tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Sep 04 09:53:23 2002

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Re: translation! too hard for my brain!

"Beth Baisch, the tuftedpuffin" asked:
> >I am cuious if there is some way to translate the sentance "You're nothing
> >but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!" into Klingon.

>I think a classic bit of curse warfare would work in its place:
>   HoS lI' Dalo'Ha'chu'
>   You are a total waste of good energy!

This is good.  We also have a couple of epithets she can use:

1. {Qa'Hom}  type of animal similar to a Qa' [kra?], but smaller KGT [e.g. 
{lIghon Qa'Hom} "Ligonian titmouse" (KCD)

   The translation "titmouse" is really only an approximation of what this
   word means. A {Qa'Hom} is a small animal considered rather insignificant.
   The word literally means "little {Qa'}." A {Qa'} is a larger, more
   dangerous animal. A {Qa'Hom} is not a young {Qa'}, but it does bear a
   vague resemblance to its namesake. (KCD)

Note: the accompanying picture is of a small, four-footed rodent with a lot 
of hair - like a hedgehog. (Apparently, the person at the software company 
in charge of shared the common misconception that a "titmouse" is a type of 
mouse!  It's actually a small bird.)

The epithet {Qa'Hom} can apparently be applied to someone that may act like 
it's a vicious {Qa'} but is, in fact, just a little, harmless creature, 
fluffing itself up to make itself look bigger and more important. Calling 
someone a {Qa'Hom} obviously implies that he is weak and unable to defend 
himself, and thus not worth killing. (This is how Gowron uses it in the 
introduction to the KCD Immersion Studies.)

2. {tu'HomI'raH}  something useless KGT, T'oohomIrah KCD, dunsel, 
"good-for-nothing" (epithet) (ant. potlh)

  - HurDaq tu'HomI'raHvetlh yIlan
    Get that piece of junk out of here! KCD

  - Three old Klingons arrive on DS9 to pick up Curzon Dax for a trip of 
vengeance he was bound to with a blood oath. Instead of Curzon they find 
Jadzia, who feels compelled to take Curzon's place even though the Klingons 
release her from the oath. Kor is on her side and eventually she manages to 
impress Koloth with her skills with the bat'leth, but Kang remains adamant. 
At that point Kor asks him, "Why do you dismiss her like some useless 
t'ooho'mIrah?" (DS9 "Blood Oath")

BTW: We're told in one TOS episode that in Starfleet Academy slang, a 
"dunsel" refers to a useless, unnecessary or redundant piece of 
machinery.  When Daystrom's new M5 computer was installed onboard 
Enterprise as part of an experiment in completely automating a starship, 
one of Kirk's fellow captains involved in the test called him "Captain 
Dunsel" - presumably as a joke.  Kirk, however, was not amused.

Of these, {Qa'Hom} is closer to Beth's idea of "a second-rate, trying hard 
copycat".  She could say, for example:

   Qa'Hom neH SoH!
   You're just a Qa'Hom!

   Qa'Hom neH ghaH!
   He/She is just a Qa'Hom!

Said with the proper sneering tone of condescension, this would be very 

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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