tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Sep 26 06:35:59 2014

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] ngugh, qa'naDa'Daq...

lojmitti7wi7nuv ([email protected])

Others may like this, but it doesn't quite work for me. My understanding of {ngugh} is that it links together a second action to a previously mentioned action, suggesting simultaneity, and in this case, there was no previously mentioned action.

The issue is that this is a language that replaces the English sense of tense with time stamps, and methods for relating to those time stamps. You can establish a time stamp, and then talk about things happening during that time, before that time, or after that time. {ngugh} links the following sentence to "during that time". 

While you could argue that "meanwhile" does the same thing, the problem is you are trying to encode an English joke into Klingon as a code, hoping that the word {ngugh} maps sufficiently well to the word "meanwhile" that you can replace one with the other. Jokes rarely translate well between languages.

I understand the desire to translate them. I've felt that desire and acted on it with mixed results. Okrand addresses this topic by giving us examples of jokes that are apparently hilarious in Klingon, but they really don't translate well, and in English they are simply strange.

...which was Okrand's intentional point. There's an entire genre of French folk songs that don't make any sense whatsoever. The French love them. Most languages have something like this, and humor is usually a big part of it.

Thanks for trying, though.

On Sep 26, 2014, at 6:46 AM, De'vID <[email protected]> wrote:

> ... lojmIt botlI'mo' mIl'oD, QIn HIjlaHbe' QIn HIjwI':
> There's a style of joke that goes, "meanwhile in [country/place X],
> [something that would be considered weird elsewhere but which is,
> according to the joke, perfectly normal in place X, happens]". Did
> people understand {ngugh, X-Daq...}, where there is no time context
> for {ngugh}, as "meanwhile" in this sense? Or can someone think of a
> better way to express the joke above?
> -- 
> De'vID
> _______________________________________________
> Tlhingan-hol mailing list
> [email protected]

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