[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing "all of us"

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 27 22:09:40 PST 2018


On Sat, Jan 27, 2018 at 10:19 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> The fierceness with which people desire a *y'all* in Klingon horrifies
> me. This is no different. There is no fundamental need to express this with
> a built-in phrase.
>
​There is a "y'all". It's *tlhIH*. (Now, if someone wanted​ something for
"all y'all"...)

I disagree with the underlying idea here that not fundamentally needing a
certain phrase or construction means it's not worth being ever used or
discussed. It's true that in many cases, there will be no problems with
translating "all of us" as just *maH*, since it's not usually necessary to
emphasize the entirety of the group someone is speaking for. It's always
wise for translators to consider that not every translation needs to convey
every small detail or nuance of the original, which is why I pointed out
that paq'batlh just uses *maH*. On the other hand, it's certainly possible
that even after that consideration, someone will still want to emphasize
the "all" in "all of us". Perhaps it's a rhetorical device, meant to
contrast with a previous statement, or to use the uncommonness of the
construction to evoke some feeling in the reader, or something else
entirely. And assuming that someone wants to do that, what's the best way
to go about it? (Of course, it's entirely possible that in the specific
case of what mayqel wants to translate, there's no real rhetorical need to
use anything more complicated than *maH*. But I'm considering the "all of
us" question in the more general sense.)

> *Assuming* this were something we wanted to say, I would expect it to be *maH
> Hoch,* not *Hochmaj.* Consider what we discover in KGT with area phrases
> (like *jIH 'em **area behind me,* not **'emwIj*).
>
​Why would you expect *maH Hoch* based on that? I admit that *Hochmaj*
looks unusual, but *Hoch* is a grammatical noun and can presumably take
noun suffixes. (We know it can take *-Hom*.) The only situation we know of
where the *maH X* phrasing is explicitly preferred to the *Xmaj* phrasing
is with area nouns, and *Hoch* is not an area noun. (And some area nouns
like *'ev*, *chan*, and *tIng* do take possessive suffixes, even in *ta'
Hol*.)

> Kinda works against using this as a substitute for *we all.*
>
Not really. It just means you have to put some thought into the rest of the
sentence, instead of just directly substituting it for *maH*.
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