[tlhIngan Hol] veQpu' or veQmey ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu May 16 06:23:23 PDT 2019

On 5/16/2019 8:54 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> A Star Trek script writer, comes to you and says: I want you to
> translate in klingon, the phrase "kahless, my light".
> Suppose that the "my light" is used metaphorically; would you use
> {qeylIS, tamghaywIj} or {qeylIS, tamghaywI'} ?
> And suppose it's used literally; someone sees kahless being made of
> light (he's a god after all..). Would you use {qeylIS, tamghaywIj} or
> {qeylIS, tamghaywI'} ?
> And of course, the script writer says, that you*have*  to use these
> two words in apposition; i.e. no recasting, no rephrasing,

I would ask the scriptwriter if they really want my help after all.  
They seem to have decided on my translation for me.

Metaphorically, I'd probably use *tamghaywIj.* Literally, I'd only use 
*tamghaywI'* if we were actually talking about a being capable of using 
language that I wanted to refer to as a /light./ I think I'd be very 
unlikely to do so.

Klingons do not have rigid lines of demarcation when it comes to 
deciding whether a noun counts as a being capable of using language.

    The plural suffix for birds is usually *-mey,* the general plural
    suffix, as would be expected. There is a difference of opinion,
    however, about which plural suffix to use for a few birds capable of
    mimicking speech, such as the *vIlInHoD* and the *qaryoq* (and the
    larger *qaryoq'a'*), with some Klingons using *-mey* but others
    preferring *-pu',* the plural suffix for beings capable of using
    language. Maltz is a member of the former camp; he said he was never
    able to engage a *qaryoq* in a conversation that made any sense.

    /HolQeD/ volume 10 number 4

You're basically picking at an issue you don't really need to. Take your 
best guess, and if the noun really doesn't obviously fall into one of 
the genders, nobody'll blame you for your choice. This is an area where 
"good enough" is all there is.


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