tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 17 10:04:34 2013

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[Tlhingan-hol] Klingon dialogue in STID (major spoilers)

De'vID (de.vid.jonpin@gmail.com)



As the subject says, major spoilers if you haven't seen the movie.

According to IMDB the general release date for Star Trek Into Darkness
was May 17, 2013. This means the 30 day period has passed for
discussing possibly new canon.

A couple of us (Quvar, loghaD, Qov, and myself) tried to reconstruct
the dialogue from memory and notes taken during the movie, using the
English and German subtitles, and also the version of the same
dialogue from the English novelisation and its German translation. But
we didn't get very far. The novelisation doesn't really match the
order of the spoken dialogue, although some of the elements are
recognisable, and worse, the English and German subtitles seem to be
out of sync with each other (possibly due to a last minute script
change which didn't make it to the German translation company?).

There is actually one clear and I think fairly unambiguous
grammatically correct Klingon sentence in the scene, and that is the
one line spoken by the Klingon leader. The other line spoken by a
Klingon (possibly a different one) was also mostly clear. Fragments of
one or maybe two of Uhura's sentences are understandable (mostly) as
Okrandian Klingon, but the rest has eluded attempts at decipherment. I
guess we can just assume that Uhura's Klingon isn't that good.

Since I'm not sure about most of what was spoken, there'll be lots of
"[guesses?]".

Klingon (announcement from Klingon scout ship):
bISaqQo’[taH?]chugh vaj bIHegh. DaH ma[beh]. bISuvtaH [...] bISaqQo’...
(untranslated, but explained by Uhura as a threat for Kirk et al's ship to land)

The ship lands, Uhura walks towards the Klingons, and she says:
[jIv|Dev]wI’ la[tlh|H] jIve[?].
English sub: Who's in charge here?
German sub: Ich bin hier, um Ihnen zu helfen. (= I am here to help you.)

One of the Klingons steps forward after she says this (suggesting he's
in charge, and therefore the English subtitle was the intended
meaning).

Uhura: jIyI[t|’|q].
English sub: I am here to help you.
German sub: Voller respekt. (= With respect.)

Uhura: [l|r]a[tlh|ch] jI[H?]vo’ na[H?] Da[H|q] pIghvamDaq So’’eghtaH.
English sub: With respect, there is a terrorist hiding in these ruins.
German sub: In diesen Ruinen versteckt sich ein Terrorist. (= There is
a terrorist hiding in these ruins.)
(The {pIghvamDaq So’’eghtaH} part was clearly spoken. I heard the word
before it as {DaH}, and actually completely understood {DaH pIghvamDaq
So’’eghtaH} in the theatre, but it might've been {Daq}.)

Uhura: ‘ej Dochmey [wI?] [bIngDaq?] [mapegh?].
English sub: He has killed many of our people.
German sub: Er hat viele unserer Leute getötet.
(No idea what the Klingon is supposed to be. But from this point the
English and German subtitles are in sync.)

Klingon leader: toH, Hegh Humanpu’. qatlh DISaH?
English sub: Why should I care about a human killing humans?
German sub: Warum soll mich Mensch interessieren der Menschen töte.
(This sentence was mostly clear. It means "So, humans died. Why should
we care about them?", which is a close enough match for the subtitles
as well.)

Uhura: potlhmo’ batlh, vIqaw[=qel?]ba’.
English sub: Because you care about honor,
German sub: Weil Ihnen Ehre etwas bedeutet.
(The {potlhmo' batlh} part is clear.)

Uhura: ‘ej cheboq[meH|neH] jIvum[’e’|meH|neH].
English sub: And this man has none.
German sub: Dieser Mann besitzt keine.
(I'm thinking this was {'ej cheboqmeH jIvum neH}, or something which
was along the lines of "I'm here to help you", but the subtitles got
shuffled around.)

Uhura: QoblI’ba’ [sounds like -bang] SoH juppu’lI’ je. [sounded more like qe]
English sub: You and your people are in danger.
German sub: Sie und Ihre Leute sind in Gefahr.
(If you strain, you can get {QoblI'ba' SoH juppu'lI' je} out of it...
by assuming that Uhura mispronounces {'} by making the vowel before it
nasally, so it sounds almost like {ng} or {q}. But it's a bit of a
stretch.)

At this point, a fight begins, and the Klingons all shout over each
other and weapons fire: DaH bIHegh [= batlh maHegh?] / wo’ wItoy’ /
Qapla’ / Qu’vatlh [?]

Based on the fact that the lines spoken by Klingon characters mostly
mean what they're alleged to mean, I think the original script had
legitimate Okrandian Klingon. But the movie makers have apparently
decided to shuffle around Uhura's lines, for whatever reason. Also,
Zoe Saldana seems not to have been coached by Okrand, and her
pronunciation is a little strange in places.

If Marc Okrand intends to retrofit this dialogue to its final English
meaning, the way he did with similarly re-arranged/flubbed/edited
dialogues in Star Trek III, V, and VI (although this movie is more...
extreme in that regard), we may end up with a lot of new words and
even new grammar! Or, maybe he'll decide it's not worth the effort to
fix.

If anyone got further than we did... please reply to this message and
correct my transcript! Thanks to Quvar, loghaD, and Qov for your help
in this rather difficult mission.

--
De'vID

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