[tlhIngan Hol] Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor

Felix Malmenbeck felixm at kth.se
Sun Dec 3 14:09:05 PST 2017

> {Qapla' tlhorghmoH lujpu'ghach'e'}

I think that’s excellent; of course, success is naturally delicious, but it’s flavor that really brings out the flavor.
One might also consider «jejmoH», but I think that might obscure the meaning a bit.

I also think -ghach works very nicely here; the ability to distinguish betweeen «lujtaHghach» and «lujpu’ghach» plays to the language’s strengths.

That being said, I do think there is one more interpretation of the phrase that is worth considering: That it’s the *possibility* of failure that makes success so sweet, rather than previous experiences of failure:

«Qapla’ tlhorghmoH lujlaHghach’e’.»
«lujlaHbe’chugh vay’, tlhorghbe’ Qapla’.»

(Compare with the saying «bIlujlaHbe’chugh bIQaplaHbe’.»)

From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> on behalf of Aurélie Demonchaux <demonchaux.aurelie at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 8:37:10 PM
To: tlhingan-hol at kli.org
Subject: Re: [tlhIngan Hol] Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor

I'd like to suggest also using {tlhorgh}, since according to the KGT:

To the Klingon palate, the best food tastes {tlhorgh} ("pungent," though some non-Klingons may prefer to translate the word as "rank" or "gamy")

So we could have:

{Qapla' tlhorghmoH lujpu'ghach'e'}
It is failure that makes success pungent/delicious.

Or, since verbs are generally preferred in Klingon:

{bIQappa' bIlujchugh, reH tlhorghqu' Qapla'}
If you fail before you succeed, success is always very pungent/delicious

What do you think ?

2017-12-03 4:57 GMT+01:00 nIqolay Q <niqolay0 at gmail.com<mailto:niqolay0 at gmail.com>>:
​​On Sat, Dec 2, 2017 at 9:14 PM, kechpaja <kechpaja at comcast.net<mailto:kechpaja at comcast.net>> wrote:
Given how Klingon seems to work, I've been trying to avoid both {-ghach}
and {-bogh} unless I decide that I really need them, since so many
things (especially proverbs of this sort) that in English use
nominalized verbs and relative clauses tend to skip them in Klingon.

​I could​ have sworn there was canon about how {-ghach} itself was a marked suffix that draws attention to itself (which is why I mentioned avoiding it), but it looks like using {-ghach} without suffixes is what's marked (http://klingonska.org/canon/1994-09-holqed-03-3-a.txt), and that {-ghach} itself seems to be fine. I thought I knew canon better than that. {Hu'tegh!} Anyway, sometimes using {-ghach} too much can suggest that you just got lazy and didn't try to think about your sentence, but there's nothing inherently wrong with it, especially if it's the best fit for your sentence.

{-bogh} is wholly uncontroversial. A look through "The Klingon Way" shows plenty of relative clause
​s in proverbs.​

also trying to work around English-style phrasings such as "give
something a flavor".

​It's good to be aware of Englishisms in your translations, but I'm not sure "give something a flavor" is inherently too English-y. Flavor is a thing, and things can be given. It's a metaphorical sort of giving, maybe, but the whole expression is a metaphor. As an alternative to {nob}, {ghajmoH} is pretty basic but serviceable. I also like De'vID's suggestion of {chel}.

Qapla' 'eymoHbogh ghevI' 'oH lujlu'ghach'e'.

​This is fine; it's pretty much the first thing I thought of. (I went with {lujpu'ghach'e'} myself, but {-lu'} also makes sense.)

Or maybe this:

Qapla' 'eymoHbogh ghevI' bIH Qaghmey'e'.

I may end up going with the last one; {Qagh} is about as close as
Klingon has to a non-{-ghach} noun for "failure".

I wouldn't use {Qagh} "mistake" as a synonym for failure​. {pIqarD HoD} says it better than I could: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TCX90yALsI (That's a pretty Klingon sentiment too... a first attempt at a translation: {Qaghbe'chugh vay', vabDot lujlaH vay'. puj 'oHbe'. yIn 'oH.})

​You could get even shorter, depending on what parts of the original you're willing to drop and how much of the metaphor you want to leave implied:
{Qapla' ghevI' 'oH lujpu'ghach'e'} "Failure is the sauce of success."​
{Qapla' 'eymoH lujpu'ghach'e'} "Failure makes success delicious."

​{lujpu'ghach jablu'DI' je reH QaQqu' Qapla' nay'} "Success is a dish best served with failure." (This has very little to do with the original phrasing, but the food metaphor made me want to riff on the familiar Klingon proverb.)​

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