tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 18 15:32:17 2002

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Re: Hol ghojlu''a'?

Voragh writes:
>DloraH asked:
>>I don't disagree with your definition, nor am I investigating charghwI''s
>>intent; but I am curious how you would show -qu' in a translation.

>{wIlo'qu'taHvIS} = "while we over-use it, although we use it too much".

>A few examples from canon:

>   tujqu'choH QuQ
>   The engine is overheating. TKD

>   HoSghajqu'
>   Too potent. CK [i.e. Romulan ale]

Oh dear. -qu' is perhaps overburdened. It took Okrand quite some time to tell 
us about tlhoy. Until then -qu' seems to have been doing part of its duty. My 
interpretation of -qu' came directly out of TKD. There, it was defined as an 
"emphatic" (whatever that is :), demonstrating it like so:

1) nuQaw'qu'be'  They have not finished us off.
2) pIHoHqu'vIpbe'  We are not afraid to KILL you.

In 1 it is roughly augmentative, i.e. a verbal counterpart to -'a'. In 2 it 
is counterpresuppositional focus, the verbal counterpart to -'e'. In the two 
examples quoted above -qu' indicates excessive quantification, perhaps now 
more the domain of tlhoy. -qu' is all over the place semantically. I 
frequently use -qu' the way it's used in 2, especially to emphasize suffixes. 
If I was *translating* it, I would use one of a variety of English words, 
depending on context. But usually I just refer to canon, try to develop an 
intuitional understanding of it based on the many examples, then spew it back 
from that core intuition. This is actually what I try to do for all Klingon 
affixes and words. And if I ever see someone producing large amounts of 
high-quality Klingon (i.e. with few identifiable grammatical errors), I pay 
attention to the way they use things, since I will probably be communicating 
with them eventually and would like to know their style.

Anyway, having said all that, what I actually meant by my original -qu' which 
started all this:

> Hol bolo'qu'taHvIS
while you all are (in the process of) USING the language (as opposed to 
talking about it)

The main reason these English translations often bloat out like this is 
because people tend to insert parenthetical remarks (as I have) detailing a 
full account of each morpheme's subtleties. Of course in a real translation 
you wouldn't do this. But stop getting hung up on translation already. Think 
about meaning, not translation. Very few of the Klingon affixes correspond 
semantically to anything in English, so when you start building up fairly 
complex Klingon words, their cumulative meanings are going to be extremely 
different from what English is adept at expressing. There's vast unexplored 
semantic territory out there.

ghuy'Do wa'

Andrew Strader

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