tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 19 11:43:03 2002

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: Oggetto: A question

[Since Monica didn't flag this KLBC, I'll seize the moment.] wrote:
>I believe that "Death before Dishonor" in tlhIngan could be translated in
>Hegh qaSpa'

This means "Death, before it happens."  If you meant to say "before death 
happens" you need to put death at the end (as it were!): {qaSpa' 
Hegh}.  Remember Klingon's OVS (object-verb-subject) word order.  But this 
is still incomplete; before death happens... what?

The oath is short for "May I die before I am dishonored" or "May you die 
before you are dishonored," depending on who's talking and who you're 
talking to.  (HINT: When translating an English noun-heavy phrase into 
Klingon, it helps to rephrase it using verbs.)  These can easily be 
translated into Klingon as:

   jIquvHa'pa' jIHeghjaj.

   bIquvHa'pa' bIHeghjaj.

You could reverse the order of the clauses, but Klingons seem to prefer 
placing the dependent clause first - or placing the main clause last, if 
you prefer - which is generally the opposite of English.  We have a couple 
of examples of "may you die" in canon:

   bISuvtaHvIS bIHeghjaj
   May you die in battle! PK
   (lit. "While-you-are-fighting may-you-die.")

   Dajonlu'pa' bIHeghjaj
   May you die before you are captured. TKW
   (lit. "Before-you-are-captured may-you-die.")

We also have this very idea, using shame instead of dishonor:

   bItuHpa' bIHeghjaj
   Death before shame (or "May you die before you are shamed.") PK
   (lit. "Before-you-are-shamed may-you-die.")

And, of course, you can always use the always appropriate:

   batlh bIHeghjaj
   May you die well. TKW

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level