tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 31 13:40:25 2007

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

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

Re: The Art of War: title

Steven Boozer (

'ISqu' wrote:
>In the original Chinese the title consists of two characters:
>- BING, which carries a variety of meanings including war, warfare,
>military, soldier, and army;
>- FA, i.e. method.
>Here are the various possible renditions of the title I have contemplated:
>1. {QojmeH}, i.e. "In order to make war":
>2. {Qojchu'meH}, i.e. "In order to make war perfectly":
>These two are modeled on {jabmeH}, i.e. "In Order to Serve", the title of a
>cookbook of by J'puq, mentioned in KGT, p. 86.

I would opt for a version of these:  {QojmeH paq}, omitting {-chu'} which 
of course is implied.  (Why would someone want to learn how to wage war 

>3. {veS mIw'a'} i.e. "The Tao of War(fare)" or "The Art of War(fare):
>The word "Tao" comes close in meaning to the word "art" understood as the
>skills, principles or methods used in conducting an activity (e.g. the art
>of conversation, the art of cooking). {mIw'a'} is how I rendered Tao in my
>translation of the "Tao Te Ching."
>4. {QI' mIw}, i.e. "The Military Procedure(s)/Method(s)":
>Very close to the Chinese title.
>5. {QojmeH mIwmey}, i.e. "Procedures/Methods for making war":
>Also close to the Chinese title.
>6. {veS mIw}, i.e. "Warfare Procedure(s)":
>The option I like best. It not only captures the meaning of the Chinese
>title but actually mirrors its structure. Of course, the same could be said
>about {QI' mIw} but the noun {veS} has a broader meaning than {QI'} and thus
>seems a better equivalent of the polysemous BING.

I'm not sure a character-by-character analysis is the way to go, at least 
for the title.  Instead ask yourself:  What would a Klingon author of 
similar background, education, and experience to the Terran author have 
named this book?  Of course, that all depends on Klingon preferences WRT 
book titles.

We have a very few titles from Okrandian canon:

   SuvwI' DevmeH paq
   "A Warrior's Guide"
   [Klingon parallel title for _The Klingon Way_ (TKW)]

   tlhIngan ghobmey paq
   "The Klingon Book of Virtues"
   [original title of TKW according to the US Library of Congress]

 From "Star Trek: Klingon!" (KCD) we know of:

{qul tuq} or "House of Fire" [a popular Klingon opera telling the tale of 
the House of SepIch. Qua'lon gave Pok a leather-bound copy of the score to 
this opera as his {cha'nob} in KCD.]

{tlhIngan jIH} [title of a popular opera about the nature of being Klingon]

 From KGT we have:

KGT p. 86:  For detailed information of that kind, the best source is 
probably {jabmeH} by J'puq (the title means "In Order to Serve"; it is a 

There's also the famous epic poem {lu qeng} studied even in Starfleet Academy:

KGT p. 107:  Among the common Klingon idioms are some phrases taken from 
mythology and literature. For example, the expression {Hoch jaghpu'Daj 
HoHpu'} ("He/she has killed all his/her enemies") is used to describe a 
person who is leading a meaningless, empty life, one lacking any challenge. 
It is derived from a line in the poem {lu qeng} ("The Fall of Kang"; 
literally, "Kang falls") by G'trok:  {Hoch jaghpu'Daj HoHbogh SuvwI' 
yIvup}, the classic Federation Standard translation of which is "Pity the 
warrior who slays all his foes".

And finally we have a title from the TV episodes:

*Paq'batlh* - lit. "book of honor" though I would have translated it as 
{batlh paq} - a large series of ancient Klingon scrolls and religious texts 
that, among other things, passes on the stories of Kahless. Among them is 
the "Eleventh Tome of Klavek" which describes how Kahless came back from 
the afterlife having kept a scar to show that what he had experienced was 
real, so that he may save the soul of his brother. (VOY "Barge of the 
Dead") The Paq'batlh seems to be the Klingon equivalent of the Bible or 
Koran (cf. ).

>Just a thought: what about {veS tIgh}?

>Because the point of the book is not to describe the customs, i.e. the
>established practices for fighting a war, but to give advice on how to fight
>a war succesfully.

In light of this - and the preference for using {paq} in titles - I would 
suggest keeping it to a simple {QojmeH paq} or  {veS paq}.

Using the Skybox cards as a model would suggest a simple bare noun:  {veS} 

If you're open to coining a new word, how about *{veSQeD} "the art of war" 
or "military science"?

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level