[tlhIngan Hol] one of the earliest sentences translated into Klingon

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Sat Nov 27 15:52:46 PST 2021

On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 at 16:43, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 11/26/2021 8:27 AM, De'vID wrote:
> He didn't explicitly say which lines, but he provided enough information
> for me to work out one of them, namely the following line from "Friday's
> Child": "The rare mineral topaline, vital to the life-support system of
> planetoid colonies, has been discovered in abundance here." You'll notice
> that every single word needed to translate this sentence is in TKD ("no
> bloody A..."), and in particular, the word {toplIn} appears in no other TOS
> episode.
> I'm familiar with the story. I don't think the presence of the word
> *toplIn* points to that sentence being something he translated.
It's not *just* the word {toplIn}. It's {qub}, {tlhIl}, {potlh} (n),
{yIntagh}, {yuQHom}, {miDmey}, {tu'}, {law'}, and {naDev}.

Sure, he could've just looked at the sentence and then made up all the
Klingon words without having translated it. I can't ever prove that he did.
But the fact that {mIDmey} (and not just {mID}) appears in TKD shows that
he did at least think about how to translate parts of it, like how to
pluralise nouns.

> He also gave us words for *kevas, t**rillium, radan,* not because he
> necessarily translated lines, but because he took all the made-up Star
> Trekky foreign words and gave them Klingon equivalents.
The episode "Errand of Mercy" introduced Kor. In that episode, the
character Claymere says of Spock, "A Vulcan trader, perhaps. A dealer in
kevas and trillium. Harmless to the Klingons." Words in TKD: {vulqangan},
{mech}, {chaq}, {ngev}, {qevaS}, {DIlyum}, {joch}, and of course,
{tlhIngan}. A possible translation: {chaq vulqangan mechwI' ghaH. qevaS
DIlyum je ngev. tlhInganpu'vaD jochbe'.}

The episode "Elaan of Troyius" also had Klingons, and in it Elaan says,
"They call them radans. The necklace is supposed to bring you luck. It is
of little value. They are common stones." Words in TKD: {Dom}, {pong},
{ghIgh}, {Do'}, {lo'laH}, {nagh}, {qub}/{le'}/{motlh}. A possible
translation: {bIHvaD Dommey lupong. DuDo'moHlaw' ghIgh. lo'laHbe'. naghmey
le'be' bIH.}

If he was only looking for Star Trekky words, he didn't have to provide the
vocabulary to translate the entire lines. He told me that he translated
some lines, but not which ones. I can't prove he translated this one, but
the presence of every word in it in TKD seems like good evidence.

> That said, if I were translating the line using only TKD and no post-TKD
> clarifications (like the fact that *law'* doesn't work for uncountable
> nouns), I might do it like this:
> *tlhIl qub 'oH toplIn'e'. yuQHom mID yIntaghvaD potlh. naDev toplIn law'
> tu'lu'.*
> Nowadays, of course, I'd use *vItlh* instead of *law'.*
{potlh} is only a noun in TKD. The verb was added in the Addendum. :-)

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