[tlhIngan Hol] heritage - legacy difference

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon Aug 26 08:28:27 PDT 2019

Since {‘ISyar} ‘legacy” is so new we don’t have any examples of it yet.  But we do have an example of
{quH} “heritage”:

  tuQtaHvIS Hem.  ghaHvaD quHDaj qawmoH.
  He wears it [his sash] proudly as a reminder of his heritage. S20

Also, don’t forget {lurDech} “tradition”:

  qorDu' lurDechmeyna' pab tlhInganpu'
  With strong [Klingon] family traditions... S13

  nughraj Dun lurDechmeyraj Dun je DIvuvta' 'e' lutul HaDwI'pu' 'ej vItul jIH.
  The editors and I hope to have respected your rich culture and tradition
     (Vincent Van Gerven Oei's speech at qepHom wa'maHDIch)

Sometimes it’s useful to see how Okrand uses the English terms:

(KGT 133):  Klingons revere their ancestors, respect their elders, and have unparalleled veneration for heritage.

(KGT 62 ill.):  Honoring his heritage, a member of the House of Mogh proudly displays its insignia.

(KGT 133):  Younger Klingons, while accepting their heritage and observing the ancient rites, see some aspects of their elders' behavior and beliefs as, if not obsolete, then just old-fashioned.

(KGT 123):  The sash represents a Klingon's heritage. If the sash is removed, so is the Klingon's ancestral identity, and, along with it, his or her dignity and self-esteem.

(KGT 36):  Klingon society is a stratified one. That is, there are clear distinctions between those with great wealth and influence and those with little or none. This sort of status is a matter of inheritance.

(KGT 35f):  It should be pointed out that the vocabulary associated with rituals, martial arts, literature, opera, and the like, though some of it may be genuinely archaic, is not considered {mu'mey Doy'} (tired words). Traditions are extremely important in Klingon culture, and the younger generation honors them fully.

(KGT 41):  The upper classes, for their part, incorporate a few archaic words into their speech. This is true among all age groups in the upper classes. It may be considered a sign of erudition and respect for tradition; it does not represent an aversion to change.

(TKD 48, on –Ha'):  It was felt best not to argue with Klingon tradition.

(KCD on the Sword of Kahless):  the most revered item in Klingon tradition.

(KGT 59-60):  According to Klingon tradition, the first bat'leth was forged by Kahless the Unforgettable … Because of the importance of the bat'leth in Klingon tradition, however, they have taken to calling the bat'leth {betleH quv}…

… and (occasionally) the Klingon-related episodes are helpful:

 "Worf told Jeremy, whose mother had been killed, 'In my tradition, we do not grieve the loss of the body. We celebrate the releasing of the spirit’." (TKW 145; cf. TNG "The Bonding")

  "The Klingon Empire has maintained a dueling tradition; they think they can beat us with swords." (Kirk, TOS "Day of the Dove")

  "We don't practice Klingon tradition." (Wesley Crusher, TNG "The Icarus Factor")

  "Kahless left us, all of us, a powerful legacy. A way of thinking and acting that makes us Klingon. If his words hold wisdom and his philosophy is honorable, what does it matter if he returns? What is important is that we follow his teachings. Perhaps the words are more important than the man." (Kahless II to Worf, TNG "Rightful Heir)

As nIqolay mentioned, there is a certain degree of overlap.  That’s to be expected… in all natural languages.  Okrand’s goal was to create a natural sounding artificial language, not a perfectly logical and unambiguous one.   Klingon isn’t Vulcan.

Until we get more information I imagine {‘ISyar} refers to something tangible; something one could physically inherit and pass down from generation to generation.  IOW something that would be mentioned in your parent’s last will and testament (e.g. personal belongings, weapons, lands and other property).



On Behalf Of nIqolay Q

On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 10:14 AM mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com<mailto:mihkoun at gmail.com>> wrote:
Although I m-w'd "heritage" and "legacy", I still can't understand the difference between them.
If my father dies and leaves me a house, is this house my {quH} or my {'ISyar} ?
The earth which will be inherited by the poor, is a {quH} or a {'ISyar} ?
The culture of ancient rome, for the italians of today, is their {quH} or their {'ISyar} ?

The English words have some overlap. My feeling is that "heritage"/{quH} focuses more on the descendant receiving something passed down, while "legacy"/{'ISyar} focuses more on the ancestor passing something down to their descendants. So in your first example, with the house being passed down from your father, I would say the house is {quHlIj} and {vavlI' 'ISyar}.

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