tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Sep 03 11:18:03 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] fiat justitia ruat coelum

De'vID (

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

QeS 'utlh:
> I'm surprised you're basing your translation so heavily on the English. The
> Latin merely means "Let justice be done, let the heavens fall", with the
> connection between the two merely implied.

I think, though, that the implication is clear in the Latin that
justice should be done, *even if* the heavens would fall *as a
result*. As has often been pointed out on this mailing list, one must
translate the intended meaning of a phrase, even if it means deviating
in form from the original statement.

QeS 'utlh:
> I'd do it with nothing more than a conjunction:
> pumjaj Hov, 'ach rInjaj ruv.
> May the stars fall, but may justice be done.

Since {-jaj} expresses a wish on the part of the speaker, this sounds
to me like "I wish the stars would fall, but I wish justice would be
done". That is, it sounds like the speaker *wants* the sky to fall,
and incidentally would also like justice to accompany the falling of
the sky.

This seems to invert the sense of the Latin expression as I understand
it, which is that while the speaker would *regret* the falling of the
sky, nevertheless, his desire that justice be done overrides this

Also, I prefer {chav} over {rIn}, as I think Klingons would view
justice as something to be achieved.

Perhaps I'm trying too hard to replicate the brevity of the original.
As we know, a short expression in English doesn't necessarily
translate to a short expression in Klingon (think "buy or die").

ruv chavlu'jaj; 'ej ruvmo' pumchugh Hovmey, pumjaj.
ruv chavlu'jaj; 'ej Hovmey pummoHchugh ruv, pumjaj.

Also, I noticed that the other meaning of {pum} "accuse" introduces a
double meaning to these translations: may justice be done, even if the
stars accuse. As we know, the naked stars bear witness to one's deeds
in Klingon mythology.

QeS 'utlh:
> As far as I know we're still not even exactly sure what {vabDot} means, do
> we?

wIloylaH neH.


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