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Author Topic: Dune's "Litany Against Fear"  (Read 26619 times)
Habbiny
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« on: 02 21, 2007, 07:34: PM »

[Edit -- continued from the Serenity Prayer thread]

Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I agree that one of the unique challenges of this translation seems to be striking the appropriate compromise between the prayer's sensibility and the Klingon temperment and worldview.  I've also been thinking lately about the possibilities of translating the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert's Dune books.  I'd be curious to see how it fits into a Klingon way of seeing the world:

Litany Against Fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.   

Also, I'd love to see your poem, qoSagh. 
« Last Edit: 02 22, 2007, 03:41: AM by Kesvirit » Logged
Qunchuy
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« Reply #1 on: 02 21, 2007, 11:29: PM »

Quote
Litany Against Fear
I don't believe this one makes the transition to Klingon without taking a lot of damage in the process. The big issue is that there's no simple Klingon word for "fear". There is a grammatical tool to express being afraid to do or be something in particular, and there is a verb Haj dread, but speaking of fear as a noun isn't easy.

Something similar can certainly be created, but it don't think it would be the same thing at all.
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Habbiny
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« Reply #2 on: 02 22, 2007, 12:48: AM »

Yeah, I kind of figured as much.  It seems like Klingons would find this prayer pretty irrelevant.
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qoSagh
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« Reply #3 on: 02 23, 2007, 01:13: AM »

I don't think this would be irrelevant to Klingons at all. I do think it would be learned at a very young age, in the beginnings of martial arts training. I think all Klingons would learn to get rid of fear in all their dealings, combat or otherwise. Think about this sentiment as expressed in the FASA concept, All interactions are battles, there is a winner and a looser. Combined with the traditional Klingon Greeting of What do you want? This shows that strength of position is a vital part of Klingon life. Such strength can not exist in an environment of fear. So fear must be dealt with and vanquished before one can deal with any situation as an adult Klingon. I actually think that the litany is pretty good as is.

Oh and My Day of Honor poem is located right on these forums at http://www.klingon.org/smboard/index.php/topic,249.0.html
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qoSagh qlIStIy
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« Reply #4 on: 02 26, 2007, 07:03: AM »

   Are you sure this is the right text?   My research shows the correct verbiage is the Litany against Decaf are as follows:

I will not brew Decaf.
Decaf is the mind-killer.
Decaf brings the little sleep
that leads to total oblivion.
I will embrace my caffeine.
I will brew my beverages and
let them flow through me,
and when they are gone,
I will remain...alert.
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DaharMaster_Kor
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« Reply #5 on: 04 02, 2014, 01:53: AM »

I humbly submit the following (please double-check my grammar, usage of suffixes, etc.)
I'm using "to fear" as in infinitive, so functioning as a verb.
Slight restructuring from transliteration was required, for example, "To fear is the mind killer that brings about total obliteration" could be "To fear is to kill the mind and bring about total obliteration"


jIHvIpQo'.
yabHoHwI' Haj.
HeghHom qembogh Qaw'naqbogh Haj.
HajwIj bam jIH.
vIchaw' mujuS 'ej muvegh jIH.
'ej DujuSpu'DI', HeDaj legh qoD mIn tlhe' jIH.
Daq mejpu' Haj, pagh.
ratlh jIH mob.
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De'vID
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« Reply #6 on: 05 06, 2014, 09:00: AM »

As Qunchuy has pointed out, it's difficult to express "fear" as a noun in Klingon. We can talk about being afraid of doing something (attaching -vIp to a verb or using the verb Haj with 'e'), or dreading something (using Haj with a noun), but it's hard to talk about "fear" as an abstract concept. In Klingon, you don't say someone is afraid without specifying what it is they're afraid of.


Quote
I must not fear.
jIHvIpQo'.

When the pronoun jIH is used as a verb, it means "I am (something)". So jIHvIpQo' means "I won't be afraid to be (something)", but what is that something? The most I can make of this sentence is that it means "I won't be afraid to be (i.e., to exist)", not "I will not experience fear".

I'd recommend recasting as something like:
pagh vIHaj I (will) fear nothing.
vay' vIHajQo' I won't fear anything.


Quote
Fear is the mind-killer.
yabHoHwI' Haj.

As written, this would be a clipped command to "Fear the mind-killer!" Haj isn't a noun, and even if it were, you'd still need a verb (like yab HoHwI' 'oH *Haj'e'). But if you're using verb+-wI' with a pronoun+'e' construction in Klingon, you're better off just using the verb, like so: yab HoH *Haj.

Again, better to recast in Klingon using verbs:
Hajlu'DI' yab HoHlu' when one dreads, the mind is killed.

(Recall the sentence "Death is an experience best shared" in Klingon, Heghlu'DI' mobbe'lu'chugh QaQqu' Hegh wanI'.)


Quote
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
HeghHom qembogh Qaw'naqbogh Haj.

I don't understand what *naq is, maybe you meant naQ, but that isn't a verb suffix. There's a suffix -chu' which expresses "total", "complete", though.

For example, Qaw'chu'bogh HeghHom 'oH HajtaHghach'e', if you're intent on forcing "fear" into a noun.


Quote
I will face my fear.
HajwIj bam jIH.

Nice use of the new word bam, but it needs a prefix: vIbam for "I face (it)". But bam is glossed as "have the prospect of having to deal with", not "confront", which would be qaD.


Quote
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
vIchaw' mujuS 'ej muvegh jIH.

Watch your word order. 'e' vIchaw' comes last, and jIH comes before muvegh. But I'm not sure that juS even has the meaning that you want. For something to overtake or pass someone sounds to me like it's getting the better of them, not going through them without interference. I would recommend not thinking so literally and translating the meaning instead.


Quote
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
'ej DujuSpu'DI', HeDaj legh qoD mIn tlhe' jIH.

Why did you switch to Du-, did you mean mu-? Again, the translation is too literal. Instead of tlhe' "turn", I'd suggesting a verb of attention (qIm, buS, or maybe puS "to sight") with the suffix -qa' to express the idea of "(re)turn".


Quote
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Daq mejpu' Haj, pagh.

pagh by itself isn't a sentence. I also don't quite understand what this sentence is even saying in English, so I don't know if the concept it's trying to express is chIm or ratlh pagh or what.


Quote
Only I will remain.
ratlh jIH mob.

Watch the prefix. jIratlh jIH neH
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