[tlhIngan Hol] Is the given meaning definite ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Mar 8 06:27:37 PST 2019

On 3/8/2019 9:00 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> There are some klingon words, which's given english definitions don't
> match the direct translation of the klingon word.
> Is it imperative, that when using such words, we need to be thinking
> of the given english definition, or can we use the same klingon word
> to express what the klingon word actually means ?
> To illustrate my obscure point, I will use the verb Say'qu'moH and an
> ancient cat.
> So, lets say we just spent a fortune to acquire an ancient cat, and
> the first thing we do is to make it very clean..
> {vIghro' tIQ wIje'ta'bogh wISay'qu'moH}
> we make the ancient cat which we have bought very clean
> Right ?
> But the problem is, that Say'qu'moH has been given as "to sterilize".
> So, although the klingon says "we make the cat very clean", the Ca'NoN
> translation says "we sterilize the cat".
> And because I can *feel* someone ready to say that "to sterilize" is
> to "make something very clean", I will rush to say YOU ARE WRONG !!!
> To sterilize means to make something germ-free. Making something very
> clean, means making it very clean.. To be sterile is to be very clean,
> to be very clean isn't to be sterile.
> So, the question is: Can we use Say'qu'moH to mean what it actually
> means i.e. "to make something very clean", or since it has been given
> as "to sterilize", it can only mean "sterilize" ?

When we're given something like this, where a word plus suffixes is 
translated in a way that an analysis of word plus suffixes would not 
yield, I take it to mean that the combination has special meaning to 
Klingons through whatever quirk of language evolution, and the meaning 
of the components is overridden. If you say *vIghro' wISay'qu'moH,* 
you're saying you're sterilizing the cat, even if you just wanted to say 
you're making the cat very clean. You have to find another way to say 
what you want, like *vIghro' wISay'moHchu'*/we clean the cat perfectly/ 
or *vIghro' wISay'moH; ratlhbej pagh lam*/we clean the cat; it's certain 
that no dirt remains/ or *vIghro' wIlamHa'qu'moH*/we make the cat very 

It's similar to how, as we learn in KGT, when you add *-chu'* to *Suv* 
it implies a fight to the death; you cannot say *Suvchu'* to mean /fight 
without error./


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