tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Sep 02 09:34:48 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] fiat justitia ruat coelum

David Trimboli ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

On 9/2/2013 10:50 AM, Felix Malmenbeck wrote:
From: De'vID []

How would one translate "fiat justitia ruat coelum", i.e., "Let
justice be done though the heavens fall."

My attempt:
{ruv chavlu'jaj, vabDot pumnISchugh Hovmey.}

I'm not quite sure if {vabDot} works with {-chugh} the way "even" and
"if" combine in English, though.

Qo'noS romuluS je boSuqlaH. vabDot tera' Qejbogh DIvI' ram boSuqlaH.
"Kronos, Romulus and even the puny Federation's precious Earth are all up for grabs."

My reading of {vabDot} is something like, "this, too, if you can believe it." The English has a sense of incredulity that, if it exists at all in the Klingon, must come from {vabDot}. It's hard to be sure with just one loosely translated sentence, though.

If this is correct, it's not suitable for turning conditional clauses into subjunctives.

How about using {je}?

«HeghnISchugh je Hovmey, Qapjaj ruv.»
= "May justice succeed, also if the stars must die."

I don't get "though" out of "also." "If the stars must also die [in addition to doing something else we said before], may justice succeed."

What you're both having trouble with here is that Klingon has no subjunctive mood (unless {-jaj} counts). I know this is applicable here, because this very quotation is used in at least one latin grammar to illustrate English subjunctive! <> There is no Klingon equivalent to the English subjunctive "though the heavens fall."

The closest you can get is a conditional:

pumchugh Hovmey ruv chavlu'jaj
if the heavens fall, may justice be achieved

I'm assuming that the sense of the original is a wish, not a command. If it's a command, then use this:

pumchugh Hovmey ruv yIchav
if the heavens fall, achieve justice!

I went with {chav} "achieve" rather than {ta'} "accomplish" on the notion that justice is a state to be brought about rather than a deed to be performed. If that's wrong, change to {ta'}.


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