tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 01 12:04:56 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

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

RE: need vs. obligation

Steven Boozer ( wrote:
>> Does tlhIngan Hol differentiate between "to need" and "to have to"?  So
>> far I haven't been able to find anything like the latter. I am aware of
>> the suffix {-nIS} being translated as both... but given that most
>> languages I've studied have different means of expressing either, I'm
>> hesitant to throw it all under {-nIS}... unless that's the Klingon way,
>> of course.

Christopher Doty:
>Hrm...  Not sure there is much meaning difference between "need" and
>"must", and languages do weird stuff in this area (Modern Nahuatl, for
>example, doesn't HAVE a way to say that you need/must do something,
>except for a (poor) calque from Spanish, which speakers themselves
>never use).  You could say something like "I am commanded"
>(<vI'ra'lu'>) is you needed to make it clear that one outside yourself
>was imposing the obligation?

Okrand has translated {-nIS} "need, needs to, must" as "have to" on a couple of occasions.  

{-nIS} in canon:

KGT 180f.:  For example, if both {-nIS} ("need") and {-bej} ("certainly") occur in the same word, {-nIS} must always precede {-bej}, as in {maSopnISbej} ("We certainly need to eat"). Putting the suffixes in the wrong order, as in {maSopbejnIS}, produces an unacceptable form ... For instance, one cannot use {-nIS} ("need"), as in {maSopnIS} ("We need to eat") and {-rup} ("ready"), as in {maSoprup} ("We are ready to eat"), in the same word ... Saying {maSoprupnIS} or {maSopnISrup} is as impossible to a Klingon speaker as saying "talked" or "talkeds" would be to a speaker of Federation Standard.

st.k 11/97:  Since {-moH} is a Type 4 suffix, if a suffix of Type 1, 2, or 3 is to be used (such as {-chuq} "each other" [Type 1] or {-nIS} "need" [Type 2]), it would precede the Type 4 {-moH}; for example ... {pujnISmoH} "he/she needs to weaken [somebody]" ... The Rover {-be'} comes right after whatever it is negating. Both {Qochbe'nIS} "he/she/they need to not disagree" (that is, "he/she/they need to agree") and {QochnISbe'} "he/she/they do not need to disagree" are acceptable Klingon formations... Thus, finally and at long last, to answer your first specific question, say {vIchennISmoH} for "I need to create it". 

I need to see him/her. TKD

You need to eat. TKD

You need a rest. TKD

De''e' vItlhapnISpu' 
I needed to get the INFORMATION. 
It was the information (and not something else) I needed. TKD 

lupwI' DalIghnIS 
You must ride the jitney. CK

Qel vISamnIS 
I need to find a doctor. CK

vaj Dargh wIb DatlhutlhnIS 
Then you need to drink sour tea. CK

vagh rep bImejnIS 
Check-out time is five A.M. CK 

tIqlIj Da'angnIS 
You must show your heart. PK

DaH jIbwIj vISay'nISmoH 
I must wash my hair now. PK 

DungDaq legh 'ej QotnIStaH romuluSngan be'pu' 
Romulan women belong on their backs! (ST5 notes) 

Attack them now, while we still can! ST6

qaghochnISlaH (?) 
I could trace [for you] ST6 

poSDaq nIHDaq je QamtaHvIS SuvwI'pu', chaH jojDaq yItnIS lopwI' 
The initiate must pass through a gauntlet of warriors. S9 

mataHmeH maSachnIS 
To survive, we must expand. TKW

pIpyuS pach DaSop DaneHchugh pIpyuS puS DaghornIS 
If you want to eat pipius claw, you'll have to break a few pipiuses. TKW

bISutlhnISchugh jaghlI' mInDu' tIbej 
If you must negotiate, watch your enemy's eyes. TKW

nIteb SuvnIS DevwI' 
A leader must stand alone ("A leader must fight alone"). TKW

ghob tIvnISbe'lu' 
One need not enjoy virtue. 

TKW 48:  The Klingon construction {tIvnISbe'} means "does not need to enjoy"; "tIvbe'nIS would mean "needs to not enjoy", an utterly different concept.

bIQapqu'meH tar DaSop 'e' DatIvnIS 
To really succeed, you must enjoy eating poison. TKW

tIqwIj Sa'angnIS 
I must show you my heart. TKW

yInlu'taH 'e' bajnISlu' 
Survival must be earned. TKW

yay chavlu' 'e' bajnISlu' 
Victory must be earned. TKW

batlh Heghlu'chugh noDnISbe' vay' 
An honorable death requires no vengeance. TKW 

Must I hurl a spear at you? 
(i.e. "Do I have to clarify it for you?") KGT

I need to see you. KGT

We certainly need to eat. KGT

jaghpu' mo' wIyajnIS 
We must understand the enemies' motive. (slang) KGT

he/she needs to weaken [somebody] (st.k 11/97)

he/she/they need to not disagree ("he/she/they need to agree") (st.k 11/97) 

he/she/they do not need to disagree (st.k 11/97)

I need to create it (st.k 11/97)

See also the verbs {'ut} "be essential, be necessary":

'utbe' bel 
Pleasure is nonessential. TKW

and tbe' bel Pleasure is nonessential. TKW (cf. 'ut, neH & poQ) 

{poQ} "demand, require":

muSuvbogh DoS vIpoQ 
I need a target that fights back. ST5 

qab legh 'e' poQ 
He/she demands to see a face [challenge to a duel] KGT

loHwI' vISuch 'e' vIpoQ 
I demand to see the magistrate! (ENT "Affliction")

and {neH} "want"

[too many examples to quote now]

>> Dogh chu' 'e'. (To be new is to be foolish?)
><chu'lu'chegh Doghlu'>

bIchu'chugh (vaj) bIDogh.

Canon Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level