tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 07:54:36 2009

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Cogito ergo sum (was RE: Numbers with pronouns)

Steven Boozer (

>> jIQub vaj jIH.
>> I suppose it could be labelled as poetic license.  But how would you do
>> that sentence?

Mark J. Reed:
> jIQub vaj jItu'lu'?

Wrong prefix: ... vItu'lu'.  See TKD p.38.
>It's pretty much anti-canon.  The existence of the verb {taH} "go on,
>endure, continue" (and the real-world context which created it) is a
>very strong indication that one does not use pronouns to mean "to be"
>in the sense of "to exist".

  jIQub vaj jItaH.

  jIQubmo' jItaH.

I like {taH} even though it doesn't mean "exist" sensu stricto; in fact, there is no verb meaning "exist" known in Klingon.  {taH} is pithy and it fits in nicely with other examples:

taH pagh taHbe' 
"To be or not to be." ST6 

KGT 194:  literally, "[one] continues or [one] does not continue"

reH tlhIngan wo' taHjaj 
May the Klingon Empire continue forever! PK
(i.e. Long live the Klingon Empire!) 

reH tlhInganpu' taHjaj 
Klingons forever! PK 

taH tlhIngan wo' 
The Klingon empire survives. KGT 

mataHmeH maSachnIS 
To survive, we must expand. TKW

yItaH 'ej yIcheptaH 
Live long and prosper! [UPN ST 25th Anniv. Special]

>Some have argued that {jIQub} is enough, as it automatically implies
>that I am a real entity, but that's kind of a cop-out.  I'd probably
>try to be explicit and say {jIQubmo' jIngebbe'ba'}.

"because I think I am obviously not counterfeit/false/fake"

I don't think that's quite what Descarte had in mind.  From WikiPedia:

    "Cogito, ergo sum" (Usually translated in English as: "I think, therefore I am", but can be less ambiguously translated as "I am thinking, therefore I exist" or "I am thinking, on the account of being"), sometimes misquoted as Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (English: "I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am"), is a philosophical statement in Latin used by René Descartes, which became a foundational element of Western philosophy. The simple meaning of the phrase is that if someone is wondering whether or not they exist, that is in and of itself proof that they do exist (because, at the very least, there is an "I" who is doing the thinking).
    Descartes's original statement was "Je pense donc je suis," from his Discourse on Method (1637). He wrote it in French, not in Latin, thus reaching a wider audience in his country than that of scholars. He uses the Latin "Cogito ergo sum" in the later Principles of Philosophy (1644), Part 1, article 7: "Ac proinde hæc cognitio, ego cogito, ergo sum, est omnium prima & certissima, quæ cuilibet ordine philosophanti occurrat.". At that time, the argument had become popularly known in the English speaking world as 'the "Cogito Ergo Sum" argument', which is usually shortened to "Cogito" when referring to the principle virtually everywhere else.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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