tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Oct 29 09:10:33 2009

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RE: Declaration of Independence preamble

Steven Boozer (sboozer@uchicago.edu)



Doug Wilder:
>I'm looking for an accurate translation into Klingon of the following:
>"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
>that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,
>that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Well, this is a very elegant sentence and I'm not sure we can do justice to the style, but we can translate the basic ideas.  Here's my first attempt with untranslated words in (parentheses):

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

  teHba' vItmeyvam 'e' wIHar
  "we believe that these truths are obviously true"

(that) all men are (created) equal,

  rap Hoch loDpu'
  "all men [sic!] are the same"

  rap Hoch ghotpu'
  "all people (humanoid) are the same"

(that) they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,

  chaHvaD 'op DIbna'(mey) lunob chenmoHwI'chaj
  "their creator gives them some (an unknown quantity of) definite rights/privileges"

(that) among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  yIn, tlhab, bel tlha'lI'ghach, latlhpu' je
  "life, freedom, the pursuit of pleasure, and others"

I also considered *{QuchchoHlI'ghach} "becoming happy [in progress]" for the "pursuit of happiness".  For stylistic reasons I would like to say {yIn, tlhab, bel je} "life, freedom and pleasure" but the Declaration does not say that we have a right to happiness itself, merely a right to pursue it.


Putting this all together, we have:

  teHba' vItmeyvam 'e' wIHar:  rap Hoch ghotpu';  chaHvaD
  'op DIbna'(mey) lunob chenmoHwI'chaj;  yIn, tlhab, bel
  tlha'lI'ghach, latlhpu' je.


>I tried Mr. Klingon but am not confident that the translation is
>accurate.

Doug, why don't you post that version on the tlhIngan_Hol list for us to compare?

 
-- 
Voragh                          
Canon Master of the Klingons






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