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