tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 28 11:16:31 2002

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RE: "one nation, under God"

DloraH wrote:
> >> {Qun lobtaHbogh wa' Sep}
> >> "one region which continues to obey God"
> >>
> >> {Qun pabtaHbogh wa' Sep}
> >> "one region which continues to adhere to God"
> >>
> >> Neither of those phrases look right to me, though. Can the {wa'} come
> >> between the {-bogh) phrase and {Sep}?
>It goes in front of the noun it is modifying.  wa' Sep.
> > wa' Sep Devbogh Qun.
>Perhaps it has to do with loyalty [matlh], or "under" his protection; not
>under his rule or physically under him.

I like this last one.  I've appended a little background to the "under God" 
clause at the end of this post.

The discussion has inspired me to try my hand at translating the entire 
Pledge of Allegiance or {matlhtaHghach 'Ip} ("oath of [continued] 
loyalty"?).  Here's my intentionally Klingon-esque rendering:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the 
Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with 
liberty and justice for all.

*America* Sepmey tay' joqwI'vaD 'ej qumvaD 'oSbogh jImatlh 'e' vI'Ip:  wa' 
wo''e' Devbogh Qun, wa' wo''e' luwavlaHbe'bogh, wa' wo''e' HochvaD tlhab 
ruv je lay'bogh.

"I vow to be loyal to the flag of the United Empire of America and to the 
government which it represents:  one empire which God guides, one empire 
which they cannot divide, one empire which promises freedom and justice to 

I'm using *{Sepmey tay'} for United States - on the model of {wo' tay'} 
"United Kingdom", which Okrand coined for the British Radio Times' Star 
Trek 30th anniversary book.  It contrasts nicely with {wo'}:  The 50 
separate {Sepmey} are united into one {wo'}.  Some may prefer one {DIvI'} 
"federation" instead.  YMMV.

I found I had to repeat the head noun of the {-bogh} phrase in order to 
render both the rather complex grammar of the sentence as well as it's 
formal style.  Also, I wanted to say *{wavlu'laHbe'bogh} "which cannot be 
divided", but Okrand tells us explicitly that:

   The two suffixes of Type 5 [i.e. {-lu'} and {-laH}] have nothing much to
   do with each other except for both being Type 5. As a result, no verb
   occurs with both of these suffixes at the same time. (TKD p.38)

Okrand tells us about the sometimes heard slang suffix {-luH} "one can" in 
KGT (p.181), but I decided not to use it in order to keep the style 
formal.  Suggestions for improvement are welcome, particularly WRT the 
order of the clauses in light of Klingon's OVS word order.


Since it's always useful to the translator to know as much about the source 
text as possible, here's a little summary compiled from a couple of online 
resources for the benefit of those outside the U.S. who are unfamiliar with 
the Pledge:

                                 THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The Pledge of Allegiance was first published for Columbus Day, on September 
8, 1892, in the Boston magazine The Youth's Companion. It was written by a 
member of the magazine's staff, Francis Bellamy.  The phrase was printed on 
leaflets and sent to schools throughout the United States.

The original text is: "I pledge of allegiance to my flag and the Republic 
for which it stands - One nation indivisible - with liberty and justice for 

The first organized use of the Pledge of Allegiance came on Oct. 12, 1892, 
when some 12 million American school children recited it to commemorate the 
400-year anniversary of Columbus' voyage, starting a tradition that 
continues today.

Several minor changes to the text were made over time, some "official" and 
some less so.

In 1923, the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C. voted to 
change the words "my flag" to "the Flag of the United States of America."

The U.S. Congress recognized the Pledge officially in 1942, but the Supreme 
Court ruled in its Gobitis (310 US 586) decision that school children could 
not be forced to recite the Pledge as a part of their school day routine in 

The words "under God" were added in 1954 by Congress.  President Eisenhower 
stated at the time, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of 
religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall 
constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our 
country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

Today, the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance is set in the US Code, at 36 
USC 172. The text of that section is below.

For more information, see:

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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