tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Feb 08 12:06:07 1999

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RE: It is by caffeine alone

jatlh Thornton:

> Some of you may have seen the following making its way around the net:
>    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
>    It is by the beans of java that thoughts acquire speed.
>    The hands acquire shaking.
>    The shaking becomes a warning.
>    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
> It's a play on the mentat warning chant from _Dune_ by Frank 
> Herbert. I liked it so much that I decided to try translating 
> into tlhIngan Hol, but I am having some trouble with it. Here is 
> what I have so far:
>    qa'vIn neH vIlo' yabwIj vIchu'meH.
>    (I use only caffeine in order to engage my mind.)

The <-meH> clause needs to go before the main clause, but the rest is good.
The use of <chu'> here is especially good.

yabwIj vIchu'meH qa'vIn neH vIlo'

Also consider this alternative:

yabwIj chu' qa'vIn neH.

>    - or -
>    qa'vIn neH vIlo' vIH yabwIj 'e' vItaghmeH.
>    (I use only caffeine in order to initiate that my mind moves.)

This is not so good. The <'e' vItaghmeH> doesn't work. Your mind doesn't
move - that's an English idiom that does not work at all in Klingon. Go with
the first version.

>    Do' luSuq qechmey 'e' luraD java qurghmey.
>    (The beans of java compell the thoughts to acquire speed.)

The <Do'> confused me - you mean <Do>. I would also suggest not putting
<-mey> on <qurgh>. The rest is fine, but here are a couple of alternatives:

qechmey moDmoH java qurgh
qechmey chungmoH java qurgh

>    nom vIHchoH ghopmey.
>    (The hands begin moving quickly.)

The plural of <ghop> should be <-Du'>. Another suggestion:

Qom ghopDu'.

>    qI' 'oH vIHtaHghach'e'.
>    (The movement is a warning.)

<qI'> is "sign (a treaty) (v)", so it doesn't work here. This one is a bit
tough. You should probably avoid anything with <-ghach> here, but without
it, there is no  really simple translation I can think of. In general, when
you have an English sentence with lots of verbs acting like nouns, when you
translate it, you should let them act like verbs. Here's my attempt:

ghuHchoHmoH Qombogh ghopDu'.

Beginners' Grammarian

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