tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 26 07:09:51 2009

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KLBC: The North Wind and the Sun

Michael Everson (

On 26 Jun 2009, at 00:40, David Trimboli wrote:

>> ’Iv HoS law’ ’Iv HoS puS, ’e’ ghoHtaHvIS SuS bIr Hov je, ghoSpu’
>> lengwI’. wep tuj tuQtaH ghaH.
>> What do you make of it?
> "While the cold wind and the star argue that who is stronger, the
> traveler has gone. He is wearing a hot jacket."

Did you mean "the traveller has *come*"? Note that for the tenses I  
followed the model at the top of TKD p. 63.

The source sentence is:

The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when  
a traveller came along wrapped in a warm cloak.

The syntax I was attempting was:

whose strength many, whose strength few, that dispute-ing-while wind- 
cold sun and, come-perf travel-er. cloak warm wear-ing he.

Or in English:

"Whose strength is greater?" While the North Wind and the Sun were  
disputing that (= 'e'), a traveller came. He was wearing a warm jacket.

> It looks like you're trying to use {'Iv} as a relative pronoun, but  
> it doesn't work that way.

No, I was using them in genitive relation to {HoS}.

> Use /-bogh/ for that sort of thing. But here you're apparently  
> trying to say "arguing about who is stronger."

Actually I had separated the "Whose strength is greater?" as a  
separate sentence to avoid a prepositional relationship.

> "About" prepositions in English are difficult to translate directly  
> into Klingon; you usually have to split it up into a couple of pieces.

Which I was trying to do.

> You can't put a Type 7 verb suffix on a verb with /'e'/ as its  
> object  (TKD p. 66), so you can't say {'e' <verb>taHvIS}.


On 26 Jun 2009, at 14:12, Mark J. Reed wrote:

> I believe it's from "The North Wind and the Sun", a popular choice  
> of translation exercise for conlangs.


> And I thought the use of questions as objects ("who is stronger than  
> whom? They argue about it.") was a common device for faking relative
> pronouns.  It doesn't work like the English syntactically, but it  
> conveys the same meaning.

I thought the same.

On 26 Jun 2009, at 14:30, Terrence Donnelly wrote:

> It's "The North Wind and the Sun", which I've seen used fairly often  
> in conlanging as a common text for translation.  I think I've even  
> seen someone's effort in Klingon before this.

Actually I did it many years ago but BOY OH BOY would I not want to  
show you my first attempt at translation.

> SuStel's comments are all accurate (BTW, I'm currently the  
> Beginner's Grammarian [BG], so if you mark a text KLBC, I will  
> answer you first, then others get a stab at it).

See my comments to his comments above.

> Here's how I'd tackle your first sentence: {'Iv ghaH nIvbogh  
> HoSwI''e'? 'e' ghoH SuS bIr qo' Hov je.} "The cold wind and the  
> homestar argue 'Who is the strongest'?"  This doesn't actually  
> restrict the choices of the strongest to the two disputants, but  
> it's a lot less wordy than the only alternative I can think of: {SuS  
> bIr HoS law''a' qo' Hov HoS puS'a' pagh qo' Hov HoS law''a' Sus bIr  
> HoS puS'a'? 'e' ghoH SuS bIr qo' Hov je.} On the other hand, Klingon  
> seems more friendly to that kind of repetition than English, so  
> maybe the longer form would be preferred. I've made the sentence  
> with {'e'} separate from the question in both cases, because I'm not  
> sure that you can use {'e'} with preceding questions as part of the  
> same sentence.  When used by itself, {'e'} to me just implies 'that  
> whole thought which came before'.

Well, see above.. but since the interrogative pronoun 'Iv is treated  
as a noun as far s pronominal suffixes are concerned, I assumed that  
it could stand in genitival relation to HoS. If not... how do you say  
"whose?" "Whose manuscript? My manuscript" =  {?????. ghItlhwIj.}

Michael Everson *

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