tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 30 08:41:34 2009

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RE: ghojqu'

Steven Boozer (

>>I have a translation that I'm happy with, so now
>>I offer it here for comment and criticism.
>>wo'Daq batlh ngaqmeH joH, SepDaj che'chu'.

>{batlh} seems a reasonable way to render "virtue," though it could be
>argued that {ghob} would work better.
>>tuqDaj DevlaHpa', ghobDaj QorghnIStaH.
>I'm not convinced that {ghob} is the right word to use here but I can't
>think of anything better. Maybe I'd just use a reflexive {-egh} on the verb. 

>>ghobDaj QorghlaHpa', tIqDaj qeqnIStaH.
>>mIw'a' pabtaH qo', ghob'a' Qorghlu'mo'.
>It is also interesting to see that you've coined your own neologism {ghob'a'}.
>Still, using these two words here will result in a line that departs
>quite a lot from
>the original text. This may be exactly what you want to do. However, it
>might wise
>to rephrase the line and bring it closer to the original text. At the
>very least,
>I'd suggest using the same words you used when talking about cultivating
>one's person.
>You didn' use {ghob'a'} there, so maybe there is no need to suddenly use
>it here.

FYI... {ghob} "ethics, virtue":

TKW vii:  A virtue is a particularly valued quality or a form of behavior that exemplifies moral correctness, as defined by a society... Indeed, the Klingon word {ghob} may be translated as "ethics" or "virtue", linguistic evidence that the concept is not unknown or never discussed among the Klingons themselves. It is probably significant that the Klingon word for "do battle, or wage war" is likewise {ghob}. Though some, perhaps many, of a society's virtues are represented in its legal codes, a virtue is not a law. A violation of a virtue need not carry with it any legal sanction. A virtue does not even have to be followed all the time to still be considered a virtue. What is important is that members of the society agree that the virtue represents what should be done, even if it is not done. When a virtue is ignored, all recognize the transgression, even if there are no immediate consequences.

TKW 189:  ... those who violate the rules of their own cultures and do not observe their own virtues are acting dishonorably and are not to be trusted. 

TKW 122, ill.: Kor admires the virtues in one Organian, unaware that he is a Starfleet officer. (TOS "Errand of Mercy") 

  tlhIngan ghobmey paq 
  The Klingon Book of Virtues 
  [i.e. original title of _The Klingon Way_] 

  pop 'oH ghob'e' 
  Virtue is the reward. 

TKW 47:  This proverb does not mean "Virtue is honor." The use of the word {pop} suggests that virtue is the honor bestowed as a result of acting in a manner respectful of society's values, not simply advocating them.

  ghob tIvnISbe'lu' 
  One need not enjoy virtue. TKW

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

  qorDu' SaHlu'chugh 'ej matlhlu'chugh vaj wa' tlhIngan ghob potlhqu' 
  devotion and loyalty to family is one of the most important Klingon virtues. S13

Cf. also {tIgh} "custom" and {potlh} "a value, consequential thing, something important":

  tlhIngan qorDu' potlh 
  Klingon Family Values. S13

Also note the expression {ghob yIpab} "adhere to virtue" (i.e. "be virtuous"?):

  batlh ghob yIpab 
  Adhere to virtue honorably. TKW

TKW 47:  The Klingon verb in the expression, {pab}, is here translated "adhere", but it is also used to mean follow, in the sense of following rules, suggesting perhaps that, though not officially laws, virtues should be followed as if they were.

And finally,

"Virtue is a relative term, Doctor." (Spock to McCoy, TOS "Friday's Child") 

Canon Master of the Klingons

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