tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Apr 12 10:48:42 1999

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Re: SuS tut

: QelHom jIH...

ja' DloraH:
> You may be a QelHom (I don't know you), but just in case you aren't aware,
> rachwI' is nurse.

: {rachwI'} Is that some reference to Nurse Ratchet from M*A*S*H?

I'm quite sure it is. <g>

> As long as you keep in mind that {rachwI'} is specifically someone who
> "strengthens, fortifies", then it's often the correct term to translate
> "nurse".  {QelHom} would more likely be the proper way to refer to a
> medical intern, but I can see it applying to a nurse who is acting as a
> physician's assistant.
: Yes, I'm aware of the word but being a nurse is so much more than someone
: fortifies.  Yes, nurses provide emotional support and TLC but I also give
: medications, write minor orders, perform minor invasive procedures, decide
: treatment methods, and so on and so on.  RNs in skilled care facilities
: without the presence of a doctor and therefore we are lawfully permitted
to do
: things that, if in a hospital, only a doctor could do.  Nurses aren't just
: Florence Nightengales any more.  We are that plus much more.  So while
: {rachwI'} is a nice term that portrays an important aspect of nursing, it
: doesn't begin to accurately portray what I do.  That's why I prefer

So do I.  K'ryntes, weren't you the one who asked Okrand on
startrek.klingon back in October about this?  The online discussion
actually prompted him to consult Maltz and respond.  Here's his post for
those interested in matters medical:

------------------- begin quoted post -------------------------

From: Marc Okrand <>
Newsgroups: startrek.klingon
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 
Subject: Re: Just curious...

Though there is no question that medical services are sometimes necessary,
Klingons have a feeling of uneasiness when it comes to anything associated
with medicine.  Furthermore, to a Klingon, finding oneself in need of the
care of a doctor is often considered a disgraceful state of affairs.      

Nevertheless, Klingon doctors do exist, as do various sorts of aides, but
the division of labor in Klingon hospitals, sick bays, and the like is not
quite parallel to that in the Federation.  As a result, the vocabulary
associated with medical practitioners is not quite parallel to its
Federation counterpart.

The general word for "doctor" or "physician" is /Qel/.  A doctor who
performs surgery is a /HaqwI'/ "surgeon."  The two terms are not mutually
exclusive; that is, the same individual may be referred to as both a /Qel/
and a /HaqwI'/.  It is reasonable to say /HaqwI' po' ghaH Qel'e'/ "the
doctor is a skilled surgeon" (/po'/ "be skilled,"  /ghaH/ "he/she," /-'e'/
topic suffix).

There is no single term for "nurse," as distinguished from "physician's
assistant."  Voragh's suggestions (/Qel boQ/ "doctor's aide," /HaqwI' boQ/
"surgeon's aide") are fine and both could be used.  Qov's suggestion,
/QelHom/, consisting of /Qel/ "doctor" plus the diminutive suffix /-Hom/,
is also an acceptable form (and is an excellent illustration of the
diminutive suffix -- the word means "not quite a doctor" or "lesser
doctor" or the like).

Another word sometimes applied to the person a Federation patient might
refer to as a "nurse" is /rachwI'/.  The verb /rach/ has been translated
variously as "invigorate,"  "fortify," and "strengthen."  Thus /rachwI'/
(/rach/ plus the suffix /-wI'/ "one who does") is an "invigorator,
fortifier, strengthener."  When used in reference to a person, the verb
/rach/ suggests an improvement in health;  when used in reference to an
inanimate object, say, a mechanical device or the hull of a ship, /rach/
also implies improvement or betterment.

/rach/ is to be distinguished from /tI'/ "repair" in two ways: (1) /tI'/
is generally not applied to living beings;  (2) /tI'/ suggests restoration
to a previous state, not necessarily improvement.  /rach/ is also to be
distinguished from /Dub/ "improve," which seems to be used primarily when
what is being enhanced is of a more abstract nature (as when one improves
or increases one's status, skill, understanding, etc.).   
------------------- end quoted post -------------------------

BTW: Note that Okrand's comment that {QelHom} 'means "not quite a doctor"
or "lesser doctor" or the like)' is in no way demeaning, but is merely
descriptive.  So far as we know, {-Hom} has no inherent pejorative
connotation, unlike diminutives in some Terran languages.  In context,
{QelHom} might also be translated as paramedic, field medic,
(acting/unofficial) medical officer, etc., and is what the Russians call a
*feldsher*, borrowed from German Feldscher "army-surgeon" (which itself be
a relic of the days when surgeons weren't MDs).

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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