tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 20 23:01:29 2002

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Re: Hol pIq (was RE: QeD De'wI' ngermey)

>>  You want *a* word for "pray" or "worship"?  You're presuming a great deal
>>  about what the words mean.  Either that, or you've lost track of the fact
>>  that Klingon is a language, not a code.

>No, not necessarily *a* word.  I'm just kinda surprised that for all the
>work that went into Hamlet, the best they could come up with for "pray"
>was "dance".  :)  Although, perhaps they decided the meter was more
important than the translation...

Grr. This was a cultural translation, not a literal one, and I made 
the judgement call that, in the scene where Hamlet flippantly says 
"and I'll go pray", it would be culturally appropriate to put in 
"I'll go do callisthenics" instead. Hamlet is merely saying the male 
Renaissance equivalent of "I'll go powder my nose". That he actually 
go pray or whatever is not the point of what he's saying; and prayer 
as an activity people casually wander off and do is something that 
doesn't even culturally translate into 20th century English, let 
alone 23rd century Klingon.

Khamlet is a close translation, in my opinion; but it is deliberately 
not a literalist one. It is intended to provide a culturally 
equivalent rendering, while staying *reasonably* faithful to  the 
original. This is for the simple reason that the mythos postulated 
that Khamlet was originally Klingon; that's why I effaced little 
details which screamed out Renaissance Earth in that fashion -- yo' 
qIj instead of angels, for instance. If you look elsewhere --- 
Claudius' prayer scene, for example, where I could not possibly get 
away with that kind of effacement --- you'll find that I was 
perfectly capable of finding a closer rendering of 'pray' (qa'meyvaD 
tlhob or something.)

(When I translated the Gospel of Mark, OTOH, I deliberately stayed 
fairly close to the original, and did not do this kind of cultural 
supplanting --- because noone would want to claim Jesus was 
originally Klingon; I thought it totally appropriate that *that* text 
scream out first century Palestine. In fact I deliberately made 
people lie down to eat rather than sit down, for that very reason --- 
something bible translators tend not to bother doing. This was one of 
the disagreements I had with Proechel.)

All such non-literal deviations were included in the endnotes of 
Khamlet, for two reasons; one, to provide chuckles for the 
Klingon-impaired; and two, to keep us honest: where we deliberately 
deviated from the text --- almost always for reasons of mythos, 
rather than inability to render things --- we said so. Hopefully, 
people will have found the deviations minor; but that's for them to 
judge. But Paul, you cannot passing judgement on Khamlet (let alone 
on how well it reflects on the state of Klingon), until you've 
actually read the Klingon text, and not just the endnotes. Khamlet, 
*as a self-standing piece of Klingon writing* (for that is the 
conceit) cannot be judged on the basis of its proclaimed 
discrepancies from the English text.
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* Dr Nick Nicholas,  French & Italian Studies *
  University of Melbourne, Australia   
*    "Eschewing obfuscatory verbosity of locutional rendering, the       *
  circumscriptional appelations are excised." --- W. Mann & S. Thompson,
* _Rhetorical Structure Theory: A Theory of Text Organisation_, 1987.    *
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