated as "to be continued." neither of the words exist in the dictionary, but maybe it's just one of those random phrases like "el mayarah" that don't really make sense, but just have a meaning because they say it does...


  2. Emily:
    Feb 06, 2018 at 07:39 PM

    Would you be able to translate what they say in the newest episode of SG, 3x13.


  3. Ellen:
    Dec 10, 2020 at 02:06 AM

    here, awake is written as /ehswit/, but in the dictionary, it says /ehsit/. which one is correct?


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