tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 31 04:30:23 2015

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] ngab wa' rep

De'vID (

> Am 30.03.2015 um 17:55 schrieb Felix Malmenbeck:
>> Actually, ignore what I said; according to KGT:
>> The force field on a ship is called {botjan}. To shield a ship, one must
>> "activate the shields," or {botjan chu'}.

On 30 March 2015 at 20:46, Lieven <> wrote:
> I see no problem or confusion here, it's just - as usual - the english
> translation that's not so perfect. When you "activate shields", you actually
> activate the shield-generator, the device. It's like the stupid wordplay
> when people aks "did you make this coffee?" and you answer "no, I just
> turned on the coffee-machine".

Actually, I also previously read it as a form of metonymy, as you do,
but after Felix pointed it out, I'm now inclined to interpret it the
way he does.

Lieven <> wrote:
> That's maybe the point when one starts thinking in klingon instead of
> transalting words. When I read {botjan} I don't read "shields, forcefield on
> ship, KGT" but I read {botjan}.
> BTW, after checking KGT again, I think that one may not read it in a way
> that {botjan} is the word for the forcefield itself. You must also include
> preceding phrases, were it is explained that terrans use the same words for
> a hand held shield and the forcefield, but klingons do not. They call it
> {botjan}. Okrand could have been clearer, telling it's the device, but that
> would have become too detailed and technical.

Here is KGT p. 67:
<<Although the Federation Standard word "shields" refers to both the
old hand-held protective armor and the force field protecting a vessel
-- the newer meaning clearly based on the older -- in Klingon, there
is no connection between the two. The force field on a ship is called
{botjan}. To shield a ship, one must "activate the shields," or
{botjan chu'}.>>

I think KGT is actually saying that Klingons refer to the invisible
force field itself as {botjan}. After all, it is the thing doing the
blocking. The shield generator does not block anything, it creates the
thing (the {Surchem}) that blocks, so if anything it is a {botjan
lIngwI'}. Possibly, over time, Klingons took to referring to both the
{Surchem} and the {lIngwI'} as {botjan}, allowing context to

Lieven <> wrote:
> Now, my two cents for the losing-shield-discussion:
> We know from ST6 {tlham chu'Ha'lu'} "gravity has been deactivated", so in a
> battle situation, I would translate the expression "we've lost shields" into
> {botjan chu'Ha'lu'}.

Have you ever captained a Klingon ship in any Star Trek game^H^H^H^H
Holodeck simulation? Deactivating and disabling the shields are quite
different things. I'd say {botjan Qotlhlu'} for "we've lost shields"
(shields have been disabled) or even {botjan Qaw'lu'}. It may happen
to be true that {botjan chu'Ha'lu'} in that situation also, but it's
not exactly the same thing.

Suppose you're captaining a Klingon ship and you are getting pummeled.
Shields are at 25%. You take advantage of a brief respite in enemy
fire to cloak. {So'DI' Duj, botjan chu'Ha'lu', 'ach Qotlhlu'be'.}
While you're evading enemy scans, your crew diverts power and repairs
the shields to 50%. You are confident that this is sufficient for an
attack run, so {So'wI' Dachu'Ha', botjan Dachu', 'ej jagh DaHIv}. The
enemy gets in a few good hits and destroys your shield generator,
{botjan Qotlh}, but you achieve ultimate victory.

As for the ST6 losing gravity situation, the crew member who says this
only knows that they lost gravity, and didn't know whether this was
due to gravity being deactivated or if the gravity generator was
destroyed or offline.

> "losing" things has an idomatic use in english here. There's the other
> "lose" {luj}, the opposite of winning, and the {chIl} which has the addition
> "misplace" in TKD to make clear that it's used in the sense "I lost my
> keys".

{chIl} is definitely the wrong word to use with {botjan}, unless it
was a situation like this:

HoD: {baHwI', jagh botjan yIbuS!}
baHwI': {DoS vIchIl!}


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