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The Klingon Language Institute Forums Translation Requests Fact-checking for a forthcoming novel

  • Fact-checking for a forthcoming novel

    Posted by angiekim on December 26, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    I’m writing a novel with a mother who takes her 10 yr old daughter to the premiere of the opera ‘u’ in 2010. (She’s a linguistics PhD, was a summer intern for Marc Okrand, and helped edit the libretto for ‘u’.) The daughter says something funny and endearing to her during intermission, and I currently have this: Mom guffawed and said, “P’takh,” which means You are weird, and I was feeling insulted, but then she hugged me, so tight it hurt, and said, “bIDun. bangwI’ SoH,” which means But you are wonderful. And you are my loved one.

    Do “P’takh” and “bIDun. bangwI’ SoH” work in this context? Are there better phrases I could use? Thank you so much!

    angiekim replied 3 weeks, 1 day ago 2 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • qurgh

    Administrator
    December 29, 2022 at 1:05 pm
    po'wI'

    Here’s some facts that might help with making your story more realistic:

    Marc Okrand lives in the USA (DC area), while ‘u’ was only ever shown in the EU (so hopefully these folks are flying to EU to watch it after doing an internship with Okrand in the USA). Okrand has worked in closed captioning for several decades, so that’s what she would most likely have to do her internship in.

    The libretto for ‘u’/paq batlh was edited/proofread by KLI members at a couple of qep’a’mey. I was at one of them when it happened. As far as I know, no one outside of advanced KLI members helped with text, so the mother should also be a member of the KLI that attended the qep’a’ (and would most likely have passed all the KLCP tests in order to have the skills needed for Okrand to ask her to edit it). The second edition of the text was recently released and was also proofread/edited by KLI members (I helped out this time).

    P’takh is not a tlhIngan Hol word. If the mother said that, it would be obvious that she doesn’t know Klingon. I believe you’re thinking of petaQ, which is an insult that has no English meaning. There’s a fan-theory that because it has taQ in it, then it must have something to do with being weird, but Okrand has denied this meaning and said it’s just a coincidence (it’s like saying that “coincidences” have something to do with “coin”s and “den”s because those two words are in it).

    To say You are weird say bItaQ

    bIDun. bangwI’ SoH means You are wonderful/great. You are my loved one/beloved

    For the English But you are wonderful. And you are my loved one. you need to say ‘ach bIDun. ‘ej bangwI’ SoH.

    • angiekim

      Member
      January 5, 2023 at 10:42 am
      None

      This is so helpful! Thank you so much. And yes, the family in my novel lives in the DC area and went to Amsterdam for the premiere. This whole thing is a quick anecdote in a footnote in the novel, so I may not include all the details, but this is fascinating.

      For my acknowledgments section in the back thanking you, should I refer to you as qurgh?

    • angiekim

      Member
      January 7, 2023 at 6:01 pm
      None

      One other thing: about how many advanced members of KLI would there have been in 2010, before the premiere of ‘u’? Thank you so much again!

      • qurgh

        Administrator
        January 8, 2023 at 7:03 pm
        po'wI'

        Either qurgh or Chris Lipscombe is fine by me.

        In 2010, there were about 10 to 12 people who had passed the Level 3 Klingon Language Certification Test (the “Advanced” level), but I believe there were only about 6-7 people who were involved in helping with the ‘u’/paqbatlh review at the qep’a’.

        • angiekim

          Member
          January 10, 2023 at 7:30 pm
          None

          Thank you!!!

  • angiekim

    Member
    January 10, 2023 at 7:29 pm
    None

    Thank you so much!