tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Oct 30 10:34:57 2009

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RE: Translations of type 2 suffixes with -be'

Elizabeth Lawrence (jiqaj@hotmail.com) [KLI Member]



I tend to think that all of your translations are more or less correct.  As you said, the translations are all valid but somewhat odd sounding in English.  We have no reason to believe they are otherwise in Klingon; we know they are valid constructions, but that does not mean they are commonly used.  As you said, the addition of a subordinate clause seems to ameliorate the awkwardness, so that is likely the context in which they are most frequently used.

-be''etlh

> Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:19:20 -0400
> Subject: Translations of type 2 suffixes with -be'
> From: toastrix@gmail.com
> To: tlhingan-hol@kli.org
> 
> As TKD demonstrates, the translation of a verb with -be' depends on where it
> occurs with regard to root and the other suffixes*:
> choHoHbe'vIp
> 
> "You are afraid not to kill me."
> 
> choHoHvIpbe'
> 
> "You are not afraid to kill me."
> 
> When we look at the other type 2 suffixes, though, the English translations
> don't seem as obvious.  I'm interested in hearing what others have done with
> these.
> 
> Consider
> 
> jIDoy'be' 'ej jIQongnISbe'
> 
> "I am not tired and I don't need to sleep."
> 
> That seems straightforward enough (I am sure someone will let me know if it
> isn't).  Now contrast it with
> 
> jIDoy' 'ach jIQongbe'nIS
> 
> "I am tired but I need to not sleep."  (Presumably the speaker has other
> responsibilities that cannot be abandoned.)
> 
> The general sense of the sentence is clear, but "I need to not sleep" is
> awkward in English.  We just don't say it that way.  English speakers would
> probably say something along the lines of
> 
> "... but I shouldn't sleep."
> "... but I mustn't sleep."
> "... but I can't sleep."  (Even though this uses the word "can't", the
> speaker wouldn't mean "I am unable to sleep"; the _meaning_ is that sleeping
> is inadvisable, not that it's impossible.)
> 
> The difference between the possibe translations is mostly a matter of
> strength - someone who says "I shouldn't sleep" might decide to do it
> anyway, but someone who says "I mustn't sleep" is going to try not to.
> 
> In general, what would be the preferred English translation of verbs with
> -be'nIS?  I'm not trying to translate a specific phrase so much as I'm
> looking for general patterns.
> 
> -qang seems to have a similar translation problem:
> 
> qaja'qang
> 
> "I am willing to tell you."
> 
> qaja'qangbe'
> 
> "I am not willing to tell you."
> 
> ? qaja'be'qang
> 
> ? "I am willing to not tell you."
> 
> The English seems possible, but odd - I wouldn't expect to hear it without
> extra stress on the "not", and even then it would probably only be produced
> in certain specific contexts.  "I am willing to refrain from telling you"
> would sound less awkward - is that an acceptable translation?
> 
> -rup is tricky too:
> 
> baHrupbe'
> 
> "They are not prepared to fire."  "They are not ready to fire."
> 
> ?baHbe'rup
> 
> ?"They are prepared to not fire."  "They are ready to not fire."
> 
> To my ear, the English  "ready to" and "prepared to" really need to be
> followed by some kind of action that will be taken.  "Prepared to not ..."
> and "Ready to not ..." sound extremely awkward.  Is there a better
> alternative?
> 
> Some of the possibilities with -beH seem even weirder.
> 
> pojbeHbe' De'wI'
> 
> The computer is not set up to analyze it.
> 
> ?pojbe'beH De'wI'
> 
> ? The computer is set up not to analyze it.
> 
> That sounds like a Dilbert cartoon - we generally configure devices to do
> something, rather than to not do something.
> 
> In fairness, the English sentences with -rup and -beH sound a lot better
> when you add a subordinate clause:
> 
> baHbe'rup Sujeghchugh
> 
> They're prepared to not fire if you surrender.
> 
> pojbe'beH DewI' ra'pa' QeDpIn
> 
> The computer is set up not to analyze it before the science officer
> commands.
> 
> Any insight is appreciated.  Thank you!
> 
> * "The scope of negation" if you'd like some jargon with that
> 
> 
> 
 		 	   		  
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