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The Klingon Language Institute Forums Translation Requests Translating a single-sentence declaration

  • Translating a single-sentence declaration

    Posted by ktong on April 28, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    In our family chat last week, my father-in-law got wind that I know some Klingon words and asked how one would say, “I will break you into tiny atoms!”

    What I came up with is this:

    qaghorchoHmoHqu’ HeySelmey nu’qu’!

    Is that close?



    • This discussion was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  ktong. Reason: Typo - extra n in nu'qu'
    ktong replied 5 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • qurgh

    April 28, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    It’s a good start, but you aren’t quite across the finish line yet.

    Let’s start by breaking down qaghorchoHmoHqu’ HeySelmey nu’qu’.

    qaghorchoHmoHqu’I will really cause you to begin to break

    HeySelmey nu’qu’very tiny atoms

    You have two grammatical parts, but there’s nothing linking them together into one complete idea. You need another verb to go with the “tiny atoms” part. Something like this:

    SoHvaD HeySelmey nu’qu’ vImojmoHI will cause you to become very tiny atoms

    This can be simplified a bit using the “prefix trick” where the indirect object, the SoHvaD, gets put into the prefix, so we use qa- instead of vI-.

    HeySelmey nu’qu’ qamojmoH I will cause you to become very tiny atoms

    Then we need something to link this to the idea of breaking. For that we can add -meH to qamojmoH.

    HeySelmey nu’qu’ qamojmoHmeHIn order that I cause you to become very tiny atoms

    Now we just put that in front of the breaking, which we can simplify to

    qaghorI will break you

    Together we get

    HeySelmey nu’qu’ qamojmoHmeH qaghor

    This literally means In order to cause you to become very tiny atoms I will break you, but a less literal translation would be your original I will break you into very tiny atoms.

    You can learn more about -meH in the Purpose Clauses section of The Klingon Dictionary (https://hol.kag.org/page/Purpose_clauses.html)

  • ktong

    May 1, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    You honor me with your thorough, well-presented explanation. It spurred me to consider whether there was a verb that would combine “I will break you” and “to become.” “Transform” might do it, but it doesn’t seem violent enough and the idea of breaking might be so implicit that qaghor would still be required. If it is strong enough, then it seems -meH could be dropped, and we’d get (dropping -qu’ from nu’qu’ as redundant):

    HeySelmey nu’ qaghe’moH

    I think this would be I will cause you to transform into tiny atoms, but it lacks the explicit breaking. To keep the breaking:

    HeySelmey nu’ qaghe’moHmeH qaghor

    In order to cause you to transform into tiny atoms, I will break you or I will break you into tiny atoms

    Do you think the semantics of either one is better than the other or than using moj?

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  ktong. Reason: Fixed broken format codes
  • qurgh

    May 1, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    ghe’ isn’t a good choice.

    Okrand said this about ghe’:

    “It means “be transformed, transmuted, metamorphosed, totally altered.” In context, if someone said maS Daghe’moH’a’? (literally “Are you transforming a moon?”), this would be understood to mean “Are you terraforming a moon?””

    This means that HeySelmey nu’ qaghe’moH means something like I cause you to transform/terraform tiny atoms. There’s no idea of into in the sentence.

    HeySelmey nu’ qaghe’moHmeH qaghor would mean something like I break you in order that I cause you to transform tiny atoms.

    moj would be use for “transform into” too.

    • ktong

      May 1, 2022 at 8:27 pm

      Ah, I understand. moj it is.