tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Feb 01 14:11:43 2002

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Re: question about names?

T'Anna Kirk asked:
:                   Now I have a question on proper
: Nouns.  Other than the names that are provided in
: TKD,How would we translate them.  Do they continue to
: be the name that it is in English.  Such as the name
: for countries, cities, names, planets, etc...

1) If by translate, you mean transliterate - i.e. writing them using TKD's
system of Roman letters for tlhIngan Hol - Marc Okrand has provided a few
examples of transliterated human names:

barbara' ma'rIch    Barbara March ("Lursa") (STCom)
ghuwI'nItlh wa'lIS  Gwynyth Walsh ("B'Etor") (STCom)
jan qalI'qoS        John Colicos ("Kor") (STCom)
mayqel 'anSa'ra     Michael Ansara ("Kang") (STCom)
mayqel Do'rIn       Michael Dorn ("Worf") (STCom)
rabe'rIt 'o'raylIy  Robert O'Reilly ("Gowron") (STCom)
raqSan bIQ-DawSon   Roxann Biggs-Dawson ("B'Ellana") (STCom)
bIl jo'rIj          Bill George (KBoP)
nIylo roDIS         Nilo Rodis (KBoP)
Day joH             Lady Di (RT)
janluq pIqarD       Jean-Luc Picard (S25)
jemS tIy qIrq       James T. Kirk (MO's ST5 notes)

... the names of two plays by Shakespeare:

HenrI' vagh                 Henry V (KGT)
'antonI' tlhI'yopatra' je   Anthony and Cleopatra (KGT)

... a Terran ship name:

'entepray'          Enterprise (S15, et al.)

... a Russian word (not a proper name, though):

ghIlaSnoS           glasnost' (TKW 186)

... and a whole slew of Trek planet names:

Doy'yuS             Troyius (TKD)
lIghon              Ligon (KGT)
nImbuS wej          Nimbus III (TKD)
nural               Neural (TKD)
qarDaS              Cardassia (KGT)
QI'tomer            Khitomer (TKW)
reghuluS            Regulus (TKD)
rIymuS              Remus (TKD)
romuluS             Romulus (TKD)
rura' pente'        Rura Penthe (TKD)
Qo'noS              Kronos (TKD)
SermanyuQ           Sherman's Planet (TKD)
Sorya'              Sauria (KGT)
tera'               Earth, Terra (TKD)
toqvIr              Tokviria (KGT)
vulqan              Vulcan (TKD) 
'elaS               Elas (TKD)

N.B. some planet names exist in two forms in TKD:

DenIb               Deneb 
DenIbya'            Denebia

'orghen             Organia
'orghenya'          Organia

Somewhere in KGT Okrand says that the shorter forms are replacing the longer
ones ending in {-ya'} in modern (i.e. TNG-era) 24th century Klingon.  The fact
that KGT only provides one form for Cardassia {qarDas} supports this.  (An
apparent exception in KGT is Saurian brandy {Sorya' HIq}, but I suspect the
longer form {Sorya'} was retained because the shorter form *{Sor} is also the
common Klingon word for "tree".)

Now as to whether you -should- transcribe alien proper names, my position has
changed over the years.  Back when I began studying Klingon, I transliterated
everything.  The problem was that many people didn't recognize my
transliterations as foreign names, and tried to take them apart and analyze
them as if they were tlhIngan Hol words: prefix + base + suffix(es).  As you
can imagine, this doesn't work - though it did provide a few amusing
translations.  Nowadays I find that it's easier, and far more efficient, just
to leave them spelled as in English.  E.g.:

  *Steven Boozer* 'oH pongwIj'e'.
  My name is Steven Boozer.

Many people bracket such names with asterisks, but I think that's ususlly

2) Now, if by translate you mean to translate - i.e. to render the name's
underlying meaning(s) into Klingon - don't do it!  As an example, consider how
you would translate my own name: Steven Boozer.  Steven is derived from the
Greek word *stephanos* "crown" and Boozer means, well, boozer.  Translating
these into Klingon gives you {mIq'a' chechwI'} or "crown [literally, "big/great
helmet" (cf. KGT p.58)] drunkard".  

You can see why I prefer to go by my own Klingon alias, Voragh, which doesn't
mean anything in Klingon or any other language AFAIK.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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