[tlhIngan Hol] Remain klingon

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Jan 19 06:21:06 PST 2018

On 1/19/2018 5:56 AM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> I was thinking the {tlhIngan maH; taHjaj}, and I don't think that it 
> captures adequately the intended "feeling" of the original "remain 
> klingon".
> The english "remain klingon", doesn't express a wish; it doesn't mean 
> to say "may we remain klingon". It is an imperative.

The sentence is in the imperative mood, but it is clearly an expression 
of a desired state. Here's another example:

/Buy or die!/

In English, these are two imperatives. But Klingon is happy to ignore 
the imperative and present this as a conditional:

*bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHegh*

Klingon does not have a grammatical subjunctive of the hypothetical, so 
it uses conditionals combined with indicative mood. If it did, if there 
were a verb suffix *-foo* that meant hypothetical subjunctive, then you 
could say *bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHeghfoo,* and it would work perfectly.

And that's what you've got with *tlhIngan maH; taHjaj:* an imperative in 
English becomes a subjunctive in Klingon. *-jaj* produces a subjunctive 
mood with a /wish/ or /may /meaning.

Why not translate this as an imperative? Why not translate /Buy or die/ 
as an imperative? Stylistic choice, most likely. There's no reason why 
the phrase couldn't have been *yIje' pagh yIHegh;* we know you can 
conjoin imperatives like this. I find Qov's *tlhIngan maH; taHjaj* more 
suitable to a slogan than any of your suggestions, purely on the basis 
of sounding good.

All this goes to show that translating concepts and sounds may be more 
important in some contexts than reproducing grammatical features like mood.


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