[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: nIve'Da'

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Oct 13 06:57:48 PDT 2020

Any time you transliterate between languages, you have to follow the pronunciation rules of the target language. Since certain consonant or vowel combinations are illegal in one language and common in another, transliteration often involves either dropping something or adding something. 

You have to decide which sounds closer to the original: {DItroy’} or {DItroyte’}, since the {y} mimics one of the “i” sounds in English, but counts as a consonant in the rules of Klingon phonetics for legal syllables, and Klingon doesn’t allow two vowels to be without an intervening consonant. I guess he might have also considered {DItro’It}, though the {I} is like the eye in “his” while the {y} is like the “e” in “creek”, which is closer to the eye in "Detroit”.

So, I guess he also might have considered {DItroyIt} or {DItroyet}.

Still, given all the options, {DItroy’} sounds closer to “Detroit” than any other legal Klingon pronunciation because {Detroy’} is a two syllable word and all the others are three syllables, and the only way to make “Detroit” three syllables is to HEAVILY aspirate after the “t”, which SuStel was quite proper to point out, doesn’t sound right, unless you are drunk and trying really hard to not slur.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Oct 12, 2020, at 4:26 PM, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:
> When I saw {DItroy’} I thought Okrand was attempting to render the French pronunciation – sort of! - or perhaps an odd mix of French and English.  Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Pontchartrain_du_D%C3%A9troit>was originally a French fort founded in 1701.  
> Or not wanting to add an extra vowel he could also have simply dropped the final consonant, such as {'entepray'} Enterprise, {lIHtentay’} Liechtenstein and {‘oSteray’} Österreich.  He routinely does this with Terran names ending in –land:  {DoyIchlan} Deutschland, {ne'Derlan} Netherlands, {'Inglan} England, {SIqotlan <http://www.klingonwiki.net/bin/view/Word/SIkotlan>} Scotland, {nu'SIylan} New Zealand and {‘ISlan} Iceland.
> __
> Voragh
> _________________________________________________________________
> From: nIqolay Q
> Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 
> On Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 2:23 PM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
> On 10/12/2020 2:04 PM, nIqolay Q wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 12, 2020 at 10:45 AM Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu <mailto:sboozer at uchicago.edu>> wrote:
> Thanks for the source. I was perusing the qep'a' 2020 new words list over the weekend and discovered another one {DItroy'} Detroit.
> Interesting example of using a glottal stop to transliterate a "t" in a syllable that otherwise already ends in a consonant.
> The final t in Detroit is not aspirated the way a Klingon t always is. A glottal stop is actually closer in sound to the unaspirated t.
> Aspiration doesn't seem to play much of a role in transliterations. In the case of "Detroit", you can't just transliterate the final syllable as -oyt, because -oyt isn't an allowed syllable ending in Klingon phonotactics. Sometimes, Okrand deals with this (consonant after diphthong) by adding another syllable: "Deutsch" (in "Deutschland") -> *Doych -> DoyIch. But in this case, since ' is similar to "t", and -oy' is an allowed Klingon syllable ending, you can just do that.
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