tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 15 20:07:03 1994

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Re: Help, please

>>> Do you still try to stuff these into the law' puS construction?  It seems to
>>>  that to do so would not only make these phrases unneccessarily cumbersome, 
>>> would fail to translate the *meaning*.  Please help.
>>> KoSneH

Let's try to remember the relative notion of 'cumbersome'.  law'/puS
constructions in general often seem cumbersome to tera'nganpu'--
that doesn't make them wrong.  To a Klingon, *much* of English is
cumbersome-- how do you think he feels upon learning that for a
simple "pawDI' maSopchoH" he must do this long thing of "We will
begin eating as soon as he arrives."  Now *that's* cumbersome!  So I
say, if there's one or two things that are more unwieldy in Klingon
than in English, we're still *way* ahead of the game.  I think we
often get spoiled by Klingon's compact elegance.

>>I do not see the comparation of two different qualities.
>>You use 'good/better' in all three cases. I am not sure about my grammar
>>(pabpo'pu' yIQaH!) but I believe it would come out as
>You mean, "pappo'pu', HIQaH"?  As it is, you have "help the grammarians!"
>which we appreciate, but doesn't fit the context too well.

Not necessarily.  While pabpo'pu' yIQaH could mean "help the
grammarians", we have enough context to clearly eliminate that
choice.  I didn't think for an instant that he meant that.  Now, the
truth is, neither the comma nor an object on QaH are necessary.  He
is certainly within his rights to have that first noun there as an
addressee, not an object (5.6, page 58), and there is no reason that
he couldn't just mean "Help!", not "Help me!".

HOWEVER:  There *is* one small bug in it.  Because he is clearly
addressing multiple people (by dint of pabpo'*pu'*), he must use the
plural version of the imperative prefix.  This is something people
VERY often forget, because the imperative prefixes are almost
identical for singular or plural commandee.  The ONLY difference is
in the no-object case-- but that is the case that we have here.
Thus, it should be:

pabpo'pu' peQaH!

>>Heghta'ghach QaQ law' toy'taHghach'a' QaQ puS.
>>   (death is better than slavery)
>>   (I hate those -ghach-es. Anybody know a better way out? I'd love to
>>	   hear it)
>Well, remember, "Hegh" is a noun by itself, so you can replace at list the
>first one with just "Hegh".  I don't like them either, frankly.  Can we put
>"-DI'" clauses in law'/puS constructions?  Probably.  I'm not sure I can
>make something nice using those either...

Boy, everybody picks on poor -ghach.  -ghach is your friend!  It's
wonderful, flexible, and powerful!  I think people are just
prejudiced against it because it *looks* long and cumbersome when
you write it out in the roman letters.  Let's remember, -ghach is no
bigger or more cumbersome a suffix than -wI'.  They both are 3
letters in Klingon.


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