[tlhIngan Hol] why we shouldn't do transcriptions

Hugh Son puqloD Hugh at qeylIS.net
Thu Feb 27 12:19:08 PST 2020

> On Feb 27, 2020, at 13:30, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> Transliterate for me the word "saducees", and then tell me that there's a way for *anyone* reading the transliteration to understand.
> And I will repeat what I asked earlier in this thread, but *noone* replied:
> If one reads the word "saducees" and doesn't understand he can look it up. But where can he look up its' transliteration ?

It’s a proper noun, i.e., a name that identifies a particular person, place, animal, thing, group, etc. It doesn’t matter what particular form it takes as long as it takes a consistent form. I didn’t know what “saducees” was out of context and had to look it up (it seems that a more common spelling is Sadducees”), as you say, but the “out of context” part is very important here. You don’t need to understand what a name means. You only need to recognize that it refers to someone or something specific, and the same someone or something specific throughout the text whenever it appears.

Within the context of the text, it would be clear that “Sadducees”, or whatever they end up being called, are a group of people. Within that same text, we would know about who they are based on how they are described and how they behave. Even “Sadducees” is a transliteration from the Greek Σαδδουκαιος which in turn is a transliteration from the Hebrew צדוקים. Would you read an English bible where every time a proper name appeared it was in a different script?

Yes, transliterating a name makes it harder to find more information about whoever or whatever that name belongs to beyond the context of wherever that name appears. If somebody transliterates a name like “Sadducees” for a Klingon translation of the Bible into something like {SaDyuSIS} if they’re working with the English version of the name, {SaDDuqayoS} if they’re working with the Greek version of the name, or {SaDDuqIm} if they’re working with the Hebrew version of the name, then they won’t be able to find text outside of that Klingon Bible translation where people talk about them in Klingon because hardly anybody talks about the Bible in Klingon compared to the number of people who talk about it in English, Greek, or Hebrew. 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.

Yes, for a beginner it would probably be difficult to recognize that it’s a name, and some time would likely be wasted in figuring that out, but for anybody with a reasonable grasp of grammar and vocabulary, everything surrounding the name and the oddness of the word in general should make it quite obvious what it is. The usefulness of being able to look up the word “Sadducees” only exists because there’s already a lot of existing discussion regarding that name in English. If somebody were translating a very new or more obscure text where a proper name occurs, and nobody on the internet has discussed a particular name from that text, searching for that name would be just as unhelpful regardless of whether or not it was translated.

If I read the Bible in Spanish, find a proper name I’m not familiar with (for this example let’s use María, even though everybody would know this name), should I be upset that when I try to look up this name I don’t get any information from people discussing the English Bible?
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