tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Feb 28 11:01:20 1994

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KBTP: Response, Jonah v2

Overall, ~mark has improved gargantually since his Jonah v1. As he admits, it
is much more naturally and smoothly flowing.

I do have some comments, in addition to Nick's. I'll leave any grammatical
mistakes to Krankor or yourself to find in a rereading or two. These are
comments on stylistics, based on how well I thought your words flowed and how
well I understood it.

> =1=joH'a' SoQ Hev *yona*, *'amItay* puqloD, 'ej ja'
I agree with Nick. I'm not so sure about these appositives. But, who's to
say, until _Okrand the Godqoq of tlhIngan Hol_ comes out and says anything
about it.

> =2=<<SuH yIHu'! *nInvey*Daq veng tInDaq yIghoS 'ej 'oHvaD yIjach
> mIghtaH chaH 'e' vItu'pu'mo' jIH.>>
Here your appositive is locative, the noun and its identifying appositive
both tack on {-Daq}. They agree with each other. This also happens in Latin
and maybe Greek (all free to correct me on that; I don't know Greek). But,
anyways, without proof of appositives in Hol, I can't say I like it

At the end of this first line, you wrote {'oHvaD yIjach}. It sounds like he's
speaking to the city. Why not say {nganDajvaD yIjach}. Oh, well.
One thing about that second line, it is a quote which God tells Jonah what to
say to the Ninevites. It translates "Tell them THAT I have observed their
evil." However, (as Nick has also pointed out before) Klingon doesn't seem to
have indirect quotes, and even if so, Okrand gives no word as to how to
distinguish one from the other. In a direct quote, the speaker mimicks
exactly what is being said. Since that second line is what God tells Jonah to
say to the Ninevites, I'd have translated it as: {chaHvaD yIjach <<SumIghtaH
tlhIH 'e' tu'pu'mo' joH'a'>>}. "Say to them, 'God has observed your evil.'"

> =5=Haj beq, 'ej joHpu'chajvaD jach Hoch,
I see your using {Haj} instead of that awkward {ghIjlu'}. maj, qanaD.
{joHpu'chajvaD jach Hoch} This is unusual. That {-chaj} on the object refers
to the subject {Hoch}. We don't know what it refers to until we hear the
subject. It's what one might call a reflexive possessive (which Klingon
doesn't really have). You probably shouldn't use a possessive
pronoun-suffix-type thing until you know what it is refering to. That's what
an ANTECEDENT is, something that comes BEFORE the pronoun. Now, don't get
into a frenzy. I know some languages do use some system of precedents, in
which the pronoun comes before the noun to which it refers. But I'm not sure
how these languages operate, and I don't think Klingon operates this way.

This deserves a bit more discussion, imesho. If I think about it I'll write
up something under a seperate subject for it later.

> chaq maHvaD belchoH joH, vaj maHeghbe'.>>
Your using two verbs without any sort of subordinate clause marker or
conjunction. {vaj} is not a conjuction, but an adverb. The English "so" often
serves to connect two sentences. "I lost my helmet so I went searching for
it." *{mIvwIj vIchIlpu' vaj vInejchoH} is illegit. It should use {-mo'} or

> 'ej nuq 'oH qorDu''a'lIj'e'?>>
I've long wondered whether a family (or in this case, a qorDu''a'/tribe?)
should be considered sentient or not. qorDu' is a collective unit of sentient
beings. So, why not {qorDu'lI'}.
This is a good time to express my opinion on what distinctions we should make
with this sentient/nonsentient noun business. 1st, I doubt that talking
computers would be called {De'wI'pu'}. Also, "my mute sister" probably would
not come out as {be'nI'wIj} (unless of course I was prepared to get into fist
fight with my mute sister over the derogatory reference.)
I believe the original definition of 'sentient nouns' in Hol was any noun
that refered to a Klingon. This definition held until Klingons came into
contact with beings from other planets. Then it was necessary to alter it to
fit any creature with which the Klingons had certain characteristics in
common. Klingon grammarians probably chose "ability to use language" as an
arbitrary indicator of what was sentient and what wasn't. And even this
definition is vague. Would for example Klingons consider humpback whales
sentient. I mean, they do have language. Even mongooses (mongeese?) have
language, albeit one with a 30-word vocabulary. But they do communicate with
each other. But refraining from any further philosophizing, I believe that
the definition of what's sentient is not as rigidly defined as "something
that can communicate to fellow members of its species."

Also: What's wrong with {qorDu''a'lI' nuq}? We have undeniable evidence on CK
that {nuq} can be used in this way, so why do some of us stubbornly stick to
the unnecessarily verbose {nuq 'oH ...-'e'}?

> =16=vaj joH'a' luHajqu' loD, 'ej joH'a'vaD nob lumeQ, 'ej 'Ipmey 'Ip.
Uh, oh. Here you've used {meQ} intransitively. However, I would wager that
{meQ} is intransitive since it can be used adjectivally, as heard on CK in
{Ha'DIbaHmey meQ}. I realize we still have no place to say whether SOME words
can be adjectives (like {tlha'} or {ba'} for example), but we know {meQ} can
be an adjective. However, due to some of the recent arguments over the
adjectival use of {pegh}, an unquestionably transitive verb, I will not make
any sort of stand as to whether you should have said {lumeQ} or {lumeQmoH}.
Personally, I'd choose the latter, tho I don't know why. Just seems better to
me, for some obscure reason.

Your usage of {bIQ'a' Ha'DIbaH tIn} reminds me of C.K.Ogden's Basic English,
which, like E-prime, is a modified form of English. It was designed to help
foreigners with English's large vocabulary, which Basic English reduced to
about 850 words. It was claimed that this could be just as expressive as the
30,000 words commonly used by native speakers of English. Needless to say,
Basic English was a total flop. Such words like "watermelon" would have to be
described by such convoluted constructions as "a green, egg-shaped fruit with
red stuff inside." But anyways, that's what "large oceanic animal" reminds me
of. Of course, nothing against you, ~mark. It's an excellent use of the
available resources, without any sort of word for "whale," or "shark," or
anything that might live under the ocean and be large enough to swallow a man
and then spit him up on the beach after 3 days.

> 'ej qaStaHvIS wej jaj wej ram je bIQ'a' Ha'DIbaH burghDaq ghaHtaH *yona*.
I don't think your using {jaj} quite correctly. {jaj} means the time period
from one dawn to the next. {pem} is the word you're probably looking for.
{qaStaHvIS wej pem wej ram je...}

> 'ach chIrghlIj quv vInejqa'taH
Whatever happened to the {-lI'} aspect marker. It's so rare on the list, for
some reason. In this case, the searching is done with a known purpose in
mind, so this is a good opportunity for the practically forgotten {-lI'}.

> =10='ach tlho' ghogh vIlo'taHvIS qatoy' jIH'e',
Try the purpose clause marker here. It sounds better, indicating a more
specific relationship between the two verbs.
{'ach qatoy'meH ghogh tlho' vIlo' jIH'e'}

>=11='ej bIQ'a' Ha'DIbaH ra' joH'a', vaj puHDaq *yona* SopHa'.
Here's another case of that double-verb problem. {vaj} just is not a
conjunction, sorry to say.

>wej jaj poQ lengDaj.
YES! Much better than the {wej jaj nI'..} construction of v1.

In 1.13, 3.8, and 3.10, you used {chegh'egh}. Why? I think {chegh} by itself
is more appropriate.

These are just some suggestions, only my opinions. You'll never be able to
make your translation perfect. You'll just have to make do with what you
think is right for now. And maybe in a number of years, someone will call for
a RAKV (Revised Authorized Klingon Version) Bible.

Guido#1, Leader of All Guidos

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