tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jan 25 14:22:32 1999

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Re: English to Klingon Translation Question

Donald Slaunwhite wrote:

: I'm trying to translate the name "4Runner" as in a Toyota 4Runner into
: From what I can tell the verb run is "qet" and with the suffix "-wI" to make
the noun "qetwl" 
: for runner.  The number 4 is "los" and so the whole word would be

Capitalization is important in Klingon:  the number 4 is {loS}.  The verb
suffix {-wI'} "one who does something" has a carefully enunciated
apostrophe at
the end.  All together this becomes {loSqetwI'}.
: Does this sound right? What I'm wondering is that the number 4 is not really
meant in the 
: counting sense and so I'm not sure if the "los" should precede or follow the

I agree that "4Runner" is probably a clever spelling for English "fore-runner"
(cf. Klingon {leSSov} "foresight"), which we can translate literally as
qetwI'} "one who runs in the fore(ward part of a ship)" -- i.e. {'et} "fore"
vs. {'o'] "aft" in the nautical sense -- or even better as {tlhopDaq qetwI'}
"one who runs (in the area) in front" using the noun {tlhop} "area in front
from Klingon for the Galactic Traveller.  Another option might be to
{qetbogh loD} "a running man" for {qetwI'} as an allusion to the well-known
Klingon proverb:

 qaStaHvIS wa' ram loS SaD Hugh SIjlaH qetbogh loD 
 4,000 throats may be cut in one night by a running man.  (TKD)

... but since we're talking about a vehicle here, not a person, this doesn't
really work.  Another Klingon saying about running is:

 ghIj qet jaghmeyjaj
 May your enemies run with fear! 

Which is the ancient, traditional {no' Hol} acceptance upon being asked to
serve as someone's {cha'DIch} in a duel (TNG "Sins of the Father").   In
"modern" Klingon, this becomes:

 jaghmeylI' DaghIjjaj, qetjaj jaghmeylI'
 May you scare your enemies, may your enemies run.  (TKW) 

As all of these are somewhat clumsy as a name, I'd just stick with {4qetwI'}
using the Arabic numeral, which you could pronounce as {loSqetwI'} -- or even
{'etqetwI'} or {tlhopqetwI'} -- as a sort of bilingual pun.  Come to think of
it, {4qetwI'} would make a clever licence plate for your Toyota.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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