tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 07 13:32:14 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] "Kindness is Magic"

Steven Boozer (

>> How would you translate this phrase, from Ricky Gervais' show "Derek"?

> Assuming that Klingons consider magic to be nonexistent, and that they
> consider kindness to be a weak attribute, I suggest this:
>   wIch 'oH pung'e'
> Literally translated back into English, it's "Mercy is a myth."

"Ah, sentimentality, mercy--the emotions of peace. Your weakness, Captain Kirk." (Kor, TOS "Errand of Mercy")

{pung} may be as close as the existing vocabulary gets to "kindness".  There's apparently no verb meaning "be merciful, show mercy" but cf. {vup} "pity" and {qeHHa'} "forgive" (from the PB; can anyone supply the verse?).  *{noDHa'} from {noD} "retaliate, seek revenge" might also work.

The closest I could get to "be kind" was *{DochHa'} from {Doch} "be rude", though it's probably closer to "be polite".  If you want a nice phrase, revising an existing {vIttlhegh} often works.  E.g.

  pung ghap HoS 
  Mercy or power. [sic] TKW 

TKW 119:  It is noteworthy that the conjunction in the Klingon phrase is {ghap} (either/or), not {joq} (and/or). This implies that one must choose between mercy and power; they are incompatible.

So, something like:

  *{pung HoS je}
  *{pung HoS joq}
   Mercy and power.

I'll leave the discussion how Klingons might refer to "magic" for others (though I suspect the verb {toj} "deceive, trick" features somewhere).  <g>

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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