tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Oct 16 10:40:54 2002

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: KLBC--Sonnet "Live with me and be my love"

At 12:55 02-10-15 -0700, you wrote:
>I know that most of you do not like to touch poetry: but I am trying to 
>woo a girl, and she loves that kind of stuff.  So I have found a piece 
>that I think she will like.
>This is the first verse (there are a total of 5 verses; I will do one 
>verse at time), as I think it should go.  Any corrections will be much 
>yIn jIH je parmaqqaywI',
>'ej maH Hoch belmey tob
>'e' HuDmey je ngechmey, *dales* je yotlhmey,
>'ej Hoch *craggy* HuDmey *yields.
>Live with me and be my love,
>And we will al the pleasures prove
>That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
>And all the craggy mountains yields.
>Thanks in advance for any and all reponses

On no account should anyone be trying to translate poetry until they have a 
firm grasp on prose.  I have no objection to giving advice on basic, 
beginning Klingon, but I'm not going to try and cram basic beginning 
Klingon into a rhyme scheme.

1. Figure out what the English means.  There are Klingon terms to cover the 
concepts of dales, cragginess, and yielding.  You have to understand a poem 
better to translate it than to write it in the first place.

2. Untangle it into sentences that you are certain you understand, with 
identifiable objects, subjects and verbs.  For example, this starts with 
three commands, followed by a sentence containing a relative clause.

Come.  Live with me.  Be my love.
We will discover all the pleasures that the hills, valleys, dales, fields 
and craggy mountains have to offer.

(prove and yields are there because they rhyme, not because there was no 
better word in the entire language to convey the meaning)

3. Use Klingon word order.  In English, you can use prepositions and poetic 
licence to invert sentences.  We have little evidence Klingon allows 
this.  (Whatever allows the occasional abberation like <ghIj qet 
jaghmeyjaj> is no way understood in a way we can imitate.)  In Klingon you 
must put the elements of a sentence in the order object-verb-subject.

4. Use Klingon grammar.  There's a distinct lack of verb prefixes in your 
first effort above, for example.

5. Respect the rhyme scheme, rhythm, mood, symbolism and ambiguities of the 
original poem.

6. Realize that this is all INSANELY difficult, and simply write the  lady 
an assertion of your love in grammatical Klingon prose.  This particular 
poem has already been translated by one of the best Klingon speakers on the 
planet, but I do not think it has been published.  I had a go at 
translating the response, but surrendered. 

Back to archive top level