[tlhIngan Hol] pseudo-Klingon words from the paq'batlh

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 2 11:42:58 PDT 2019

On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 1:55 PM Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:

> NOOOOOOO! [add echo here]
> Hold on! There's a big difference between building words based on the
> rules described in TKD, and inventing completely new words.
> It's true that {turuqqangqa'moHtaHneS'a'} was never written by Okrand,
> but if I make up words like {bawuS vISop} nobody will ever know what it
> means.

That's because there is no systematic approach for going from whatever
*bawuS* is supposed to mean to the word *bawuS*. On the other hand, there
is at least an informal systemic approach, derived from what Okrand has
already done, to make transliterations. The gulf between <whatever> and
*bawuS* is much wider than the one between, say, **bIruqlIn* and Brooklyn.

> But the informal rule (again, see the FAQ) is that we should not do it.
> It's true that there are systems that show how to transliterate, but
> again, it's not 100% clear. You may think that {moSqaw} is obvious, but
> a Russian writer may prefer {moSIqva'}.

I would prefer something like *moSIqva'* too, since we already know that
Okrand prefers to use the native place name when transliterating. There are
plenty of other cases where following Okrandian examples can lead to
confusion, because not every detail of grammar and syntax has been
explained. (In *turuqqangqa'moHtaHneS'a'*, does the combination of *-qang*
and *-taH* mean "to be continually willing to do it" or "to be willing to
do it continually"? Both? Neither? Either depending on context? How about
when you add *-qa'*? The translation I provided is not the only possible

(I admit I goofed with *na'Saretlhngan 'I'eySoS*, I was combining English
and Greek transliterations and got the word order wrong to boot. If we go
with Aramaic, it'd probably be something like *yeSu' naSratlhngan*.)

> And that's why the safest way is to simply write "Jesus", which is a
> word that everyone understands in enarly every language.

If the assumption is that the reader already speaks another language, then
why bother translating? When people are translating the New Testament into
other languages, they don't just leave it as "Jesus" right there. They find
some way to translate it into the local tongue, even if the locals don't
already have an accepted word for "Jesus". When I look up the book of Mark
on Biblegateway.com in all the various languages they have, they don't have
Jesus's name in English or Greek or Hebrew in the middle of the Urdu or
Welsh or Cherokee translations. In the case of the Gospels specifically,
the entire point is to explain who Jesus is so that you don't need to have
heard of him before. The point of translating them is so that people don't
have to rely on their knowledge of Jesus from other languages.

This is what I was trying to get at: the specific sequences of letters or
phonemes you use to talk about Jesus is not as important as the story
surrounding him. Just pick one. If you think the audience of potential
Klingon Christians would be more likely to use his Federation Standard
name, go with *jIySuS*. If you think they'd prefer his name in his native
tongue, look it up in Aramaic or Hebrew and come up with something. If
you're concerned that an English speaker won't know who you're referring to
without context, you're translating the whole book! It's all context!
Jesus' name is mentioned in the first verse of the book. Whatever
transliteration you use, you're immediately explaining that that name
refers to *joH'a' puqloD*. They will get it, I promise.
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