Sheldon Says Vulcan in Spock Resonance: Meaning?

Here’s what Sheldon says in Vulcan in the Spock Resonance episode of the Big Bang Theory:

Sheldon says two Vulcan phrases to Penny in this episode. The first is Kup-fun-tor ha’kiv na’ish du stau, and the second is ponfo mirann.

They mean “Can you return life to what you kill?” and “Go to hell” respectively.

They are both part of the same conversation where Sheldon commits to propose to Amy.

So if you want to learn all about what Sheldon’s Vulcan phrases mean in English, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Sheldon Says Vulcan in Spock Resonance: Meaning? (2 Phrases)

What Exactly Does Sheldon Say?

Sheldon ultimately says two phrases to Penny in Vulcan.

Those phrases are “Kup-fun-tor ha’kiv na’ish du stau?” and “ponfo mirann.”

Perhaps it’s best to include the full dialogue for a little more context.

Here’s how the conversation breaks down in the episode: 

Sheldon: Well, there’s no point dwelling on it. As the Vulcans say:Kup-fun-tor ha’kiv na’ish du stau?

Penny: Do you know what that means?

Leonard: No.

Penny: Are you telling me the truth?

Leonard: Nirsh.

Sheldon: Well, this is ridiculous. Being upset about Amy all the time isn’t accomplishing anything. If I want to resolve this situation, then I’m going to take action.

Penny: What are you going to do?

Sheldon: I’m going to find her and ask her to marry me. If she says yes, we can put this behind us and resume our relationship. And if she says no….well then she can just ponfo mirann.

Leonard: He didn’t mean that.

What Does the Vulcan Phrases Mean in English?

Now you can see how the conversation goes, but what does it mean?

What exactly is Sheldon saying (and what is Leonard saying, for that matter)?

Here’s the same dialogue again, but this time the Vulcan phrases are replaced with their English translations:

Sheldon: Well, there’s no point dwelling on it. As the Vulcans say: Can you return life to what you kill?

Penny: Do you know what that means?

Leonard: No.

Penny: Are you telling me the truth?

Leonard: No.

Sheldon: Well, this is ridiculous. Being upset about Amy all the time isn’t accomplishing anything. If I want to resolve this situation, then I’m going to take action.

Penny: What are you going to do?

Sheldon: I’m going to find her and ask her to marry me. If she says yes, we can put this behind us and resume our relationship. And if she says no….well then she can just go to hell.

Leonard: He didn’t mean that.

Hopefully, the conversation plus the context and translation are enough to make it all clear.

Sheldon is in a strong emotional state, and this is actually a major point in the show’s run.

I’ll explain the deeper context around this conversation in the next section, but you can see that Sheldon is abandoning any pretense of being emotionless and commits to one of the biggest decisions of his life.

What Is the Spock Resonance Episode All About?

“The Spock Resonance” is the seventh episode of the ninth season.

So if you want to find it and watch it yourself, you have that shortcut.

Also, at the time of this writing, it’s available on the HBO streaming service. 

If you don’t want to watch it for yourself, then I’ll give you a full breakdown of the episode as it relates to this conversation.

You’ll notice that several key characters aren’t included.

That’s because they’re following a different plot line throughout the episode.

At the start of the episode, Amy and Sheldon are no longer a couple, as she broke up with him previously.

Wil Wheaton has asked Sheldon to work with him and the son of Leonard Nimoy (Adam Nimoy) on a documentary about Spock.

In the pursuit of filming an interview with Sheldon about the character and what he means to Sheldon, some ideas are explored.

Eventually, the conversation leads to Sheldon’s most prized possessions.

For those who are fans of the show, you might remember that Penny gave Sheldon a napkin that was signed by Leonard Nimoy in the first season.

At this point in “The Spock Resonance,” we find that Sheldon has a secret wall safe where he keeps the napkin.

In fact, he has a whole lockbox in that safe, and he pulls it out.

He reveals the napkin, but the people in the room end up asking about other items in the box.

They include a Wil Wheaton action figure and Sheldon’s written will.

There is also a ring box.

When Penny presses Sheldon about the box, he explains that it is an engagement ring and a family heirloom.

He drops the bombshell news that he was planning to propose to Amy before they split up.

This takes the conversation in a very different direction where Sheldon assures everyone that he isn’t upset over the breakup.

Eventually, the interview resumes, and Sheldon explains how Spock’s character offered him solitude throughout his life.

Sheldon often asked himself what Spock would do in a given situation, and that reflex offered him chances to reject emotional responses and stay rational.

At this point, Penny interjects and points out how Sheldon is in fact as emotional as everyone else.

The conversation devolves, and Sheldon leaves the room after an outburst.

All of this sets up the scene with the Vulcan conversation.

After some time, Sheldon returns to the living room and apologizes for his outburst.

He then decides that there is in fact a logical way to deal with his breakup with Amy.

The quoted conversation happens, and Sheldon leaves in a huff.

Concluding the Scene

Skipping the entire other plotline, the show moves to a final scene where Sheldon is outside of Amy’s apartment, determined to propose to her.

As he waits, he sees her approach the door with another man.

She and the man kiss.

Assuming the worst, Sheldon leaves without proposing to Amy, and at this point, she has no idea that he ever had a ring or any intent to propose.

For those who are attached to the characters and want a stronger conclusion but haven’t seen the show, here’s the major spoiler.

In a later episode, Sheldon decides that he absolutely must propose to Amy, and he does.

She says yes, and after some time being engaged, the two ultimately are married.

They remain married through the show’s conclusion.