[tlhIngan Hol] chan

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Mar 18 02:17:34 PDT 2021

On Wed, 17 Mar 2021 at 17:31, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 3/17/2021 11:36 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> And so, North became the dominant reference point on the compass.
> No, that's not why. In fact, I have read that most early maps put east at
> the top, since the sun rises in the east. Cultures tend to make their maps
> reflect their homes as the dominant or top of a map. Modern compasses come
> from Western and Northern culture, so North gets put on top.
The Klingon word for "compass", {SInan}, is a pun on the original Chinese
name of this device, 司南 (sīnán). The character 南 means "south", and is a
pictograph of a compass. (The modern Chinese name, 指南針, means
"south-pointing needle".)

Historical Chinese maps put China in the centre of the world. Some of the
earliest Chinese maps actually placed North on top, not because of
magnetism, but because the Emperor came from the North. (The compass
pointed from the Emperor towards his subjects, who were in a "lower"
position than himi.) Historical Islamic maps place Mecca in the centre, and
some of the earlier ones, such as the 12th c. al-Idrisi map, put South at
the top (placing Arabia above Europe). During the Age of Sail, it was
common to consider East to be the top of the map. The convention that North
is the dominant reference point is quite recent in history.

For all we know, Klingons have the compass directions that they do because
Boreth happened to be in the East when Kahless pointed to it.

Here's an article from the BBC about this subject:

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