tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 10 06:43:49 2013

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

Steven Boozer (

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

>> ... the original context is instructive here:
>> "She said 'Kindness is magic, Derek. It's more important to be kind
>>  than clever or good looking.'"
>> The general sentiment would be well captured as {nIv batlh} "honour
>> is best". As in, {batlh potlh law' Sov parmaq je potlh puS} "honour
>> is more important than knowledge or romance". I think a Klingon would
>> consider acting honourably towards someone to be the kindest way
>> of treating them.

I aqree with QeS, although in this case I would probably use {quv] "[personal] honor" rather than the more abstract [batlh}:

HQ 12.3:9:  All this talk of pseudohonor and nonhonor logically led to a discussion of honor itself, normally expressed by the nouns {quv} and {batlh}, both usually defined as simply honor. When asked to distinguish between the two, Maltz said, "{tlhIngan Soj 'oH--not bIyaj}," literally, "It is Klingon food--you will not understand," using {Soj} "food" in its idiomatic sense of "matter, concern, affair". Nevertheless, he then went on, though a bit begrudgingly, to say that {quv} was a sort of personal honor, the kind over which, by one's behavior, one has some control. This sort of honor is earned, can be bestowed on one, and is associated with reputation, dignity, and respect. {batlh}, on the other hand, is a grander, more general, more philosophical concept, associated with integrity, rectitude, scruples, and principles. Unfortunately, he didn't give examples or elaborate any further. 

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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