[tlhIngan Hol] vatlh DIS poH question

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Jun 9 08:49:40 PDT 2016

On 9 June 2016 at 15:27, Lieven <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:
> Am 09.06.2016 um 14:06 schrieb De'vID:
>> I don't see this as a problem at all.
>> The reason {maH}, {vatlh}, {netlh}, {bIp}, and {'uy'} are described in
> [...]
>> and you can't write just {vath} by itself with that meaning.
> This is where I see the problem, or why it's confusing for beginners like
> mayqel. If somebody had asked me to translate "100-year-period" i'd
> immediately have said {wa'vatlh DIS poH}, following TKD.

Maybe it helps to think of {vatlh} and other "number-forming elements"
as "units" like {'uj} or "meter". You can't just say something is or
measures {'uj}, it has to be {wa' 'uj} or have some number in front.
{vatlh} is like that. It's a unit which happens to consist of ten

There's no problem with a formation like {vatlh DIS poH} "century",
because it's a unit too. To specify an actual number of years, you
need a number in front, like {cha' vatlh DIS poH}. Or you can label a
unit with a number, like {vatlh DIS poH cha'maH wej}.

If somebody asked you to translate "100-year-period", you should ask
whether they mean an actual one-hundred-year-period or a unit
consisting of 100 years.

>>> {cha' vatlh DIS poH} "two centuries" makes me think about the question
>>> whether this should be translated per definition as cha' [vatlh DIS poH]
>>> or more literally {cha'-vatlh [DIS poH]} "200 years period."
>> chay' pIm cha' ghu'meyvam?
> 1. One may see [vatlh DIS poH] as the idea of "century". Then, ten centuries
> are {wa'maH [vatlh-DIS-poH]mey}

qay'be'. We have the example of {cha'maH Hut vatlh rep} "seventeen
hundred hours" from Conversational Klingon.

> 2. Or you may see it as a number forming suffix described in TKD and
> translate literally as "200-years-period", or even "750-years-period", that
> is omitting the idea of talking about "centuries", simply years. {cha'vatlh
> DIS poH}...

For 200 years, there's no practical difference between "two centuries"
and "two hundred year period". I think, though, that "two hundred
years" is just {cha'vatlh DIS}, and that the {vatlh} and {poH} bookend
the {DIS} to turn it into a new unit.

For 1000 years, the difference between {wa'maH vatlh DIS poH} and {wa'
SaD DIS poH} is the same difference as between "10 centuries" and "one
millennium" in English.

> majatlhtaHvIS pImchu'be' 'e vIHar, rurmo' cha' qechmeyvetlh. jISaHqu'be'.
> chay' mu'tlheghmeyvetlh Dayaj?
> {qaStaHvIS vatlh DIS poH SochDIch...}
> "during the seventh century..."

I think SkyBox established that centuries as dates are labeled, not
ordered, so this would be {vatlh DIS poH Soch} not {SochDIch}. But
otherwise I don't have a problem accepting that.

> {qaStaHvIS wa'maHwejvatlh DIS poH...}
> "during a period of 1300 years..."

I think {wa'maH wej vatlh DIS poH} is "13 centuries", and "1300 years"
would be {wa'SaD wejvatlh DIS} (without {poH}), whereas {wa'SaD wej
vatlh DIS poH} (with {poH}) would mean "1003 centuries"! At least,
that's what I think the role of {poH} is in these constructions, as a
disambiguator for the time unit.


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