tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jul 15 17:14:36 2002

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Re: Ten Commandments

DantlhIgh wrote:

>in the Bible, "heaven" (singular, capitalised or not) usually refers to 
>God's 'spiritual' realm; when talking about the firmament, the celestial 
>skies, etc (our realm), it was usually pluralised - "the heavens".  Usually.

Only in some English translations.  In the Hebrew original, *shamayim* - a 
dual form - refers to both heaven and sky (or to the heavens and skies, if 
you prefer).  Being dual, it cannot be further pluralized.

I haven't been following this thread, but lest one read too much into this, 
note that some other common words which are singular in English, are dual 
(e.g. *mayim* "water", *chayim* /khayim/ "life", *Yerushalayim* 
"Jerusalem") or even plural (*Elohim* "God") in Hebrew.

One of the interesting things in learning foreign languages, to me at 
least, is discovering these words, which are plural in one language but 
singular in another and vice versa.  For example, the Russian word for 
money is *den'gi* (m. pl.).  Most Russians would draw a blank if you asked 
them for the singular of *den'gi*.  (It's been suggested that this is one 
of the few words borrowed into Russian from Mongolian during the Mongol 
occupation in the Middle Ages.  It may be that the word isn't actually 
plural in Mongolian, but simply ended in /i/, the common plural ending for 
masculine nouns in Russian.)  You can't read too much into this sort of 
thing however interesting it is from an historical or etymological point of 

Klingon has a few of these, but AFAIK we've never seen {chal} "sky" used in 
the plural {chalmey} or even translated as "skies".

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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