The REAL SCIENCE of IZ
The psychology, sociology, biology, technology, and many other ologies of Irkens and the IZ universe in general. Explain, theorize, discuss, rant, whatever.
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Rethtales
Okay, this is an area without much data. I'm mainly here to pose one specfic question. I'll get to it in a minute. We know Irkens have a written language, and we know what it looks like. Any idea how it works? Is it phonetic or context-based? We also know that they use their antennae to communicate emotion, much like a dog uses its ears. Why? Aside from providing an understandable visual cue for viewers, I mean. Now, the big part is the spoken language. I see three possibilities: 1) Zim knows English as a second language (via some information download or something) 2) Zim has a translation system in his PAK 3) Irkens speak a language identical to English except for slang and jargon The SPECIFIC QUESTION: How does the following scene work? Pick a theory (or give me a new one) and explain it! In "Tak the Hideous New Girl", Zim, Dib, and Gaz (and Gir) watch a recording of a transmission Tak made to send to the Tallest. Dib understands what is being said, despite the fact that Tak, having recorded it specifically for the Tallest, would have no reason whatsoever to be speaking English. If it is a translation, why is it in her voice and synced with her mouth motions on the video? I could see a fourth explanation for this one: Dib knows Irken. But if so, how and when did he learn it? Well, that should be enough to go on for a while. Have fun!
1/4/2006 . Edited 1/4/2006 #1
AnAlmightyWoot
I have been wondering about Irkan Langauge myself ever since the show began. What would it sound like?(If it is truly not English based) Many people, I've noticed, say it would most likely sound Japanese or some other far-eastern tongue. To reply about the scene with Tak, you have to understand that it's a cartoon. Having the message being tranlated I think might cause some confusion. Like "Mommy! Why are the scary bug people not talking right?!" Oh god...that would also ultimatly lead to a fan driven Irkan language...that would be kind of scary. But anyway, I think Zim downloaded all the Earth's langauges into his PAK before-hand. That would be kind of funny wouldn't it? Here's an example for you...... Class Trip To France! Ms Bitters: Now everyone listen to the man with the funny hat eating snails! Man: (Says something French.) Kids: What? Zim: He said 'My! You childern are pile of filth!' And so on....sorry...I just had the urge to write that... (P.S.-Thanks for making this board, its fooly cooly to the max...sorry again...)
1/4/2006 #2
flying metal child
I think it would be absolutely impossible to know what spoken Irken sounds like, but you could get an idea from Zim's own mouth. He says some words that we could use as a basis for their spoken language: squeedily spooch, pardon my spelling on this one: gush-squee-gish-splorch (I'm sure it's one word, and I can't remember the episode, Abducted maybe? Zim says they are dull-witted), and in Walk for Your Lives he says something along the lines of "like the...[something in Irken] passes it's young..." full of goo, something to that effect. I would also go by names such as Spork, Zim, Tak, Skoodge, Skutch, Tenn, etc. From these examples I would say the spoken language has *a lot* of "s" and "t" stresses making it harsh sounding, maybe like German which I think has an even sound but is hard/harsh to my ears. As for Zim knowing English, in the first episode you see shots of things from the Voot that Zim, Gir and definitely some kind of computer program observe and record, like the eventual design of his house. You also see a radio station and a tower go by which means radio waves are being recorded. The computer, maybe even the pak, might have a program that can compile languages for the Invader, although I don't know how this would work if there wasn't a context for the language. Zim probably didn't learn English until he had his base up so that the computer could scan actual information to translate.
1/5/2006 #3
Sideos
I think that the Irkin PAK's use some sort of universal translator. He can speek to the other aleins on hobo 13 without problem.
1/5/2006 #4
Rethtales
Interesting thoughts thus far. I personally tend to lean toward the idea that Irken and English are, through some astronomically improbable coincidence, nearly identical. It explains everything pretty easily. And the translator thingy, too, for when Zim's not on Earth.
1/5/2006 #5
flying metal child
I bet a lot of the aliens Zim comes across know at least some Irken language because of the Empire's power, kind of like English here on earth =D
1/5/2006 #6
Sideos
[q]because of the Empire's power, kind of like English here on earth[/q] [q]Irken and English are, through some astronomically improbable coincidence[/q] YES! Feel the might of my countrys amazing languade! The Empire shows its legacy! If we have learnt anything from sci-fi films its that English is the chosen languade of the UNIVERSE! Ahem please exuse my Anglophillia.
1/6/2006 #7
BrightBlueHearse
I never thought about it, but yes, a translating device would make alot of sense. I often imagine the native Irken language to be feirce, rough and spoken with a lot of emphasis on the back of the throat. I only believe this because of they use words like 'splorch, seris minor, spweedly spooche' and stuff. I would like to hear a metal song sung in Irken...that would kick-a**! \m/ !
6/7/2006 #8
Skittles the Sugar Fairy
I dunno, I tend to think along the lines of Irken being completely different. Harsher yes, but with clicks and stuff in it to. Having it a different language would certainly explain why Zim's english is a bit...off...Like Noise-tube? In languages some things just don't translate. Also Zim's repeated use of the word stupid, in Irken there could be more than one way to say stupid. I know its that was with other languages, more than one way to say one word(meaning of word) As for the translator idea, I kind of think that the PAK picks up the information and downlaods it into the brain. Knowing the language isn't going to give you the best slang or grammar. So you know the language. English is my first language and I still horrible mutilate it.
11/26/2006 #9
ZaDR
No doubt a universal translator. He can speak it as /soon/ as he arrives on Earth. There would be no download, since the Irkens don't know about Earth's existance. The likelihood of two planets that have NEVER heard of each other speaking the same language seems off. As for the Tak issue, I think you're looking too far into it. They /all/ speak English on Irk in The Nightmare Begins.
7/7/2007 #10
tere moto the sentry
[q]No doubt a universal translator. He can speak it as /soon/ as he arrives on Earth...The likelihood of two planets that have NEVER heard of each other speakinga the same language seems off.[/q] I once wondered if maybe the other Irkens really [i]were[/i] speaking Irken to each other, including Zim speaking to the Tallest and maybe even his communication with GIR; and that English was just "dubbed" in and it would be assumed that they were speaking Irken. In "Vindicated!" Dib told Dwicky that he stole the schematics for an alien translator off of Zim's computer, and he may have studied Irken and was thus able to speak to the Tallest in "The Frycook What Came From All That Space". Although it's assumed that the Tallest were just ignoring him while commenting on the size of his head, perhaps Dib was speaking English after all and they couldn't understand him, though they apparently understood the phrase "alien scum".
7/27/2007 #11
middle school was a dark time
I agree with you. </3 It's possible that they have a rudimentary understanding of English from Zim, or possibly just vocal tone (i need to rewatch that part and see if its intonation is too much different).
10/22/2007 #12
Chairantula
Perhaps english came from irken? They are very advanced,and they live for avery long time . Some where along the line, a human could of been abducted or what ever, and learned it, then taken it back to earth. The whole Taks transmission thing eludes many. But this is my theory.
11/3/2007 #13
tisvana18

It uses greek letters from the Greek alphabet the most visible one I've seen is the one that looks like an n? That's Greek

7/29/2008 #14
Fell Beast

I like the universal translator idea.

I wonder if it would extend to most races in the universe--not only Irkens. Something like the babelfish (from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) could exist. Or maybe transmissions could automatically dub a message into whatever language you set it to translate to.

Also, I wonder if English originated on Earth at all. In the IZverse, there were Martians and Mercuroids. Perhaps they could have been in contact with other races. This certainly seems possible, since Martians are advanced enough to make their entire planet into a navigable vessel. English (or something similar to English) could have been a universal language. It's possible that either a Martian or Mercuroid came to Earth and introduced the language. Still, there's an obvious loophole in my theory: since Earth is so secluded, English would have evolved and become something entirely different than the English spoken universally. Since language is constantly changing...

5/9/2009 #15
Natalieg2

On earth, where the transmission was played, It had an effect on the transmision. I suppose since Zim's translator workes with planets, so does other irken technology.

5/23/2010 #16
KJMathers

It's possible that either a Martian or Mercuroid came to Earth and introduced the language.

That seems like a plausible theory.

5/23/2010 #17
DotnPolka

Is that "Class Trip To France" thing in your comment accually an episode?

11/5/2010 #18
Gir obsesser
Hamha - no, but it sounds like it could be, doesn't it? Anyway, it would make sense that if Zim has an instant translator that the Tallests would too, doesn't it? Or at least their ship or communicator? And even if they're not at all interested in earth, anything Zim learns could possibly be added to a general database. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to assume there was translation during the convo. Nor is Dib studying Irken out of the question, him being the obsessive-compulsive test-tube baby mess that he is. You can't assume by the voice-acting alone that English is the irken native tongue, though, as that would mean they also are native speakers of Spanish, German, Japanese, and any other dubs. In the episode where Dib tries to expose Zim on Mysterious Mysteries, he catches Zim and Gir either a) babbling nonsense, or b) speaking irken, on film. Both are relatively plausible, but the latter seems to work well, as it is a situation that would be able to beneficially utilize the instance, and the tone Zim uses is guteral and uses a deep 'oo' or 'uh' sound much like many of the vowels heard in irken terms. So I personally favor the English for convenience/instant translator theory. Not saying the other ones are wrong or anything - just my take on it.
2/21/2011 #19
Gir obsesser
I forgot to mention the infamous pig dub. Epicness in a bottle right there. ;D
2/21/2011 #20
No. 767

Hey guys, I think the reason they spoke english before Zim got to earth was like a translator thing! I mean, we wouldn't to be able to understand it and we would probably wouldn't of watched further on. Before Zim got to earth they translated it into english. Then somewhere off screen during, well I don't know.... Maybe Zim put a chip in his PAK and as for Tak. She had alot of spare time on planet DIRT. Plus she was able to make MiMi so guess maybe she was a soldier and spent alot of time with the scientists. Or maybe she had a boyfreind which was a scientist and they found out and thats how she became a defective! Or... I don't know! I don't get out much and I'm Anti-social.........

4/20/2011 #21
No. 767

Hey guys, I think the reason they spoke english before Zim got to earth was like a translator thing! I mean, we wouldn't to be able to understand it and we would probably wouldn't of watched further on. Before Zim got to earth they translated it into english. Then somewhere off screen during, well I don't know.... Maybe Zim put a chip in his PAK and as for Tak. She had alot of spare time on planet DIRT. Plus she was able to make MiMi so guess maybe she was a soldier and spent alot of time with the scientists. Or maybe she had a boyfreind which was a scientist and they found out and thats how she became a defective! Or... I don't know! I don't get out much and I'm Anti-social.........

4/20/2011 #22
iso ellameno perri

I like to think that the Irken Civilization has been delved into a huge melting pot of different cultures. such as that, their own planet is... gone. gone from what it once was [who knows how many] years before Zim was born. Part of that, culture exchange, new ideas and vocabulary would be formed. despite Irkens surpisingly short attention span, they are undoubtably smart. due to the help of their paks. with constant new vocabulary being imported into their systems, and when they go to repair or mark their Paks on their computers, it must be uploading into the entitled Irken Main Frame.

so Irkens all learn the language. and their prisoners/slaves/fellow aliens are forced to learn along with the language of the leading empire. so indeffinitly (based on my opinion) Zim has dowloaded the language. Zim undoubtable knows many languages. He comunicates with the humans consistently in his original tongue, irken. Irken may have the same words, but not the same meaning, due to having complete different experiances with the word. but just like anyone learning a new language, eventually figures out that new words are constantly created. so you cant really keep up with the fenomenal language. Zim probably does have a translating app in his Pak. but that would easily go into memory of the Pak, thus making it unneccessary to keep the translating app in constant full use.

10/9/2011 #23
iso ellameno perri

i can believe that too.

10/9/2011 #24
Evazia retiredinvader Irken

Ah yes, Irken language is quite complicated especially with the missing of the Y and Z in the original Irken alphabet.

4/4/2012 . Edited 4/4/2012 #25
StardustedSong
I'm not sure why, but I've always associated the Irken language with a kind of speech simalar to insects, with clicks, chirps, hums, and other noises. IDK.....
8/3/2012 #26
Mii-riam
In the episode Ten Minutes to Doom, Zim loses his PAK for 9.59 seconds and he could still understand everyone and vice versa. So I don't think he uses a translator, and IF he does, it isn't in his PAK.
9/3/2012 #27
Millie joe Armstrong
Hmm but the irken native language could be identical to English with different slang and etc. because zim says stuff like "monies" and "foodening" but they have a different written alphabet. That would explain why Dib doesn't have to translate the Tallests transmissions in the nightmare begins. If they spoke in a different language Dib wouldn't have been able to understand the Tallest's transmissions.
11/17/2013 #28
Millie joe Armstrong
Probably because of their physical form
11/17/2013 #29
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