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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Nov 26 07:43:47 PST 2021

On 11/26/2021 8:27 AM, De'vID wrote:
> Years ago, Marc Okrand told me that when he was working on Star Trek 
> III, before he got the final script with the lines he was supposed to 
> translate into Klingon, he picked a number of lines from TOS episodes 
> mostly involving Klingons, to have examples of the sorts of things he 
> might be expected to translate. While working on developing the 
> language, he translated these lines into Klingon to test out his 
> ideas. (Since he likes to tell the same stories over and over again, 
> maybe there's a recording of him telling this story.)
> 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. 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.

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' 

Nowadays, of course, I'd use *vItlh* instead of *law'.*

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