tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat May 18 18:51:33 2002

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Re: "How fat is he?"

> ['ar ror?]
> ja' Krankor:
> >...It's true that, by the
> >letter of the law, we don't have the right to do this.
> When you're acting as BG, it's customary to be *very* conservative in what
> you present.  I'd not have mentioned it openly had you not been answering a
> beginner.

Well, you're right about that.  I probably should not have used it in
a BG post.

> >On the other
> >hand, I think any Klingon speaker would *instantly* understand what
> >you're saying,...
> I'd expect most to take substantially longer than "instantly".   I actually
> puzzled over it for half a minute before realizing that you hadn't misused
> {ror} as a noun while using {'ar} as if it were a verb.

Really?  This surprises me immensely.  Perhaps I'll have to reconsider.

> >and the size of the hoops you'd have to jump through
> >in order to recast the sentence to avoid doing this would be, well,
> >Gibralter-sized.
> In the general case, I think the hoop size is pretty small.  Here's a
> formulaic way to recast such a sentence:
>   How Q is he? -> How much Q-ingness has he? -> Q-taHghach 'ar ghaj?

Alright, that's not bad, and it's not Gibraltaric.  I still think it's
a little cumbersome, but I can live with it.

> I *immediately* came up with what I think is the "right" way to translate
> it in the context you provided:
>   cheb 'ar ngI'?
>   How much does he weigh?

Here I utterly disagree.  That simply does not capture the meaning I
was going for.  "How much does he weigh?" is not at all the same as
"What is the extent of his fatness?"  Especially given the Klingon
predilection for accuracy, the correct answer to cheb 'ar ngI' would
be a number.  I like your previous solution much better.


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