[tlhIngan Hol] why we shouldn't do transcriptions

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Thu Feb 27 13:19:44 PST 2020

Am 27.02.2020 um 20:29 schrieb mayqel qunen'oS:
> 99,9% of people who learn klingon, know english. And 99,9% of people who
> know english, would immediately recognize and understand the name "peter".

That is exactly my point. Not only inside the universe, English is
"Federation Standard", also when learning Klingon, knowing English is
nearly inavoidable.

In this general discussion, which hast lasted for over thirty years with
very different opinions, the main problem is always the question
"transliterate from what?" Having a text for instance with a country
name like "Germany" written in English will easily be recognized by
almost everybody, but before we got the canon version {DoyIchlan},
nobody would have understood which country that is supposed to be, and
some might argue it must be {jermanIy}. And then going even further,
what if a French person talks about {'almanye'}, or even {nIyemechqo'}
or others...
That's the reason why I think transliterations should be avoided.

Unless of course it is really needed;

- I agree with others who said that it depends on context. The Klingons
speaking in Discovery needed to speak in a Klingon way, so ANY English
word was transliterated, so that the actors had the correct "accent".
The Klingon subtitles on Netflix on the other hand didn't need any
transcription of names, because it was not read aloud anyway.

- I also agree that if you make a cool shirt with Klingon letters, it's
needed to transliterate. I doesn't even work just typing English with a
pIqaD font, which usually creates nonsense.

Am 27.02.2020 um 21:19 schrieb Hugh Son puqloD:
 > But for the purposes of comprehension *within the text itself*, it
 > doesn’t matter what they’re called as long as they’re called the same
 > thing every time they are mentioned.

And here is another problem: How can it be controlled that a name is
constantly transcribed the same way? The bible translation project is a
good example where the same names are currently indeed transcribed
differently. I am not an expert of religion, so is {yeSuS} the same
person as {yeSuwa}? I they are not, why is the seceond part of their
name {'IHrIStoS} in both cases? And if so, who is the person named
{QIStuS}? Even within an obviously clear situation, it is not clear at all.

It even does not help reading either. I got a lot more trouble reading a
phrase full of transliterations because it's harder working trough them
than with straight english words.


I leave it up to anyone to write any way they like, it's not my job to
change anyone's opinion. But I keep teaching that one should avoid it,
because there is not much sense in doing it. And the currect event
proves that: Peter Griffin's name is "Peter"; it's not petros, and
pe'tlhoS is not the (canon) Klingon spelling for "Peter".

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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