[tlhIngan Hol] 'op jajmey..

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Feb 18 12:25:48 PST 2020

Consider that the Klingon {-lu’} and the pronoun {vay’} have proportionally high usage in Klingon canon compared to any use of a generic “you” (using {Da-} or such), and English sounds awkward when we try to talk about the generic “one” doing things, or if we overuse the passive voice, which isn’t the same as {-lu’}, but for translation purposes, it often works as an alternative to making the subject the generic “one”.

Basically, as English speakers, we are biased against the laziest translations of {-lu’} and {vay’} and biased toward the generic “you”. It’s not a bias that gracefully carries over to Klingon.

I agree with SuStel and ghunchu’wI’ on this, and I’ll point out that whenever SuStel and ghunchu’wI’ agree on something, that’s usually worth paying attention to. I don’t think it’s just a matter of personal style. I think that if you lean in too hard on the use of the generic “you”, there’s something about the language and its conventions that you aren’t paying attention to.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Feb 18, 2020, at 9:15 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 2/18/2020 7:55 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> SuStel:
>>> It's also upon the person writing to take into account the sensibilities
>>> and conventions of his or her audience.
>> True, but since there are several thousand people learning klingon, I
>> doubt anyone can speak in their name, as if he'd asked them all.
> That's what conventions are for. They are guidelines agreed upon by general consensus as the best way of doing something. You aren't forced to follow conventions, but by definition they are what a majority of people will be expecting.
>> SuStel:
>>> You can come up with a writing
>>> style that you think is wonderful, but if your audience doesn't agree
>>> with you about that then you've failed as a writer.
>> .. But I'm not a klingon writer, nor do I aspire to become one.
> Yes you are. Every sentence you write makes you a writer. I don't mean "author of a published and printed work"; I just mean writer.
>> Suppose okrand is asked, and replies by saying that klingon doesn't
>> have an impersonal second person "you". (And I believe that probably
>> this would be his answer..)
> I don't think he would jump to this answer, since there is evidence of an impersonal you in his Klingon.
>> And then someone triumphantly says: "see ? you can't use it".. maj..
>> I wonder.. Why would the same person, who in that scenario would call
>> me out not to use the impersonal second person "you", wouldn't object
>> too to people saying things like:
>> {DaHjaj, vavnI'wI' yotlhDaq vIghro' vIleghpu'} for "today, at my
>> grandfather's field I saw a cat".
>> Okrand never said that {vIghro'} means "terran cat". People use it
>> though, and noone says to the person using it: "I can't understand
>> what you're saying; is your grandfather a klingon on kronos ? Because
>> only there one could actually see a vIghro'.."
>> Rules are rules,
> No. When it comes to languages, rules are not rules. Rules are descriptions.
> If Okrand were to say "Klingon does not permit an impersonal you," then we could point out someone trying to use an impersonal you and tell them they're wrong. But what that means is that person's use of Klingon contradicts the description of Klingon we've been given.
> When someone uses vIghro' to refer to a Terran cat, they're doing two things. First, they're following the longstanding Star Trek convention of using a word for one type of animal to describe a similar-looking alien animal. A bat is an Earth order. Bajoran bats are mentioned in Star Trek, but they're not related to bats. Eels are an Earth order, but the Ceti eel is not related to eels. Cardassian voles are not voles. Rigellian oxen are not oxen. Alvanian cave sloths are not sloths. Likewise, tera' vIghro' are not vIghro'. It's the same Star Trek game.
> Second, they're not contradicting the description of the vIghro' as a cat-like creature; they're adopting the word as a close substitute for a native Terran word. No one is suggesting that the vIghro' is found on Earth. If you want to be the guy who says "Well, technically, the vIghro' is found on Kronos, not Earth," people are just going to roll their eyes around you. Yes, everyone knows that. A Klingon looking at a cat might think it looks like a vIghro', so I'll just call it a vIghro' whether that's technically correct or not. A more precise Klingon might look at a cat and insist on using the Federation Standard word cat.
>> As I wrote earlier, the reader needs to possess some basic discernment
>> skills. If he lacks them, then I'd ask him whenever he sees a klingon
>> post from me, to just press "delete" and save me the drama of having
>> to explain the obvious.
>> Because one can't say that he misunderstands the impersonal second
>> person "you" as being personal, while at the same time he doesn't
>> misunderstand a {vIghro'} used on its own.
> No one is saying they don't understand you. We're saying that you may not be using the best tools to express yourself.
> -- 
> SuStel
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