tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 11:03:58 2009

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Re: Cogito ergo sum (was RE: Numbers with pronouns)

Christopher Doty (

My Gmail thinks you send this from the future, Voragh--Can you time
travel, too!?!

On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 07:52, Steven Boozer <> wrote:
> 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:

One could argue that there is no verb meaning "exist" in Klingon
because that is what the pronouns do; they are all verbs of existence.

> taH pagh taHbe'
> "To be or not to be." ST6
> KGT 194:  literally, "[one] continues or [one] does not continue"

Oh, my.  Is that Okrand's translation from KGT?? 'oy' jay'!!  Based on
everything we know (well, more strictly, what I know), <taH pagh
taHbe'> means "s/he/it endures or s/he/it doesn't endure."  I have no
idea why Okrand would translate these normal, active verbs into this
odd English construction...

> 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]

None of these really have the sense of just existing, though, they're
about enduring, which is a distinct idea.

>>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).

If we go with this (that thinking means that you exist), then <taH>
isn't appropriate: thinking doesn't say anything about one enduring or
not, just that one IS.

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