tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jul 01 09:37:11 2002

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RE: Ten Commandments

> >13. yIHoHQo'.
>This is a definite (and unfortunately very common) KJV-ism.  The correct
>English translation is "You will not murder."  My grasp of the grammatical
>implications of Biblical Hebrew isn't strong enough to be able to state
>that the lack of imperative in the original deserves to be mirrored in a
>Klingon translation, but the word {HoH} is definitely wrong.  The
>prefix is
>wrong as well, as these are all addressed to the assembled multitude.
>   pechotQo' (or, just maybe, Suchotbe')

You're right about it meaning 'murder', but the prefix is right.  My Hebrew 
is rusty, but I checked my old books and a Hebrew Bible, and the word used 
is definitely formed of the letter tav followed by the root.  That makes it 
second person singular masculine future.  (Feminine forms and plural forms 
of the future tense consist of tav plus the root plus an ending.)  While the 
address as a whole is directed to the entire assembled multitude, the 
grammatical form used definitely indicates singular.  (Perhaps the intent is 
that each listener will realize that this means him as an individual as 
opposed to Israel as a nation.)

As for using an imperative, I think we have no real choice.  The locutionary 
force of the statement is definitely a command.  Since Klingon lacks a 
future tense, we must indicate somehow that the listener is being commanded. 
  If you insist on not using the imperative, I suggest that you at least use 
{-Qo'} instead of {-be'}  ("You will refuse to murder").  Or perhaps 
{bIchotbe'bej}, "You will definitely not murder".  But I still prefer the 
imperative suffixes.

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