[tlhIngan Hol] Introduction and a letter from Marc Okrand

James Landau savegraduation at yahoo.com
Fri May 14 15:10:55 PDT 2021

>Date: Wed, 12 May 2021 16:29:16 -0400
>From: SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name>

>maj. pov qechvam. bIQapjaj!
I was really proud that I recognized "maj" as the interjection for "Good!" without having to look it up! qatlho'.
>> Another thing I want is to start translating things into Klingon. Some 
>> help isn't bad, but even if I translate the whole thing on my own, I 
>> want to make sure I didn't (a) make a syntax error, (b) misuse 
>> affixes, or (c) misunderstand the meaning of a word.
>> I already have a particular pop song I'd like to translate in mind. 
>> Stay tuned!
>Beginners always want to translate things, especially songs and poems, 
>and this is probably one of the hardest things you can do.
>Translating simple sentences and ideas is one thing. Translating poetry 
>or lyrics that were chosen to be metaphorical, subtle, and pithy is 
>quite another, and even expert Klingon speakers have trouble doing it well.
>I won't tell you not to translate such things, but I strongly recommend 
>you start on expressing yourself in Klingon rather than trying to 
>translate the expressions of others.

A perspective I hadn't considered. I understand this, as I'm a songwriter myself (with a YouTube channel up at Savegraduation), and was recently invited to translate "I Want It That Way" by BSB into Kankonian (I'm translating some parts; my collaborator, who has his own conlang, is translating other parts). Not only am I a native English speaker, but I understand my own conlang well enough to reason that "You are my fire" would become *Ar as oul rivas* (You are the only blood), as blood is a metaphor used in Kankonian for things that are full of life and passion. My grasp on Kankonian's vocabulary is good enough to be able to think of *pivas* (girls) as a word that rhymes with *rivas*, so I could get the first two lines at: *Ar as oul rivas/Sem hales pivas* (You are the only blood/Among all girls). And so on.
I've looked at some song translations on the Klingon Wiki, and I noticed most of them rhyme. So there's an unwritten convention in translating songs into Klingon to get them to fit both the meter and rhyme of the original lyrics?
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