The translation process for Zirka involves first deconstructing the words to be translated into their most basic pronunciations
in the originating language, then converting the “pronounced” text into Zirka based on the codex. This
means that while it originates from English, Zirka can technically be translated to mask many different languages, as long as that
language is first pronounced into English/Roman characters. If you choose to mask any language with Zirka,
it is recommended that you remain consistent and always use the same language to translate into Zirka for the sake
of re-translation later on.
Key: Letter Family (IPA pronunciations in family) ⇒ Zirka character /Zirka
A ( /a/, /æ/, /ɑ/, etc.) ⇒ U /u/
Ai ( /ai/, /aj/ ) ⇒ Ua /ua/
B ( /b/ ) ⇒ K /k/
Br ( /bɹ/, /bɻ/ ) ⇒ Ks /ks/
Ch ( /t͡ʃ/ ) ⇒ Th /ð/
D ( /d/ ) ⇒ B /b/
Dr ( /dɹ/, /dɻ/ ) ⇒ Bis /bɪs/
E ( /e/, /ɛ/, /ɜ/, etc. ) ⇒ O /o/
F ( /f/ ) ⇒ Sh /ʃ/
Fl ( /fl/ ) ⇒ Shr /ʃɹ/
Fr ( /fɹ/, /fɻ/ ) ⇒ Z /z/
G ( /g/ ) ⇒ P /p/
Gr ( /gɹ/, /gɻ/ ) ⇒ Pas /pæs/
H ( /h/ ) ⇒ N /n/
I ( /i/, /ɪ/ ) ⇒ A /a/
K ( /k/ ) ⇒ T /t/
Kr ( /kɹ/, /kɻ/ ) ⇒ Ts /t͡s/
L ( /l/ ) ⇒ R /ɾ/
M ( /m/ ) ⇒ D /d/
N ( /n/ ) ⇒ F /f/
O ( /o/, /ɔ/ ) ⇒ E /e/
P ( /p/ ) ⇒ M /m/
Pr ( /pɹ/, /pɻ/ ) ⇒ Mus /məs/
R ( /ɹ/, /ɻ/ ) ⇒ S /s/
S ( /s/ ) ⇒ L /l/
Sh ( /ʃ/ ) ⇒ Kl /kl/
Sk ( /sk/ ) ⇒ Lat /lat/
Sl ( /sl/ ) ⇒ Lr /lɞɾ/
Sm ( /sm/ ) ⇒ Led /lɛd/
Sn ( /sm/ ) ⇒ Luf /ləf/
Sp ( /sp/ ) ⇒ Lum /ləm/
St ( /st/ ) ⇒ Lag /lag/
Sw ( /sw/ ) ⇒ Luv /ləv/
T ( /t/ ) ⇒ G /g/
Th ( /θ/, /ð/ ) ⇒ J /d͡ʒ/
Tr ( /tɹ/ ) ⇒ Gis /gɪs/
Tw ( /tw/ ) ⇒ Giv /gɪv/
U ( /u/, /ə/, /ʌ/, /ɞ/, etc.) ⇒ I /i/
V/W ( /v/ or /w/ ) ⇒ V /v/
Y ( /j/ ) ⇒ Ch /t͡ʃ/
J/Z ( /d͡ʒ/ or /z/ ) ⇒ W /w/
Note: Word examples in this usage guide are written in the following format: Original Word ⇒
Pronunciation of Word [IPA] ⇒ Word Prepared for Translation (if necessary) ⇒ ZIRKA WORD (“Zirka
Zirka Grammar is simplified for ease of use, but some of these simplifications may initially lead to some confusion.
If you pay attention to the basic rules and try to bend your thinking to a mindset of “simplicity,” then
it should be pretty easy to get the hang of after some practice.
Zirka is written right-to-left.
Basic sentence structure follows English rules (Subject Verb Object). You can alternatively follow the sentence structure of your source language; just be sure to be
consistent to avoid confusion!
For translation purposes, vowels are interpreted based on the pronunciation of the vowel. In a word like
“sheep” [ʃip], the vowel is pronounced “ee” ( /i/ ), so you would use an “i” in
your staging writing like so: “ship”.
If a vowel pronunciation does not work this way, interpret it based on its vowel “family”. For
example, “ship” [ʃɪp] would be staged as “ship” because /ɪ/ is considered to be in the
/i/ “family”. As you can see, this means that the words “ship” and
“sheep” are spelled the same. This is fine and should hopefully be understandable based on the
word’s context in a sentence: “The ship grazed in the field” vs. “The sheep was
broken apart by the waves.”
Consecutive consonants (i.e. CC) are always separated into separate syllables. This only applies to consecutives
of Zirka consonants listed above, not the romanization of the letters, which sometimes contains 2 Roman characters.
Consecutive vowels (i.e. VV), however, are always separated by a glottal stop /ʔ/ (a short, unpronounced “break”
in the pronunciation, typically pronounced as either an extremely short exhale or nothing at all and indicated by an
apostrophe [ ’ ] ). This only applies to consecutives of Zirka vowels listed above, not the romanization of
the letters, which sometimes contains 2 Roman characters.
The only article used is the definite “the.” A and An are implied if there is no “the” specified.
Plurals are simply the singular form of the word with “es” attached to the end during the translation phase.
Third-person pronouns referring to a living/gendered object are ungendered, and they utilize both gendered pronouns
in English together to demonstrate this neutrality. The singular subject pronoun is “she” [ʃi] and the
singular object pronoun is “him” [hɪm]:
he did it = “she did it” ⇒ she do then it [ʃi du ðɛn ɪt] ⇒ shi du then
it ⇒ shi du then it (shi du then
this is for her = “this is for him” ⇒ this be for him [ðɪs bi fɔɹ hɪm] ⇒
this bi for him ⇒ this bi for him (this bi for him)
Inanimate/ungendered objects still use “it,” and plural pronouns follow the plural rules above:
We = “I-es” [ai-es] ⇒ ai'es ⇒ aies
Us = “me-es” [mi-es] ⇒ mi'es ⇒ mies
You all = “you-es” [yu-es] ⇒ yu'es ⇒ yues (yues)
They = “she-es” [ʃi-es] ⇒ shi'es ⇒ shies (shies)
Them = “him-es” [hɪm-es] ⇒ himes ⇒ himes (himes)
Possessive form is indicated with the use of the word “of”:
The mayor’s house = The house of the mayor [(the) hows ʊv (the) me-jœɹ] ⇒ The hows uv
the meyur ⇒ the hows uv the meyur (the
hows uv the meyur)
A carpenter’s shop = The shop of carpenter [(the) ʃap ʊv kɑɹ-pɛn-tœɹ] ⇒ The shap uv
karpentur ⇒ the shap uv karpentur (the
shap uv karpentur)
Its den = The den of it [(the) dɛn ʊv ɪt] ⇒ The den uv it ⇒ the den uv it (the den uv
Your friend = The friend of you [(the) fɹɛnd ʊv yu] ⇒ The frend uv yu ⇒ the frend uv yu (the frend uv yu)
If the owned item in quesiton is one of many, then simply leave off “the” to specify the indefinite article.
Quotations are begun with a colon ( : ) and ended by context, for example:
John said, “Hello!” = John said: Hello! ⇒ John say then: Helo! [d͡ʒɑn se ðɛn hɛlo]
→ Jan se then: Helo! ⇒ jon say then: helo! (jon say then: helo!)
The sign read “Welcome” = The sign read: Welcome [ðe sain rɛd welkum] → The sain red: Welkum
⇒ the sain red: welkum (the sain red: welkum)
There are several cases that allow you to transform one part of speech into another.
You can turn any adjective into a noun form by adding “ar” to the end of the adjective if it ends in a
consonant or “kar” if it ends in a vowel:
cleverar → klevur [klɛ-vɞr] → klevurar ⇒ klevurar (klevurar), a clever one
blue → blu [blu] → blukar ⇒ blukar (blukar), a blue one
ancient → enshent [en-ʃɛnt] → enshentar ⇒ enshentar (enshentar), an ancient one
You can specify “the study/art of” something by adding “ti” to the end of the word, in the
same way as English uses “-ology”:
brain → bren [bren] ⇒ brenti ⇒ brenti (brenti), the study of the brain
war → wor [wɔɹ] ⇒ worti ⇒ worti (worti), the art/study of war
biology ⇒ bioti → baioti [bai-o-ti] ⇒ baioti (baioti), the study of life It is not completely necessary to
replace every instance of “-ology” with “ti”, but it serves to make Zirka stand more
on its own.
“Nounified” adjectives that express a concept or feeling or do not refer specifically to an object
(words like “happiness,” “anger,” “fear,” or “friendliness”) should
instead take the adjective form of the word and add “dom” to the end while translating. Even though
“dom” is pronounced “dum” [dəm] in most words with the suffix, always use “dom”
during the translation-by-pronunciation phase. Note below: the adjective form of “fear” is
“fearful”. Always be aware of these little distinctions of language.
Words ending in “-ing” that are not verbs (eg. “running” or “boring”) should
drop the “n” and simply end in “-ig” instead. Sometimes it’s hard to tell a
gerund (a noun ending in “-ing”) from a progressive verb. They are treated quite differently in
Zirka, so as a rule of thumb remember that a gerund is a thing (the activity “running”, i.e.
“I love running”) and a progressive verb is an action (“I am running
Verbs have no conjugations and tense is specified by a separate time-identifying word. Instead, always use the root
verb of the language you are translating from (i.e. the infinitive form excluding “to”):
She be good.
I run yesterday.
You pass tomorrow.
If there is no specific amount of time to specify like “yesterday,” “tomorrow,” “5
years ago,” etc., you can use the general indication word “then” placed before or after the verb to
I ran (past tense) = I run then
You will run (future tense) = You then run
If you need to use the infinitive form of a verb, simply exclude the word “to” and continue as normal:
I’m trying to tie a knot. = I now try tie knot.
We need to decide what to bring. = We need decide what bring.
Imperative sentences are usually short and to the point. To write a command, simply add “do” before
whatever the verb clause is:
Run! = Do run!
Attack him. = Do attack him.
Try to be good. = Do try be good.
Throughout this guide, there’s been a progression shown moving from the original English word, to how that word
is pronounced, so any additional changes that need to be made before transitioning into spelling the word in Zirka
characters. This is the typical process to use for translating from the original language to Zirka, but as you use it
more, you may find more efficient methods of writing. As long as you remain consistent in your grammar, whatever works
best for you is ideal.
For an in-depth (though a bit outdated) walkthrough of my process for translating from English to Zirka, you can see
my tutorial video that runs
through my process from start to finish.
If your pronunciation of a word does not match either what is written in this guide or what is written by someone else,
then the perfectly valid excuse for such a disconnect is varying dialects. Zirka has many different use cases, and it
is only to be expected that different uses throughout the universe would result in different pronunciations of the same
words. It happens in natural langauge, and it happens in Zirka as well.
Those are all the basics! If any cases come up that are not covered or easily interpreted through these rules, let me
know at the Zirka blog and I will either determine what should be written instead of
the problem-causing phrase or update the grammar to solve the problem if it is important enough to fix.