tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Jun 27 17:45:16 2009

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Re: {'Iv} and {law'}/{puS}

ghunchu'wI' (

On Jun 27, 2009, at 3:14 PM, Mark J. Reed wrote:

> Klingon is from Star Trek.  The other one would be Star Wars.   
> Thought that
> was pretty obvious.

I guess I was stuck in TV mode, fixating on the similarity of "space  
opera" and "soap opera".  All I could think of was Farscape, Babylon  
5, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly.  I hadn't even considered movies.

> My included recasting should have clarified the meaning, I  
> thought:  {Dev
> qoH.  tlha' latlh.  Doghqu' 'Iv?}

"A fool leads. Another follows. Who is *foolish*?"  Yes, I read that,  
but I didn't recognize it either.  You're right, it totally looses  
the desired emphasis of the question you're trying to translate.

> I did misplace the {ghap} in the first sentence.  pagh goes  
> between, ghap
> goes at the end.

More precisely, {pagh} goes between *verbs* and {ghap} goes after  

> The quote, incidentally: "Who's the more foolish - the fool, or the  
> fool who
> follows him?" - Kenobi to Solo, Episode IV

I can imagine the line being delivered in Alec Guinness's voice, but  
I can't recall ever having heard it.  None of the quotes I found on  
the web identified the context, and I didn't find a script handy.   
There aren't very many scenes with both characters.  Which one was it?

(While trying to figure out what you were trying to translate, I did  
recall a similar line from the Addams Family movie:  "They say a man  
who represents himself has a fool for a client.  With God as my  
witness, I will be that fool!"  But it didn't fit at all.)

The basic problem, of course, is that it's not trivial in Klingon to  
ask someone to decide between two options, and that the comparative  
construction won't easily become a straightforward yes/no question.   
If it were otherwise, the question might be satisfyingly symmetrical.

qoH tlha'bogh Dogh law' tlha'bogh qoH Dogh puS, pagh tlha'bogh qoH  
Dogh law' qoH tlha'bogh Dogh puS.  'Iv ghaH qoH Dogh'e'?

-- ghunchu'wI'

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