tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Apr 17 11:18:17 2002

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Re: to' nech, 051-061

> From: "Sean M. Burke" <>
> > K: ra'mey motlh tIbuSHa'rup.
> > Gloss: Be prepared to ignore the usual orders
> > [I'm curious what people think of 0-nominalizing ra' like this, since I
> > don't see an attested noun for "order"; but I infer that it exists from
> > {ra'ghomquv}, since a verb being part of a noun compound like this is
> > something I don't think I've ever seen Klingon do; whereas it seems normal
> > if you infer that {ra'} is a noun.]
> You can't make this inference.  We often find nouns that are formed from
> non-noun components.  The most used example is probably /QongDaq/ "bed."
> There is no known noun /Qong/, but somehow the word /QongDaq/ has become
> lexicalized.

All this is good.

> If you want to nominalize a verb, there are two tools to do this: /-wI'/ and
> /-ghach/.  /-wI'/ isn't really appropriate here.  To use /-ghach/ correctly,
> you have to nominalize the verb with a verb suffix.  You don't really have
> any relevant suffixes to use here.
> It would be better if you didn't try nominalizing.  Try this on for size:
> motlh ra'lu' 'e' yIbuSHa'rup.

I'm not sure this is the best implementation of your good idea. I'd translate 
that as "Be prepared to ignore that he usually commands." I suspect that misses 
the mark, though the idea behind this shift does make sense. Meanwhile, as much 
as I promote the use of verbs over nouns, sometimes a synonym seems to work 

I might go more for something like:

Qu'Hom motlh tIbuSHa'rup.

It's not that you are advising someone to ignore that someone usually orders. 
It's that you are advising someone to ignore or abandon typical missions less 
important than a mission that interferes with the loyal execution of these less 
important matters. {Qu'} is a mission or task. What is an order if not that? 
Also, how more concise can we be in establishing a priority than to use the 
suffix {-Hom} to prove that the orders being ignored are relatively 
unimportant? To say that they are "usual" or "typical" is nicely descriptive, 
but less important than their priority, which is low.

> > K: 'oH neHlu''a'?
> > Gloss: Does anyone want it?
> > [correct syntax?]
> HIja'.  Note that this focuses on the wanting and the "it," whereas the
> English might be focusing on the "anyone" too.

If I were translating "Does anyone want it?" and I were looking for the answer 
to be "yes" or "no", then I'd say {Dochvam neHlu''a'?} or somesuch. Meanwhile, 
if the answer I was looking for was "I do! I do!", I'd prefer {Dochvam neH 'Iv?}

Is it that you want to know whether or not it is wanted, or is it that you want 
to identify who wants it? Klingon is apparently a little less messy than 
English in marking the difference between a "yes/no" question vs. other sorts 
of questions. The {-'a'} suffix is used for a yes/no question. {qar'a'?} is 
used for a yes/no question where the expected answer is "yes", and all those 
other question words are used when you want more information than just "yes" 
or "no".

For all we know, if someone asks you {'oH neHlu''a'?} and you answer {vIneH 
jIH!} you might be viewed by a Klingon like a politician who always ignores the 
question asked and answers with information for which he wasn't asked. This 
would likely inspire distrust.

> > K: yI'uchchu'!
> > Gloss: Grab it!
> How about:
> nom yIwoH!


> > K: beqvaD jo' yIlan.
> > Gloss: Replace a crewman with a machine.
> > [I'm unsure of the choice of verb, and of the argument structure.]
> I like the Klingon sentence here; it has a slightly different feel, but it
> seems to come out to the same thing as the gloss ultimately.

beq Qu' ta'laHDI' jo', tItam!

I'll admit that I feel awkward in using {tam}. I wish I had an example from 
canon to better describe its relationship to its subject and object(s).


beq Qu' ta'laHDI' jo', yIjom!

Sometimes, the right word just feels great.

> Without context, it's a little vague.  It's unclear whether the beneficiary
> (beq) actually benefits from the action, or is affected by it, or what.

{-vaD} also works to mark a simple indirect object, even if not what we would 
interpret to be a beneficiary. Okrand explains this in the addendum, if I 
remember correctly.

> > K: puS Qo'! Hoch!

{Qo'} is an exclammatory. It is a sentence unto itself and doesn't really fit 
well in any larger sentence structure.

> > Gloss: Not some!  ALL!
> > [My first attempt at clipped Klingon -- I'm not sure what one can do with
> > Qo' in clipped Klingon, or where it would go.]
> I wouldn't do it like this.  I don't think it works at all.  Try this:
> 'op?  Qo'!  Hoch!

This depends upon a similarity between Klingon and English that hasn't been 
fully established: Can you use vocal inflection alone to indicate a question? 
Likely, you can, just because all the actors in the movies speak English as 
their primary language, but it is a little presumptive. Since I don't know much 
about how Klingon handles sentence fragments, I'll stick with whole sentences 
when I can.

'op yIlajQo'! Hoch yItlhap!

> > K: yItammoHpu' 'ej yIruchqa'!
> > Gloss: Silence it, and proceed!

How can you command someone to have completed something? I think {-pu'} here 
breaks your sentence. I think that {-qa'} here adds a meaning that the original 
didn't state. How do we know that the advice is to resume anything? Perhaps you 
are starting from zero.
> I think the /-pu'/ is unnecessary here.  The /-qa'/ is not reqiured, but
> doesn't seem to hurt.
> I'd also suggest using /ghIq/, as this seems to be more of a sequence than
> just two sentences "and"ed together.

Definitely true.
> yItammoH; ghIq yIruchqa'!
> Silence it, then proceed!

So long as you are intentionally adding the meaning that you are resuming 
progress, eliminating the possibility that existed in the original that there 
was no progress interrupted by whatever wasn't silent, this is fine. Also, just 
know that the original English "proceed" may be applied to a process {ruch} or 
to motion {ghoS}, while you must choose between them in Klingon. This is a 
choice in translation you should make consciously, though we have no context 
here to make this clear.
> > K: bong QaghqoqlIj lo'laH.
> > Gloss: Your "mistake" is accidentally useable.
> You should use the indefinite subject here, but otherwise this is a good
> sentence.

Also, realize that {lo'laH} represents two homonyms. It can be the transitive 
verb {lo'} plus the suffix {-laH}, as SuStel is taking it, or it can be the 
stative verb root {lo'laH} meaning "be useful", which is equally useful in this 
translation, if you change the word order:

bong lo'laH QaghqoqlIj.

Okrand accidentally created this rare polysyllabic verb root when he used 
{lo'laH} as an adjective. He didn't want to allow {-laH} in general on 
adjectives, so he declared that {lo'laH} is a verb unto itself, backfitting yet 
another exception into the language.

> > K: pay' yIQaw' 'ej yIchargh!
> > Gloss: Destroy suddenly, then conquer!
> Again, use /ghIq/, especially here.
> pay' yIQaw'; ghIq yIchargh!

Odd advice, since conquering the dead is hardly an honorable activity.
> SuStel
> Stardate 2293.0


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