Tuesday, February 15, 2005

In Which My Geekiness Reaches Excruciating Levels

I roughed out the following as what a hymn on the planet Krypton might be like. 'Rao' is Kryptonian for 'God'; it originally was used for the Kryptonian sun-god, but the prophet Jaf-El (of the very same House of El that gives us the better-known Jor-El and Kal-El, a.k.a. Clark Kent) used it for the one creator-God. The Kryptonian marriage ceremony included the phrase, "Rao, kindler of the sun." Yes, I know it is painful that I know this sort of thing. Blame the internet.

A Kryptonian Hymn

There is one God
His name is Rao,
Kindler of every sun,
Giver of every gift.

There is one God,
His name is True,
Fountain of every light,
Justice ruling all.

His name is True, O ye peoples,
His name is Light, O ye peoples,
Thanks unto His name.

His name is Rao, O ye peoples,
His name is One, O ye peoples,
Praise unto His name.

There is one God,
His name is Good,
Origin of every life,
Wisdom at its source.

There is one God,
His name is Fair,
Beginning of every thing,
Root of manifestation.

His name is Fair, O ye peoples,
His name is Source, O ye peoples,
Thanks unto His name.

His name is Good, O ye peoples,
His name is Life, O ye peoples,
Praise unto His name.

I awoke, all ye peoples!
I saw Truth,
His name is Rao;
He proportions reward to virtue,
He speaks light to all things,
He kindles every sun.


Now, the question naturally arises: taking this as a translation of a Kryptonian hymn, how close is it. Well, the general speculation is that Kryptonian has a (p)VOS language structure, so a more literal translation would have to be something like (and here I'm just doing it off the top of my head, with danger for mistake, and some pure guesswork):

Of Gods there is one,
(it) is Rao His name,
of every sun kindler,
of every gift giver.

Of Gods there is one,
(it) is True His name,
of every light fountain,
ruling-all justice.

(It) is True His name, (you) peoples,
(it) is Light His name, (you) peoples,
unto His name thanks.

(It) is Rao His name, (you) peoples,
(it) is One His name, (you) peoples,
unto His name praise.

Of Gods there is one,
(it) is Good His name,
of every life origin,
at its source wisdom.

Of Gods there is one,
(it) is Fair His name,
of every thing beginning,
of manifestation root.

(It) is Fair His name, (you) peoples,
(it) is Source His name, (you) peoples,
unto His name thanks.

(It) is Good His name, (you) peoples,
(it) is Life His name, (you) peoples,
unto His name praise.

Awakened was I, (you) peoples),
saw truth I (did),
(it) is Rao His name,
to all speaks light He (does),
kindles every sun He (does).


You can find almost everything you could possibly want to know about the Man of Steel and his home planet at the Superman Encyclopedia, which will eventually be moved to Supermanica.

UPDATE (very early morning Feb 16th): I just came across a post by Joshua Duncan arguing that Superman should actually be played by a very skinny guy. I suppose his build could somehow be genetic. It's actually somewhat important. Kryptonians, when they get superstrength in the radiation of Earth's sun, get it in proportion to the ordinary strength they would have on Krypton. So if Superman were a really skinny guy, he'd get trounced every time a muscular Kryptonian villain like General Zod showed up, since they would have even greater superstrength.

Boy, I really am a geek!

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