[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing location and “prettier than all others” / Hoch DechtaH tI nIl

Rhona Fenwick qeslagh at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 12 21:44:42 PDT 2018

ghItlhpu' nIqolay, jatlh:

> If you wanted to claim poetic license, I'd be willing to accept [ yavDaq QemjIq],

> since the meaning isn't unclear and you're not just doing it because you don't

> know how to properly translate "the hole was in the ground". But if you're

> trying to go for strict grammar, you're going to need to change it.

jang Daniel, jatlh:

> I’m not necessarily going for strict grammar, but I also don’t want to break rules

> unless not breaking them is overly burdensome. I suppose in the Terran version,

> the equivalent phrases are sentence fragments as well (“Oh the wing on the bird,

> and the bird in the egg”

Are they? Huh. The version of the song I'm familiar with deploys full sentences: "And the wing was on the bird, and the bird was in the egg, and the egg was in the nest, and the nest was in the tree, and the tree was in the wood, and the green grass grew all around, all around, and the green grass grew all around". That's folk songs for you.

In either case, I agree with the others that you should steer clear of {X-Daq Y}. The only two examples we have of that construction are labels (one on BoP, one a paq'batlh chapter heading) and consequently are probably abbreviated from something longer anyway. In a coherent text like a song, I'd consider them completely off-limits.

(poD vay')

> Or maybe {magh nIl}, if that doesn’t sound as redundant in Klingon as it does
> in English.

This is a children's song, so I see no problem with {magh nIl} even with that bit of semantic redundancy. In any case, in English "green grass" is relatively redundant anyway, as grass is the stereotypical green object (and both arise from the same etymological origin, along with the verb "grow", which is why "green grass grew" alliterates so neatly).

Alternatively, what about rendering the English directly as {magh SuD}?

> Now that I have a better mental model of Klingon grammar, I think it’s probably
> time to read the grammar section of TKD front-to-back.

If you've gotten to this point without having read through the TKD grammar sketch, then you've done amazingly well. But yes, TKD is still basically crucial to give the full grammatical picture, including the finer nuances of idiom.

QeS 'utlh
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