[tlhIngan Hol] why we shouldn't do transcriptions

Luciano Montanaro mikelima at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 01:14:20 PST 2020

It is a funny story, but think how much better would it be if the
translator used {nargh} for Peter... as he should have, to make the
"you are Petrus (Stone), and on this stone I will build my church"...
line understandable to galactic converts...


On Thu, Feb 27, 2020 at 8:25 AM Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:
> This is a topic that comes back over and over, and there are divided
> opinions: Some strictly say DON'T, others say Why not?
> Well, I just noticed a nice event that shows what can happen:
> (and even though I may mix up something, It's a good example)
> Step 1:
> Many years ago, somebody translated The Gospel of John into Klingon.
> While doing so, they decided to transcribe many names. One of them is
> "peter" which turned out to pe'tlhoS, probably based on Latin Petrus.
> Step 2:
> Somehow, this text was added to the database of Bing. The software
> started to learn and found out the word for "Peter" (which is actually
> nonsense, because it's a name that should not be translated, but that's
> another topic).
> Step 3:
> Some lazy workers at FOX studios uses Bing to translate a Klingon
> dialogue. And so, the Klingon version of "Peter" pops up in Family Guy!
> Step 4:
> If anyone who knows nothing about Klingon, Okrand, our group's
> conventions, or anything, tries to analyze that text - assuming they
> find out the corrected grammar - they will also find that pe'tlhoS is
> Klingon for "Peter".
> So you see how one apparently minor insignificant decision can have
> large consequences many years later.
> That's why I still keep insisting that translators should avoid making
> transliterations and making up new words as much as possible.
> Just my 2 cents on this. I agree that we may disagree.
> --
> Lieven L. Litaer
> aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"
> http://www.klingonisch.de
> http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/StarTrekDiscovery
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Luciano Montanaro

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