tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 07 15:44:32 2002

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Re: Tao Te Ching (part I)

From: Nick Nicholas

>If I can be allowed some stylistic comments:

Thanks a lot for your comments.

>>mIw'a' pabDI' qo'
>>Du' yotlhDaq chon [A] Sargh lulo'lu'.
>>mIw'a' HutlhDI' qo'
>>yergho HurDaq veS Sargh luSeplu'.
>You could say
>Du' yotlhDaq, 'ovpu'bogh Sargh...
>yergho HurDaq, Qojpu'bogh Sargh...
>But the ambiguity isn't worth it.

After receiving your message I took another look at the source text
and it turns out that even "race horses" is somewhat off the mark
as the key character can be rendered variously as "walking/ambling, 
running/galloping, departing". According to a renowned sinologist, Arthur 
Waley, the phrase (zou3 ma3) refers to "carriage-horses used
not for war but for travelling". That's why I'll probably go for {lengmeH 
Sargh} and {QojmeH Sargh}.

>>vaj yap vay' Daghajbogh 'e' Datlhojchugh
>>    reH yapbogh vay' Daghaj.
>reH yapbogh vay' Daghaj isn't clear to me; I'd prefer reH yap Hoch

Hmm, my version means:

    reH yapbogh vay' Daghaj.
    [then you (will) always have something that is sufficient]

and your version is:
    reH yap Hoch Daghajbogh.
    [then everything you have will always be sufficient]

Yes, your version seems to make more sense.

>>mach pupbogh Sep; puS nuvpu'Daj.
>>mIqta' law' lughaj 'ach lulo'qangbe'.
>>Hegh luqImHa'be'mo' [A] Daq Hop lengbe'.
>Why not just Hegh luqImmo' or Hegh lutlhojmo'?

Well I did wonder if this simpler phrase was better. That's what comment [A] 
was about. I was hoping someone would comment on my comment. Thank you.

>Probably Daq HopDaq; I don't think it safe to assume leng is
>transitive. (Yes, I know transitivity is a very sore point on this

As DloraH pointed out, we now know that {leng} behaves like other verbs of 
motion and its object indicates the destination.

>>Summo' jIl Sep, leghlu'meH ngeD.
>>'uSghebDaj targhDaj je luQoylu'.

Why? For stylistic reasons? Surely I have to use the prefix {lu-}
if the object is plural and the subject is the indefinite {-lu}. I wouldn't 
want to sacrifice grammar for the sake of style.

>>'ach yIn nuvpu', qanchoH 'ej Hegh
>>'ej not jIl SuchmeH tlheD.
>I'd say tlheD chaH, just to make sure it's clear.

Adding {chaH} would make the line easier to interpret but in the last 
section of this chapter {tlheD} rhymes with {ngeD} and I'm not sure I want 
to get rid of the rhyme, crude though it may be.

>>ponglIj yInlIj ghap: potlhlIj nIv yIngu'!
>At the risk of being unKlingonic, that isn't pong, that's batlh. Name, as 
>in reputation.

You're right, except that there is a canon example showing that {pong}, or 
at least {qorDu' pong}, is also valued by Klingons. The last line of SkyBox 
Card 13 says:

       tlhIngan qorDu' pong potlh law' Hoch potlh puS.
       Above all, the Klingon family name is highly valued.

       S13 (tlhIngan qorDu' potlh / Klingon Family Values)

Having said that, I agree that {batlh} will probably be more effective.

>>yInlIj mIplIj ghap: lo'laHghachna' yIngu'!
>I'd prefer: potlhwI'lIj yIngu', lo'laHwI' yIngu'.

Thanks. You're the second person to express a preference for {lo'laHwI'} 
over {lo'laHghachna'}. BTW I'd love to know what kind of "value" this word 
refers to.

As for {potlhwI'lIj} I'm not convinced I need to use a nominalized form of a 
verb, i.e. {potlhwI'}, if I have a perfectly legitimate noun {potlh} at my 

>>tlhoy SaHchugh vay' bechqu'bej.

>>mIp vI'chugh vay' chIlqu'bej.
>>yontaHchugh vay' not webchoH.
>Disrupts the pattern unnecessarily: webbe'bej is enough

qatlho'. bIlugh.

>>mevlaHchugh vay' Qob SIQbe'.
>I'd have liked Qombe' chaH, but slang isn't appropriate.

Slang would definitely be out of place in a text which is supposed to have 
"timeless appeal".

>>rutlh botlhDaq muvchuq wejmaH rutlh naQHom[A].
>>'ach QapmeH rutlh, chImnIS botlhDaj.
>>balmey DIchenmoHmeH tunbogh nagh[C] wIlo'.
>The English, at least, is better reflected by
>chenmeH balmey, lam yIQ wItap.

It also reflects the Chinese more accurately. The Chinese word means "to 
knead, mold". qatlho'qu'.

>>vay' cherlu'chu'pu'bogh cherHa'moHlaH pagh.
>>vay' 'uchlu'chu'bogh narghmoHlaH pagh
>>reH no' quvmoHtaH puqpu' puqnI'pu' je.[A]
>Prosaic. no' vuvtaH tuqnI' 'ej mevbe'?

I'll bow to your greater experience. If you think {no' vuvtaH tuqnIgh 'ej 
mevbe'?} is less prosaic I'd be happy to use it.

>>SoHDaq[B] ghob Dapabchugh, teHchoHbej ghoblIj.
>I think SoHDaq is risky, and tIqDaq would have precedent in Klingon
>culture (tIqlIj yI'ang).

As I indicated in my comments to this chapter, I wasn't sure about {SoHDaq} 
either, but it seems canon actually supports this use:

    SoHDaq qeylIS qa' yInjaj!
    May the spirit of Kahless live within you.

>>qorDu'Daq ghob Dapabchugh, 'IqchoHbej[C] ghoblIj.
>'Iq is probably a bad thing, and 'overflow' isn't.

Thanks for pointing this out.

>SoD is probably too literal, but perhaps HoSghaj?

I'm not sure. I'd like to find a word which means "more than sufficient" and 
which has positive connotations. What about {ghur}
or {ghurqu'}, or {buy'}?

>Is the Chinese likelier to correspond to tuq or qorDu'?

{tuq} will work very nicely! The character in question can refer to the 
family, household, home and clan.

>>machqu'chugh [A] SovwIj
>'really' means 'truly', surely: machbejchugh

bIlughbej. qatlho'. 'ach {puSqu'bejchugh SovwIj} vIlo'.

>>ngeD mIw'a' pabmeH Qu'.
>>'ach 'oH bIv 'e' lumaS nuvpu'.
>>woQ vaS'a' DojmoHtaHvIS chaH [B]
>>yotlhmeyDaq wIjbe'lu'taH
>>'ej chImtaH tIr lungaSmeH qach.
>You're losing the parallelism of these verses. Rhyme probably preempts you, 
>but; yotlhmey wIjbe'lu' 'ej tIr qachmey tebbe'lu' , or yotlhmeyDaq 
>wIjbe'lu' 'ej tIr qachmeyDaq polbe'lu'.

{yotlhmey wIjbe'lu'} brings up the transitivity problem again. Perhaps the 
following would work:

     Du' yotlhmey wIjbe'lu'.
     'ej tIr qachmey tebbe'lu'.

My previous version had {-taH} but maybe I don't need it since the time 
frame is already set by {DojmoHtaHvIS}. BTW, would it be okay if I put
{-be'} at the end:

     Du' yotlhmey wIjlu'be'.
     'ej tIr qachmey teblu'be'.

>>Dunqu' Sutchaj, jejqu' yanmeychaj.
>>tlhoy Sop 'ej 'Iqbogh mIp lughaj.
>Still don't like it, but at least mIp 'Iq lughaj. Not sure why you're 
>avoiding the adjective.

From DloraH:

>In many sentences she used /-bogh/ed verbs instead of adjective.  I saw 
>this too but felt that, her not being a beginner, she must have had her 
>reasons; so I didn't comment.

Thank you, guys, for pointing this out. In some cases I used {–bogh} to make 
a line "sound better" but I may have a tendency to overuse the suffix. 
Despite DloraH's faith in my abilities I still have a lot to learn.

>>buy'chu'pa' 'un, Dateb 'e' yImev.
>>tugh jejHa'choH tlhoy jejqu'bogh [A] 'etlh.
>I wouldn't know any Chinese even if it stomped on my foot, but I
>suspect the syntax of these two phrases would be more similar:

And you're right! The similarity leaps to the eye:

        chi     ER    ying   ZHI,    BU  . . .
        chuai   ER    rui    ZHI,    BU  . . .

>'un Datebchu'DI', SIbI' yImev.

Still, I think this line is best translated with {-pa'}:

    'un Datebchu'pa', yImev.

As DloraH points out, there is a difference between stopping before or when 
the pan is full.

>'etlh DaSIjmoHpu'DI', tugh jejHa'.

Sorry, this rendering no longer carries the idea of overdoing something. 
Besides, I wouldn't want to use {-moH} on a transitive verb.

>>naghboch law' ngaSbogh [B] vaS'e' QanlaH pagh.
>>mIpmo' patlhmo' je DaHemDI' [C] lot yIghuH.
>bIHemDI'. The "lot" seems overkill. DloraH and Voragh has pointed out the 
>grammatical discrepancy; but to me, lot yIghuH is much, much stronger than 
>"beware". By all means have a noun, but I'd prefer Seng.


>>Qu'lIj Data''DI', yItlheD [D].
>Data'DI'. yIHeD is unKlingonic,  but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Well, I think I'll take DloraH's advice here and stick with {theD}.

>I think rInDI' Qu'lIj is more to the point.


>>'u' mIw [E] 'oH mIwvam'e'.
>>bIQ rur nIvbogh potlh[A].
>or potlh nIv'e'. And yes, I'd put the -'e' in.
>>qaDbe'taHvIS bIQ, wa'netlh Doch je'.
>The strife wouldn't necessarily be caused by the water, but by the
>things quarreling, I'd have thought. wa'netlh Doch je',

{ghoH} was one of the words I was considering when working on this line. Now 
I think I'll use it here and in some other places.

>>Daqmey 'eS'e' lumuSbogh nuv ghoS.
>luvuvHa'bogh. Hate and disdain are very different.

I think both work. Still I'll follow your suggestion, thank you.

OK. I have to stop now.
DaH jIQongnIS. wa'leS jIvumqu'.


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