[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "they are there"

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Feb 17 05:46:18 PST 2021

Your question is well presented. Someone else may be able to answer it more directly. 

For me, it brings up the often neglected topic of context. You seek a context-free way of converting the English words, “They are there,” into the one well-formed Klingon equivalent without considering the reason you would be saying it. 

“They are there,” is strikingly vague without context, and the specifics of that context would heavily dictate the decisions leading to the translation. If you are answering an implied or expressed, {nuqDaq chaH?}, the best answer is probably, {pa’}. 

If the question were, {pa’ nuq Dalegh?} the answer could be {chaH}. 

I’m not trying to be sarcastic or frustrating here. We have pronouns in English primarily as placeholders for nouns that are identified by context. It’s a more efficient expression of something that would be tedious if we had to repeat the noun every time. Klingon is less redundant than English. 

“They are here,” is a very characteristic statement in English implying a lot of shared context already known by both the speaker and the listener. So, if two Klingons shared that same known context, what would the Klingon speaker say?

I’m suggesting that an English speaker would say, “They are there,” to cover a wider range of shared context and intended message than a Klingon, who would tend to tailor an even shorter message to the important part of the intended purpose of the utterance. 

Most English utterances lack any purpose at all. We just like to talk. Eventually, we get around to saying something for a reason. Klingons tend to have little patience for this and get straight to the point. 

So, the more vague and less obviously purposeful the English translation, likely the less it will resemble a literal translation in Klingon. 

Forgive my wandering. This happens when I’m speaking English. 

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 17, 2021, at 8:13 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> Something weird came to mind..
> romuluSngan chaH
> they are romulans
> jagh chaH romuluSngan'e'
> the romulans are enemies
> pa' chaHtaH romuluSngan'e'
> the romulans are there
> Now forget the romulans, and assume we want to say "they are there", without specifying who these "they" actually are. Shouldn't we write the following?
> pa' chaHtaH chaH'e'
> they are there
> Wouldn't this be the correct way to say it? It seems weird, but I can't see anything wrong with it.
> The only alternative I could thing of is writing just {pa' chaHtaH}. But the only meanings I get from this are:
> 1. "they continuously are the there".
> 2. "they are there" but the the identity of these "they" isn't just something unspecified, but rather something missing from the sentence. In other words, this sentence feels like someone saying "there, are the.." and that's it.
> So, the only reasonable choice is saying {pa' chaHtaH chaH'e'}. But am I correct on this?
> ~ Dana'an
> o eH aH o e Ha HaH
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