tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 01 10:51:41 2002

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Re: KLBC: Klingon distress call (updated)

> > > > maH nuHIvtaH jagh. maHegh 'ach DIrIQ. HIchol 'ej tIHIv! bortaS
> > > > ghonobHa'!
> >
> >"The enemy is attacking US. We are dead, but we be injured them. [Okay, so if
> >you are dead, who sent this message, and if you are dead, why does the enemy
> >continue to attack?] Come closer and attack them! Ungive us revenge!"
> Don't forget that Klingon has no tense.  "We will die" is a perfectly valid 
> translation of maHegh. 

While I agree, it is much easier to understand if preceeded by some sort of 
time stamp, like {tugh} or {pIq}, especially when it is bound by a contraction 
to something that one presumes is past. Does he mean "We will die, but we will 
injure them"? I still think it is foolish for us to be arguing about this when 
we have never seen an English translation from the original poster of the 

> I'd kind of expect nuHIvlI' jagh under that 
> circumstance, but perhaps they don't appear to be attacking with any sort 
> of purpose.
> Canon attests to "give back" as a translation of nobHa'. 

I'm pretty sure it means "take back", not "give back". To "ungive" is to take, 
not to give back.

> I'm not sure I've 
> seen the prefix trick used with an imperative, but the structure is correct 
> for the prefix trick.
> taj qanob - I give you the knife
> taj qanobHa' - I give you back the knife

"I take back the knife." I gave it to you and now I'm ungiving it.

> taj HInobHa' - give me back the knife

"Take back the knife [from me, to whom you gave it at an earlier time]."

> bortaS ghonobHa' - give us back revenge

"Take back revenge [from us, to whom you gave it at an earlier time]." I don't 
see this as working here. I think this was originally an error extended now by 
your misinterpretation of {-Ha'}.
> Or maybe "Rend undo us vengeance."  You've got to bear in mind that the guy 
> sending this Sotlaw has multiple sucking chest wounds, and his hair is on 
> fire.  I do tend to agree with charghwI' when he says:

That's {Sotlaw'}. Everyone has been misspelling it up to this point.

> > > >bortaS ghonobHa'
> > >
> > > This implies that they will be taking back what they
> > > presumably have given.
> It at least sounds like they are asking for something they've had before to 
> be returned.  So perhaps: bortaSmaj yISuq.

No. You are "undoing the action of giving", not "undoing the action of taking". 
There is a difference.

> > > And this brings up the question, what do we do with revenge?  Do we tlhap,
> > > baj, jon, ta', chav, nob, jab, etc.?
> I feel like answering this one with HISlaH!  Why not?  English has a few 
> nouns that prefer particular verbs (practise agriculture/law/medicine, 
> transact business) but it isn't wrong or ugly to attempt, work at, serve 
> in, or do those things.  There is evidence (qI', cha', laQ) that Klingon 
> has cliched verbs for particular nouns, but I'm not going to let that stop 
> anyone from nej-ing, quch-ing, nor poQ-ing revenge.
I seem to remember {Suq} being used and having that feel right. I'm not sure if 
it is canon or just somebody's well-chosen word. 


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