tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Mar 13 17:45:07 2002

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Re: god (was: Re: a word is needed?)

From: "Sean Healy" <>

> ><Qun'a'> "great god" (<Qun> plus <-'a'>, the augmentative suffix) may or
> >may
> >not be an appropriate translation for a single supernatural being in a
> >monotheistic system, since the <Qun'a'> would still be one among many.
> Well, in Arabic, the monotheistic god is called Allah, which means 'the
> God'.  We get along fine in English without a definite article on the
> but some languages seem to need it, even though it implies there are other
> gods.

Does it?  I don't speak Arabic, but how do you know that "the God" isn't
meant to contrast with, say, "the washing machine"?  If you're starting with
a monotheistic culture, the word for the single god may or may not make a
point about the nonexistence of other gods.

I think, though, that Okrand's comment about /Qun'a'/ still being one among
many has to be considered in the context of the Klingon culture.  The
Klingons had multiple gods, and the word /Qun/ evolved meaning these.
/Qun'a'/ is simply the word for a particularly great and powerful /Qun/.
There is no implication anywhere of exclusivity.  It's only when you apply
the word to other cultures, those that have monotheistic beliefs, that you
start trying to compare /Qun'a'/ to "the one and only god," and the Klingon
word just doesn't mean this.

Stardate 2198.3

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