[tlhIngan Hol] Two negations

mayqel qunenoS mihkoun at gmail.com
Sun Jan 7 01:36:20 PST 2018


Philip Newton:
> Όχι, κανείς εδώ δεν ξέρει αγγλικά. "No,
> nobody (= not anyone) here
> knows English." So I think that translating
> κανείς δεν ξέρει into "nobody doesn't
> know" is misleading.

I'm afraid, you forgot the "δεν" in your translation of the greek phrase.

In the above sentence "κανεις" means "κανενας", which in turn means
"nobody".

The exact translation of "κανεις εδω δεν ξερει αγγλικα" is:

κανεις: nobody
εδω: here
δεν: doesn't
ξερει: know
αγγλικα: english

So, the exact translation of the greek phrase goes "nobody here doesn't
know english".

If we said to an american "nobody here doesn't know english" he would
understand "everybody here knows english".

On the other hand, if we said the greek phrase to a greek he would
understand "noone here knows english".

So, exactly the same phrase, has the opposite meaning in these two
different languages, with the problem being, how each one translates the
co-existense of "nobody" with "doesn't".

Now, if you used the "κανεις" in a question as:

"Υπαρχει κανεις εδω που δεν ξερει αγγλικα ?"

Then "κανεις" wouldn't mean "nobody", and it would mean "someone". So, the
meaning would be "Is here someone who doesn't know english ?"

I realize that this must be confusing, and perhaps because of this reason
people say "it all seems greek to me".

The question would be of course, if a klingon heard {naDev, DI'vI' Hol
jatlhbe' pagh} what he would understand.

If you think in english you would understand "everyone here speaks
english", and if you thought in greek you would understand "noone here
speaks english".

But, since there are no real klingons, and the language always uses english
for its translations, we will choose to follow the english way, so we will
all be happy.

~ nI'ghma

On Jan 7, 2018 10:33, "Philip Newton" <philip.newton at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 1 January 2018 at 13:46, mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I just realized something..
> >
> > In english you say "I didn't do anything"
> > In greek we say "I didn't do nothing"
> > In english you say "I don't know anything"
> > In greek we say "I don't know nothing"
> > In english you say "I don't go anywhere"
> > In greek we say "I don't go nowhere"
>
> I'm not sure whether that's true.
>
> Compare:
>
> Μήπως ξέρει κανείς εδώ αγγλικά; "Does anyone here know English?"
> Όχι, κανείς εδώ δεν ξέρει αγγλικά. "No, nobody (= not anyone) here
> knows English."
>
> Words such as κανείς only receive their meaning "nobody" in a negative
> context, rather similar to how "anyone, anything" etc. only turn into
> "nobody, nothing" in a negative context.
>
> So I think that translating κανείς δεν ξέρει into "nobody doesn't
> know" is misleading.
>
> But the main question was about Klingon; sorry for the digression.
>
> Ph.
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