[tlhIngan Hol] Experience and usage of jeS

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Aug 1 06:29:14 PDT 2017

On 8/1/2017 8:01 AM, Lawrence M. Schoen wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 7:49 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name 
> <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
>     Idioms often don't translate between languages, and since Klingon
>     is unrelated to any Earth language there's no chance that idioms
>     in one are also idioms in the other (unless there's borrowing).
> I understand your intention here but I think you're overstating the 
> case. In part, because such an occurrence would be the very definition 
> of "chance" but also because idioms emerge out of behavior and 
> observation and Terrans and Klingons engage in quite a few parallel 
> behaviors. Consider for a moment the many idioms we have for vomiting. 
> This behavior is common ground and I would not be surprised to find a 
> Klingon variant of "he tossed his cookies" that would be readily 
> understandable as figurative language, without need to appeal to 
> "borrowing."

Oh sure, Klingon will sometimes have idioms for things that English has 
idioms for. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Klingon had an idiom 
equivalent to English /he tossed his cookies,/ but I would be VERY 
surprised if that idiom were *chabDaj woD.*

Let me amend my statement to say that idioms often don't translate 
LITERALLY between languages. You can translate an idiom by selecting an 
equivalent idiom in the target language, but not by translating the 
source idiom word for word.

But if you don't have an equivalent idiom in the target language, then 
you have to find the literal meaning of the idiom and translate that.


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