tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Feb 07 23:19:16 2002

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Re: Translating into Klingon

>lab hamster
>> > Does anyone have any tips about how to go about translating a
>> > novel or story or whatever into Klingon (from English)?
>lab DloraH
>>First one would need to learn klingon. Then one would need to re-learn
>>english. Depending on the story, one might need to research the author to
>>understand their style and what they are really saying. And then one would
>>need to say goodbye to their personnal life for several months. (I was
>>single when I translated Gilgamesh, which took every night after work for
>>seven months.)

ja' Qov:
>I concur wholeheartedly.  The steps for such a translation are:
>1. Learn everything known about Klingon.
>2. Learn the story, in the original better than the author himself knew it,
>the meaning of every metaphor, the origin of every turn of phrase
>3. Tear out your hair trying to reproduce it.
>4. Give up, and go and write your own stories.

That's how to do a true translation of someone else's work.  Writing a
derivative piece based on a story in another language is marginally less
intensive, but you still need to know the target language *completely* in
order to do it well.

>It is FAR easier to write your own stories in Klingon than to translate
>anyone else's from another language.  Given an idea and an hour, I will
>produce a story in Klingon.  Given a story of the same length in another
>language, I want an hour just to decide where to start.

I have two other suggestion for anyone wanting to translate a story.
First, get a good editorial partner.  You'll probably find having someone
to use as a sounding board makes the task a little less frustrating, and a
teensy bit of another person's input is occasionally useful.

Second, get a deadline.  Preferably an externally imposed one.  That's a
tremendous motivation. :-)

-- ghunchu'wI' 'utlh

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