tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Mar 10 16:50:21 2002

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Re: -bogh

From: <>
> >   romuluSngan Sambogh 'ej HoHbogh nejwI'
> >   Romulan hunter-killer probe  (KCD)
> While it is my bias to think of this as an odd example, I think even with
> aside, it is worth looking at the difference between this example and the
> following. This example is odd because of the word {romuluSngan}. The real
> phrase here is {romuluSngan nejwI'} and Okrand is trying to toss {Sambogh
> HoHbogh} in to modify {nejwI'} and not {romuluSngan}.
> If he had stated it as {romuluSngan Sambogh nejwI' 'ej HoHbogh}, it would
> a lot like "The probe that seeks and finds a Romulan and kills him."
> If he had paired up the noun-noun possessive pair, it would have come out
> something like {Sambogh 'ej HoHbogh romuluSngan nejwI'}. That looks like
> probe of the Romulan who seeks, finds and kills."
> As he stated it, it looks a lot like "The romulan who is sought and found
> the probe which kills him."
> He could have more clearly said, {SammeH 'ej HoHmeH nejwI''e' chenmoHbogh
> romuluSngan}. It's wordy and he probably just didn't think of it.

When you feel a persistent itch, you should never pick at the nits.  I'll
leave a scar.  "Romulan hunter-killer" and "Romulan hunter probe" aren't any
more or less clear than /romuluSngan Sambogh 'ej HoHbogh nejwI'/.  The
English can also be interpreted to mean the probe hunts and kills Romulans.

> Meanwhile, my suspicion is that Okrand was squeezed into an uncomfortable
> translation because Paramount wanted a noun phrase and Okrand wanted a
> paycheck. Klingon doesn't make very good noun phrases, compared to the
> excellent whole, verb-centric sentences that it was built to make. Okrand
> given a screw and a hammer. What did you expect him to do with them?

Ultimately, when people ask me "How do you say such-and-such in Klingon?" I
can't hide behind an excuse of "Klingon is verb-centric."  Not only will
they not understand that without a detailed explanation, but it's a cop-out.
You may have to say it differently, but ultimately the IDEA can be

And to think that Klingons have no name for an object because their language
is verb-centric is silly.  When speaking in complete sentences you may not
rely as heavily on nouns, but that doesn't mean a thing doesn't have a noun
to describe it.  The /romuluSngan Sambogh 'ej HoHbogh nejwI'/ is often
(explicitly) shortened to /HoHwI'/, which even avoids the possible noun
phrase confusion.

Okrand isn't going to agonize over everything he writes to make sure it
doesn't have a second possible interpretation.  In fact, he doesn't mind if
they do.

Stardate 2190.0

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