tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jan 05 08:57:01 1999

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Re: My old neighbor

: Voragh jang charghwI':
: >>  poH nI' jupwI' ghaH matlh Qup'e'
: >>  Young Maltz is my long-time friend.
: >
: >I don't see the grammmatical function of {poH} here. Are you
: >using a noun-noun here? poH jupwI'? That doesn't really make
: >much sense. Meanwhile, without some sort of Type 5 suffix, {poH}
: >doesn't have a reason to be here. If you are going to go this
: >far out, I think you have to go even farther.
: > qaStaHvIS poH nI' jupwI' ghaH matlh Qup'e'.
: >I don't think that our English idiom "long time friend" can be
: >directly translated, word for word into Klingon as you have
: >apparently done.
: Voragh's {poH nI' jupwI'} has a parallel in {lo' law' lojmIt}
: from the Bird-of-Prey poster.  I saw his intended grammatical
: usage immediately, and I don't [he wrote, with only a *very*
: small amount of trepidation] have a problem with it.  (It's a
: close analog of {cha'vatlh ben HIq} too, but not close enough
: to make a useful argument.)
: -- ghunchu'wI'

Okrand cited the phrase {poH nI'} "a long time" in KGT p.121 as a less
imaginative alternative to the well-known idiom {wa'maH cha' pemmey wa'maH
rammey je} "twelve days and twelve nights" from the Kahless myth. 
Unfortunately, I don't believe he used either of them in a sentence.

While it may or may not be idiomatic, I imagine {poH nI' jupwI'} "my friend of
a long time" would, at least, be understandable said by an alien.  The whole
point of this thread was that we *don't* know yet how Klingons refer to an
friend" vs. an "elderly friend", if in fact they make this distinction.  For
all we know, Klingons may well say colloquially *{jupwI' tIQ} "my ancient
friend" for one or the other.   And before charghwI' complains again, I'm
aware {tIQ} was used just once to refer to an object:

 nejwI' tIQ 'oH. 
 [It's] A probe of ancient origin.  (ST5)

Idioms are by their very nature unpredictable.  Some are actually
understandable when translated.  What's a tired cliche in one language may
sound fresh or witty to speakers of another.  But while we're waiting for
to enlighten us, we have to make do.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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