[tlhIngan Hol] Type 9-ed verb as SAO

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 03:05:37 PST 2019

On Wed, 4 Dec 2019 at 04:22, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:

> Keep in mind that the movies are edited by people who don’t speak Klingon.
> We don’t even know if what we see is what was intended to have been shot.

It wasn't. I've heard Okrand talk about filming that scene. The reason for
the weird {QamvIS} grammar was because that one actor couldn't remember the
entire original line, so Okrand had to make it as short as possible while
preserving the meaning.

However, keep in mind also that Okrand actually went back and retrofitted
the language to the final cut of the scene, so that it's supposed to match
the meanings of the published subtitles *despite* the fact that the lines
may have been edited so that they no longer reflected the original intent.

For example, Rosanna DeSoto (Azetbur) mispronounced {vavwI'} and said
{vavoy} instead, which is how we got the suffix {-oy}. The fact that this
suffix begins with a vowel, contrary to the usual pattern, was because it
was invented to fit how she actually pronounced it.

Witness the guy spreading out the map, babbling something like
> wawawawawawawawawawaaa.

General Kerla was the one who spread the map, and his line was
{DIHIvlaHtaHvIS DaH DIHIvnIS} (the first line spoken in Klingon) which was
quite clear.

The flubbed line was "We can take whole by force what they propose to
divide!" I've attempted to reconstruct it, but Okrand didn't remember the
original line when I asked him. The problem is that the actor flubbed the
line so badly that it sounds nothing like what was intended. The only clear
part is the {pe'vIl wItlhaplaH} in the middle, which I'm pretty sure is
correct because it fits the translation and is in any case clearly audible.
There's a pause between {pe'vIl} and {wItlhaplaH}, which could mean that
the actor dropped a word in between.

He does say something which sounds like "wawa" in the sentence, which is
probably what you're remembering, which is likely the verb {wav} "divide".

The word {pe'vIl} appears in TKDA (the Appendix to The Klingon Dictionary).
Many words in TKDA were invented for Star Trek VI, like {qo'} and
{toy'wI''a'} from the same dialogue. TKDA also contains {naQ} "be full,
whole, entire" and {lagh} "disassemble, take apart", which fit the
translation of this line. (I wonder if {lagh} originated as a mispronounced
{naQ} in a different take of this line?)

As it stands, what I have is something like this:
Qa[ng?] wawa {pe'vIl [pause] wItlhaplaH} ho be gah

If anyone's interested to try to recover the original line, here's the
scene (sorry I couldn't find a better version on YouTube, I have it on DVD

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