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Author Topic: Searching for a translation of the Serenity Prayer  (Read 5791 times)
Habbiny
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« on: 02 18, 2007, 05:29: PM »

Hello, I am a young artist living and working in
New York, and I'm posting here because I'm seeking information that
relates to this forum's collective knowledge of the Klingon Language and its
translation into English.

I seek a Klingon Translation of the Serenity Prayer (Specifically, the
version of the prayer used by Alcoholics Anonymous), which is as
follows:

"God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference."

This elegant and powerful prayer has been very important to me
throughout my life, and I am i interested in finding a new way to
present it to the world.  My intention is to create an ornamental
plaque featuring sculptural elements in carved relief along with the
Serenity Prayer (translated into Klingon, and written in Klingon
script).  I am hoping not only to create a beautiful artwork, but also
that that such an artwork could evoke in a viewer some contemplation
about the universal need for prayer.  I am also interested in the ways
in which such an object would represent a domestic side of Klingon
culture that is rarely in the public consciousness.  I am also
interested in the way that such a sculpture addresses  contemporary
relationships to both religion and entertainment.

I am also hoping that this project could also create more awareness of
the Klingon Language.

My question for you is this:

Where can I find a translation of this prayer rendered in Klingon
script?  I am looking for something more than a simple swapping out of
words, English for Klingon, but rather a translation that would
respect the integrity of both the prayer and the Klingon language.  I
would love to be as accurate as possible. 

Also, here is a link to my website, where you can see pictures of some of my
drawings and paintings :

www.tedmineo.com
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Qunchuy
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« Reply #1 on: 02 19, 2007, 08:33: PM »

Quote
"God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference."

Doch vIchoHlaHbe'bogh vIlajmeH jIjotjaj.
Doch vIchoHlaHqu'bogh vIchoHmeH jIjaqjaj.
pIm Dochmeyvam 'e' vItlhojmeH jIvaljaj.


So that I accept the things which I cannot change, may I be calm.
So that I change the things which I can change, may I be bold.
So that I realize that these things are different, may I be clever.


Okay?
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Kesvirit
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« Reply #2 on: 02 19, 2007, 10:11: PM »

I like Qunchuy's thlIngan version a lot better than the original.

-=- Kesvirit
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Habbiny
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« Reply #3 on: 02 20, 2007, 02:32: AM »

Thanks so much,  Qunchuy.  I'm very grateful to you.

  I thought you'd be interested in an alternative translation I got to this query from Joel from mrkingon.com :

'op Dochmey vIchoHlaHbe'. roj chonob   joH'a' vaj jIyaj
some things I-can-not-change.  peace you-give-me God then I-understand

'op Dochmey vIchoHlaHchu'. toDuj chonob vaj jIvang
some things I-can-change.  courage you-give-me then I-act

choQaHchugh jIvalchoHmoH 'ej Dochmeyvam vISov
if-you-help-me I-change-become-smart and these-things I-know
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ter'eS
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« Reply #4 on: 02 20, 2007, 10:03: AM »

I also like Qunchuy's version.  Keep in mind, that if you are intending to render this in pIqaD,
you'll need some sort of character map. The digraphs (eg. ch) and the trigraph tlh will
be single characters.  Are you planning to draw the characters by hand, or use a printer and a klingon
font?  If you are using a printer, you will need to have a keyboard-to-character map.  For example, in
the most common pIqaD fonts, the character for the group tlh will be represented by
an 'x' on the keyboard.

I have my own copies of these things, but I got them so long ago I honestly don't know where you
can get them today.

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Habbiny
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« Reply #5 on: 02 20, 2007, 12:41: PM »

Hi Teresh, thanks for your thoughts about pIquD.  I've been using the KLI's version as my guide so far.
My plan is to hand-draw the inscription and then sculpt it in clay.
So I'm going to take a while and fine-tune all- I'll probably make a few very subtle embellishments to make everything look right, too.
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Qunchuy
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« Reply #6 on: 02 20, 2007, 08:31: PM »

I thought you'd be interested in an alternative translation...

It's not bad, but it has a few problems.

'op Dochmey vIchoHlaHbe'.
I cannot change some things. This is fine.

roj chonob joH'a' vaj jIyaj.
You give me peace, great lord, thus I understand. This is phrased as a statement, not as a wish or request as a prayer probably ought to be. It also uses the term joH'a' great lord to translate "God", which might be a controversial choice.

'op Dochmey vIchoHlaHchu'.
I perfectly can change some things. This is okay, but I think -chu' perfectly, completely is excessive and a simple -qu' emphasis on -laH can would be better.

toDuj chonob vaj jIvang.
You give me courage thus I act. Again, it's a simple statement rather than something more appropriate to a prayer.

choQaHchugh jIvalchoHmoH 'ej Dochmeyvam vISov.
If you help me I cause [something] to become smart and I know these things. I don't understand the use of -moH cause on the second word; I believe it is an error and should just be jIvalchoH I become smart. The last clause is uncomfortably vague, and I wouldn't know what "these things" refer to if I hadn't already looked up the Serenity prayer. Finally, this line too is completely missing the idea of asking for the desired qualities.

This rendition reinterprets the original almost to the point of losing the underlying ideas. Though my version changes the wording significantly, I believe it preserves the meaning better. I am by no means an appropriate judge of its aesthetic qualities, but I think it carries some of the poetic prosody of the original as well.
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Kesvirit
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« Reply #7 on: 02 20, 2007, 10:15: PM »

Quote
quoth tereshKeep in mind, that if you are intending to render this in pIqaD, you'll need some sort of character map. The digraphs (eg. ch) and the trigraph tlh will be single characters.  Are you planning to draw the characters by hand, or use a printer and a klingon font?  If you are using a printer, you will need to have a keyboard-to-character map.  For example, in the most common pIqaD fonts, the character for the group tlh will be represented by an 'x' on the keyboard.

I have my own copies of these things, but I got them so long ago I honestly don't know where you can get them today.

For those interested, there is a thread on Klingon fonts and their sources here.

-=- Kesvirit
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« Reply #8 on: 02 21, 2007, 08:12: AM »

I too like the version done by Qunchuy, and that is comming from one who still holds that Klingons wouldn't recognize a higher being, in the way required for such a prayer. This is similar to an artform I have called cultural translation, where the original work is reworded into a form that keeps as much of the original meaning as possible but arranges it in a way that it would likely be interpreted and spoken by Klingons.

On a somewhat related note, I reworked a poem that I titled Day of Honor, it's original source was a Sanskrit serenity prayer, that I found on the back of the program book at an AA banquet I was working at several years ago.
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qoSagh qlIStIy
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Klythe
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« Reply #9 on: 02 26, 2007, 01:26: AM »


    Again, I could be wrong, but the base text doesn't seem to be about Serenity at all.  I think the Serenity prayer should be something more like:

Mal, grant me the Serenity
to transport the things I can make a buck off,
to escape the Purplebellies and Reavers
and the freedom to be a Browncoat.


Cheesy Klingon Grin
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Kesvirit
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« Reply #10 on: 02 27, 2007, 12:26: AM »

Shame on you, Klythe. I am as prone to topical drift as anyone, but this is clearly off-topic for a Klingon board. But it is entertaining enough for me to let it slide. *struggles to crush smile and project a stern demeanor* This time.

It would be much more appropriate to post it over at The Serenity Browncoats forum, where more are likely to get the joke.

-=- Kesvirit
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Richard the Sound Guy: "And the next person to lecture me about canon risks getting shot out of one! Right, gaffers?"
Gaffers make appreciative and supportive remarks in the form of bad imitations of primate calls from the direction of the lighting grids.
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