[tlhIngan Hol] New Words from DIS 2889

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Wed Jan 29 04:09:48 PST 2020

Am 29.01.2020 um 12:47 schrieb mayqel qunen'oS:
> Aren't we supposed to worship without question the words of maltz,
> kneeling in cult-like reverence before them, with nothing but the
> purest and unflinching loyalty ? Aren't they the holiest of holies,
> not to be defied, falsified, or willingly strayed from ?

Partially true. But look at the order of events:

Jack asked:
"[...]what the most appropriate way of saying "read aloud" is."

Maltz answered:
"[...] that paq mu'(mey) jatlh would work fine.

First, this is not a special expression, no slang, no idiom, just
standard words. You could have made it up yourself, following known grammar.

When Okrand writes "could work fine" sounds like "yeah, okay. There's
many ways, and this is away to do it." He did not explicitely say like
"This is always expressed with xy" or "there is a special phrase" etc.

The next thing is another question:
> If we read {Suvchu'pu' SuvwI'}, then wouldn't we be forced to *only*
> understand that the "warrior fought to the death" ? Or could it mean
> too that, "the warrior fought perfectly, but without finally having
> dying in combat" ?

I would answer generally that you should always focus on the Klingon
words, not the English translations. That counts for every language, btw.

In this case, as opposed to the reading thing, the message is very clear
(KGT 49:)
<<<< [...] when used with some verbs of fighting, implies that the fight
results in death. From the Klingon point of view, {Suvchu'} ("fight
perfectly") is "fight to the death." A similar construction is used for
dueling ({Hay'chu',} "duel to the death"). >>>>

This is very clear with no doubt. But that's a cultural thing. That's
why it also says "From the Klingon point of view". We all know that
Klingons enjoy fighting, and when a Klingon fights in a perfect way, he
does until he dies, he won't take a break or run away.

A kamikaze fighter also dies in battle, but a Klingon would see no honor
in fighting in a suicide mission, so that would not be called {Suvchu'}
by a Klingon, but still by the kamikaze fighters. Now, from a Terran
point of view, a team of football players can certainly {Suvchu'} in
their match if they play in a way that they win the game. They won't die
in that game, just just "fight" in a perfect way. [setting aside the
discussion if football players really fight, but it may work in a karate
competition; you get the point]

So, briefly {Suvchu'} is "to the death" for a Klingon, but literally
only means "fight perfectly".
Reading aloud uses the verb {jatlh}, but you can certainly {jatlh} words
from a book without holding it.

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

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