[tlhIngan Hol] two -bogh clauses on a noun without being joined by 'ej

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Mar 10 09:46:40 PST 2021


On Tue, 9 Mar 2021 at 15:07, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 3/9/2021 7:15 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>
> yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI'
> Say'moHchu' may' 'Iw
> The blood of battle washes clean
> the warrior brave and true. (Anthem)
>
> Did 'oqranD write this?
>
> He translated it for the Star Trek: Klingon game. It's unclear to me
> whether this text is a transcription by a Klingonist of what is sung or
> provided directly by Okrand. The actors were not coached on its
> pronunciation, so they pronounce it badly.
>

The Klingon text was provided by Dr. Okrand. It appeared on the Simon &
Schuster website promoting the Day of Honor series of novels. (That website
is long gone, but it also included the original English lyrics by Hilary
Bader, and a back-translation from Klingon into English by Dr. Okrand.)

The text of the song also appears in a few Keith R. A. DeCandido
novels (snippets
on Google Books
<https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Qoy+qeylIS+puqloD%22+DeCandido&tbm=bks>
).


> SuStel:
>
> And it seems to be conjoined by a je, which is why I didn't bring it up.
> It doesn't match what Qa'yIn is trying to do. If it had been yoHbogh matlhbogh
> SuvwI', it would have been what he was asking about.
>
> Yes, indeed. And this {je} confuses me; isn't the {je} supposed to be
> joining only nouns? Or is it being intentionally misused for poetic
> reasons?
>
> On the other hand though, perhaps it's used with the "too" meaning of
> {je} in mind; i.e. "a warrior who is brave and true too".
>
> The grammar has not been explained to us.
>
No, but he has said somewhere in an interview (I don't recall where) that
he had tried to preserve the flavour or spirit of Hilary Bader's English
lyrics in the translation, or something to that effect. While that doesn't
explicitly explain the grammar of this sentence, it seems to mirror the
archaic grammar of the English: "warrior brave and true", as opposed to the
standard "brave and true warrior". So we can assume that saying {yoHbogh
matlhbogh je SuvwI'} rather than {yoHbogh SuvwI' 'ej matlhbogh} in Klingon
is like saying "warrior brave and true" rather than "brave and true
warrior" in English. People will understand what you mean, but it sounds
odd outside of poetry, song, or ritualised speech.

-- 
De'vID
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