tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 30 13:11:39 2002

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Re: Translation needed

Marc wrote:
>So, my first question is this: Is it possible to translate the following
>sentence into klingon (it doesn't need to be translated literally, perhaps
>it's possible to give more than one possible translations):
>   "To forgive and to forget means to be free"
>I know there is no "to be" in klingon. Maybe "Freedom means to forgive and
>to forget" is also possible?  [....]  Here's my first try:
>Maybe "Freedom means to forgive and to forget"
>   noDbe' je lIj (???) tlhab

First, {noDbe'} and {lIj} are verbs, not nouns, so you can't link them with 

Second, you've already discovered that Klingon doesn't have a word for 
"forgive" (so far as we know).  The Klingon Bible Translation Project once 
suggested *{noDHa'}, based on the verb {noD} "retaliate, seek 
revenge".  But you can also use {noDbe'} which actually appears in Klingon 

   batlh Heghlu'chugh noDnISbe' vay'
   An honorable death requires no vengeance. TKW
   ("If one dies honorably, someone does not need to retaliate."]

   cheQIHchugh manoDbe''a'?
   "Wrong us, shall we not seek revenge?" TKW

Next, rephrase your sentence into a Klingon pattern that you can translate:

    tlhablu'meH, noDbe'nIslu' 'ej lIjnISlu'.
   "In order for one to be free, one must not retaliate and one must forget."

using the indefinite subject {-lu'}.  Or, somewhat more direct:

    bItlhabmeH, bInoDbe'nIs 'ej bIlIjnIS.
   "In order for you to be free, you must not retaliate and you must forget."

Even more direct is the imperative:

    bItlhabchugh, (vaj) yInoDQo' 'ej yIlIj!
   "If you want to be free, (then) do not retaliate and forget!

Finally, to make it more euphonious you might say {qawbe'} "not remember" 
instead of {lIj} "forget":

    tlhablu'meH, noDbe'nISlu' 'ej qawbe'nISlu'.
   "In order for one to be free, one needs to not retaliate and to not 

    bItlhabmeH, bInoDbe'nIS 'ej bIqawbe'nIS.
   "In order for you to be free, you need to not retaliate and to not 

    bItlhabchugh, (vaj) yInoDQo' 'ej yIqawQo'!
   "If you want to be free, (then) don't retaliate and don't remember!"

which allows you to render the effect of the English alliteration "forgive 
and forget" by a bit of parallelism and end rhyme.

I'm sure others will have their own suggestions.


Voragh                            "Damage control is easy. Reading 
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons      hard!"         (Montgomery Scott to 
Kirk, STIV)

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