tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jul 03 09:50:09 2002

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

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

Re: Ten Commandments

>>The word translated 'the Lord' in the KJV is actually the tetragrammaton, 
>>the name of God.  IN Hebrew this is YHVH.  The vowel points of the BHS 
>>indicate a pronunciation of YeHVaH (using lower-case vowels to indicate 
>>vowel points).  The 'e' is actually a schwa (the 'a' in about), and the 
>>'H' is more like an English 'H' than a Klingon 'H'; even so, I would 
>>suggest {yeHvaH} as a Klingon transliteration.
>I think that "yeHvaH" would be an inappropriate transliteration, because 
>the word was never intended to be pronounced as YeHVaH and actual the 
>pointing in the word is unpronounceable (pointed with two vowels on the 
>waw". The name is an example of "Qere Perpetuum" and is always read 
>"'adonay, which means, "Lord". The Massoretes gave the name the pointing of 
>"'adonay" to remind the reader that another word should be said in its 
>place. Perhaps joH'a' would be better.

You are correct that these are not the original vowels, although the BHS 
does not have two vowel markings on the vav.  (I use an electronic version 
of the BHS available online, and it may have been cleaned up; I've long 
wanted the actual book, but have not been able to justify spending $80 on 

Most English translations follow this pattern as a result of long tradition. 
  However, if you really want to follow Jewish tradition, you should take 
the capitals {yHvH} and give them the vowels of {joH'a'}, thus {yoHvaH}, and 
let people know that they should say another word instead.  However, if your 
intent is a secular translation of the Bible as literature, I would really 
suggest using a transliteration of the name.

Also, a few other things:  Although the vowel pointings of the BHS are schwa 
and 'a', most renderings use 'a' and 'e' instead.  Also, the consonant now 
called 'vav' and pronounced like a 'v' was in Biblical times called 'waw' 
and pronounced like a 'w', so there are several possible versions of this 

I believe the current trend among English speakers who use this name as part 
of their worship is 'Yahweh'.  I am not very familiar with the evidence they 
claim supports this pronunciation, but {yaHweH} is the way to go in Klingon 
for those who agree with it.

Again, it all depends on what you're looking for in your translation.

Join the world’s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.

Back to archive top level