tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jul 17 11:39:31 2002

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Re: Future tense/"going to"

Christoph wrote:
> > The phrase I'd like to translate is "I'll kill you"(plural) or "I'm
> > going to kill you". The stem would be SaHoH, but that seems to mean
> > something like "At the moment I am killing you".

DloraH, BG:
>Since your blade is not yet in my chest, I can presume that you are not 
>me in present tense or past tense, making the sentence "I WILL kill you".

Exactly.  If you're looking at them, and they're still alive to hear you, 
{SaHoH} can only refer to future action.  Because of the obvious context, 
there's no ambiguity.

> > So, is there a simple way of saying it, or would I have to rephrase it
> > using "tugh"(soon) or related?

Learners whose native language is English tend to obsess about how to 
render the idea of tense - "Yes, I know TKD says there's no tense, but if 
there were, how would we do it?" - since we have to select a grammatical 
tense for every verb form we use, except for the infinitive (which is non 
finite as to time).  It's difficult for us to just ignore this distinction 
that we've had to make every day of our lives ever since we started 
talking.  Since Klingon simply doesn't have grammatical tense, Klingons 
just don't feel the need to pin every single action down in time (although, 
if they want, they can always add time stamps such as {wa'leS} 
"tomorrow").  You have to let it go and rely on context.

>Adding tugh is no more 'rephrasing' than adding -choH or anything 
>else.  What's
>wrong with using tugh?  That's what it's for.
>tugh SaHoH  "soon I will kill you"
>If it's further away than 'soon', then specify when.  If you don't know when,
>then just say  SaHoH  with the explaination I give above.

Ageed.  Another way is to use {Hech} "intend, mean to":

   SaHoH 'e' vIHech
   I intend to kill you

Though this could easily refer to the past in a different context:

   SaHoH 'e' vIHech
   I intended to kill you [but I've changed my mind and I'll let you live]

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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