UBC prof crafts Kryptonian tongue for new Superman film
Christine Schreyer has taught courses on Klingon and Na'vi
The language of Superman's home planet of Krypton could soon be spoken by humans here on Earth, thanks to a UBC professor.
Christine Schreyer, an assistant professor of anthropology at the university's Okanagan campus, was hired as a consultant for the new Man of Steel movie released last month.
An expert in linguistics, she helped movie producers develop a new Kryptonian language, creating a vocabulary consisting of about 300 words and working with graphic designers to develop a Kryptonian script.
"Because Superman is such a large franchise, there are so many things to look at," Schreyer said. "We looked at names previously used in the comic books, and movies and TV shows to see what kind of sounds were available."
Schreyer said her work with indigenous communities who want to revive ancient languages helped with the process.
And, her familiarity with made-up languages, such as Star Trek's Klingon and the Na'vi language devised for 2009 film Avatar, also provided a starting point in helping her understand how other linguists have created languages for movies.
Schreyer said she also lay down the foundations for Kryptonian grammar.
"We changed the sentence structure from English, which is subject, verb, object, so it would be subject, object, verb. Then looked at how words could be made from the sounds we had chosen."
In the end, the scenes where the language is spoken were cut in the film, but Schreyer says the language is far from dead.
Her work is evident whenever Kryptonian script appears on uniforms, weapons and spaceships throughout the movie.
Schreyer also says she is now in the talks with Warner Brothers to create a guide to speaking Kryptonian for the superfans who are interested in learning.
With files from CBC's Susana da Silva