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Worlds of Translation – Style Guide

Punctuation: direct quotes 

Guillemets « » mark directly quoted speech. Commas and periods are not used to separate quoted sentences from their verbs of speech. However, question marks and exclamation marks may be used in this context if required. Single guillemets ‹ › mark nested quotes. 

ja’ QeDpIn «ngal lungvam ghISDen.»          The communications officer said, “This lizard’s scales are chewy.” 

«qatlh targhwIj DaghIpDIjpu’?» jatlh ghorqon Qang.         “Why have you court-martialled my targ?” said Chancellor Gorkon. 

maq. «nuja’pu’ qeylIS ‹qa’lI’ quv yIpab› ‘e’ wIHar» jatlh.         “We believe Kahless told us, ‘Follow the honour in your spirit,’” he proclaimed. 

SummaryDirect quote – use guillemets. Quote within a quote – use single guillemets. Do not separate a quoted sentence from its verb of speech with a comma or period, but do use a question mark or exclamation point in this place if it is required. 

 

Proper nouns 

Names of Terran nations should be transliterated and rendered into Klingon phonology, using the native name of the country in the national or most widely-spoken language of that country. Do not use bold or italic type. 

pIjHa’ botlhwa’na’ luSuch qar’a’ tellarnganpu’?         Tellarites rarely visit Botswana, right? 

Proper nouns from non-existent or fictional cultures or places, if they are not meaningful in English, should also be transliterated and rendered into Klingon phonology. Do not use bold or italic type. 

‘omlaSvo’ yItbogh chaH vIghov.         I recognise the ones who walk away from Omelas. 

All other proper nouns should be retained in the appropriate orthographic form for the Terran culture to which they belong (appropriately romanised if natively written in a non-Roman script). Do not use bold or italic type. 

Norton voDleH HoHlaw’lI’ tarDIghaDwIj.         My tardigrade seems to be killing Emperor Norton. 

jungwoq choHchu’ rIntaH Máo Zédōng.         Mao Zedong clearly changed China irrevocably. 

vabDot QI’tomerDaq noylaw’ Björk bommey.         What’s more, Björk’s songs seem to be popular on Khitomer. 

SummaryTransliterate country names and meaningless fictional names; translate meaningful fictional names; preserve unchanged all other proper nouns. Do not use bold or italic type for any of these. 

 

Foreign phrases 

Place in italic type (including phrases in fictional languages, and English phrases when necessary), and otherwise leave intact. Do not capitalise foreign phrases at the beginning of a sentence. 

que sera sera Har tennuSnalwI’. My father’s sister’s husband believes que sera sera. 

vulqangan maw’moH plak tow ‘e’ QIj rachwI’.         The nurse explained that plak tow makes Vulcans crazy. 

ghuy’cha’, drooz lutIvqu’ba’ ‘omlaS ngan.         Damn, the inhabitants of Omelas really enjoy drooz. 

tlhIngan Do Qe’ nIv law’ Human fast food nIv puS.         A Klingon dok’e is better than human fast food. 

Summary: Foreign phrases in italics, and otherwise unchanged. 

 

Onomatopoeia and other untranslateable words 

Use bold type for all, and render in Klingon orthography (if not phonology) unless there is good reason to retain the original. 

ghoS wa’ HIvDuj, jentaHvIS, ‘ej ghbum!, loj Hoch.         One strike fighter comes in high, and boom!, everything is gone. 

jI’IjtaHvIS tagha’ SSSSSS chuSHa’ Qoylu’.         While I was listening, a quiet SSSSSS could finally be heard. 

Avoid the use of quotes for onomatopoeia unless the actual vocalisation of some animal is involved. 

«‘Imyagh‘Imyagh» ghoghtaH tI’qa’ vIghro’.         The tika cat kept saying, “‘Imyagh, ‘Imyagh”. 

Summary: Bold, in Klingon orthography if possible; do not place in quotes unless an actual vocalisation by an animal. 

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