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Author Topic: "Please"?  (Read 2076 times)
El Payaso Malo
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« on: 12 04, 2009, 06:21: PM »

It seems like a long shot, but is there any way that -neS could be translated as "please" (or vice versa)?
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-'IwwIjDaq 'oH veS.
-ngoQ ghajnISbe' vIq. vIq ngoQ 'oH vIq. qatlh ngej rop'a' bIghelbe' 'ej qatlh meQ yotlh bIghelbe'. jISuvDI' meqwIj vIQIj 'e' DaghelQo'.
-qul ngaDHa' 'oH QeHwIj 'ej vaHbo' pubbogh 'Iw 'oH QeHwIj. choHIvmo' qaSuvbe'. bIyIntaHmo' qaSuv.
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« Reply #1 on: 12 05, 2009, 09:44: AM »

It seems like a long shot, but is there any way that -neS could be translated as "please" (or vice versa)?

No. -neS is used as an optional marker of respect to a superior in a hierarchy, and that's it (except for those 2 special verbs cited in KGT).
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El Payaso Malo
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« Reply #2 on: 12 05, 2009, 10:16: AM »

Okay. qaleghneS "I am honored to see you." So paq HInob would be "Do me the honor of giving me the book," but never "Please give the book to me." I was testing out the "extreme politeness or deference" that Okrand wrote of, but it seems that any translation would have to have a variant of "honor" attached.

The closest that I have found to "please" was maghoSchoHmoHneS'a'
("May we execute a course (to some place")? - TKD 45).
« Last Edit: 12 06, 2009, 03:10: AM by El Payaso Malo » Logged

-'IwwIjDaq 'oH veS.
-ngoQ ghajnISbe' vIq. vIq ngoQ 'oH vIq. qatlh ngej rop'a' bIghelbe' 'ej qatlh meQ yotlh bIghelbe'. jISuvDI' meqwIj vIQIj 'e' DaghelQo'.
-qul ngaDHa' 'oH QeHwIj 'ej vaHbo' pubbogh 'Iw 'oH QeHwIj. choHIvmo' qaSuvbe'. bIyIntaHmo' qaSuv.
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« Reply #3 on: 12 07, 2009, 03:35: AM »


The closest that I have found to "please" was maghoSchoHmoHneS'a'
("May we execute a course (to some place")? - TKD 45).

I have used this expression in my story quv 'Iwchab je originally because of the four suffixes, but ter'eS pointed out to me that I did not interpret it the right way. The problem with this example is that Okrand did not provide context to
maghoSchoHmoHneS'a'
If we analyze this expression from back to front:

'a' makes it a question
neS indicates that someone talks to a superior
moH says that something is caused to happen by the subject
choH indicates change from one state to another
ghoS means to proceed
ma is just we .....



moH usually means that the subject is causing an object to do something. In this case the object could be a spaceship although we are not sure because there is no context.

The situation this expression can be used in is for example that a spaceship has just finished killing of a bunch of enemies and is in orbit around the now uninhabitated planet Cheesy.
Now the second in command is wondering what to do next.
So he/she politely (neS) inquires ('a') whether the crew (we : ma) will cause (moH) their ship from being stationary in orbit to change (choH) that situation in proceeding (ghoS) to some place.
The combination of neS and 'a' seems to create the "please" meaning although Klingons do not say please, they will occasionally be polite to superiors.

Without 'a' maghoSchoHmoHneS  it is a statement made to a higher ranking officer.
Without neS   : maghoSchoHmoH'a' it is simply a question to someone of equal rank.

I await the grammarians re- or discommendation on this analysis.








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El Payaso Malo
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« Reply #4 on: 12 07, 2009, 11:56: PM »

I also await it. Meanwhile, what's your take on this:

muQaHpu'neS
("He/she, whom I honor, has helped me." - KGT 39)

I was told that -neS was used in direct address, and only to a social superior. This sentence seems to curb-stomp these notions, as -neS is not being used in direct address, and it seems to be referring simply to someone held in high esteem by the speaker. Perhaps I am looking at this incorrectly, and perhaps I won't get it. I'm trying, though. QI'yaH!
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-'IwwIjDaq 'oH veS.
-ngoQ ghajnISbe' vIq. vIq ngoQ 'oH vIq. qatlh ngej rop'a' bIghelbe' 'ej qatlh meQ yotlh bIghelbe'. jISuvDI' meqwIj vIQIj 'e' DaghelQo'.
-qul ngaDHa' 'oH QeHwIj 'ej vaHbo' pubbogh 'Iw 'oH QeHwIj. choHIvmo' qaSuvbe'. bIyIntaHmo' qaSuv.
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« Reply #5 on: 12 09, 2009, 03:07: AM »



muQaHpu'neS
("He/she, whom I honor, has helped me." - KGT 39)

I was told that -neS was used in direct address, and only to a social superior.
It might still be according to the rules, apart from the translation. Because you might tell a superior that someone else helped you.
The strange thing about neS is that it does not matter what you are talking about, but who you talk to...

From Power Klingon
Your gunners are skilled your honor       po'neS baHwI'pu'lI'
In this sentence the neS goes with the verb be skilled, the ones that are skilled are the gunners, not the one who is spoken to.

The correct translation of  muQaHpu'neS then would be: He/she helped me, your honor

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chalvatlh
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« Reply #6 on: 12 09, 2009, 01:05: PM »

Indeed, I believe it was in Power Klingon that it was specified that phrases like "Please", "Thank you" and "Excuse me" are considered to be superfluous (there's qatlho', which means "I am grateful to you", but I believe that's meant to be used in sentences like "I am grateful to you saving my son's life in the Dominion War", not "I am grateful to you for handing me that book just now").  It is difficult for us Humans to break the habit of using these words, just as it is difficult not to have a way to say "Hello!", but we must recall that courtesy and humility do not belong to the Klingon language virtues; these are accuracy, straightforwardness, aggressiveness and strength...  ...and words such as "Please" and "Hello" won't do much to help you breathe those virtues into your conversation; at best they're a waste of time, and at worst they make you look devious and weak!
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El Payaso Malo
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« Reply #7 on: 12 09, 2009, 09:13: PM »

Ever since I saw the film Clerks, I find myself unconsciously emulating Randal Graves, and I have picked up his mannerisms. For example, if someone whom I do not know (or do know, it matters little most of the time) addresses me or requires my attention, I answer with something like "What? What do you want?" I have done this before I had an inclination that I would want to learn the Klingon language (or indeed knew anything about it). My inquiry is for translation purposes only. I was trying to see if, for example, I needed to translate "Please move," Into Klingon, how would I keep the same meaning of politeness? It seems that I cannot, as the translation would result in simply a command to alter location (or simply display animation, depending on context). So if I tried to translate "Please move," it would come out as yIvIH. Then, if I translated that back into English, it would simply be "Move." The original meaning is lost. The only politeness I can find is -neS (not a complaint), so I was seeing how far I could stretch it. Are you saying that the translation Okrand provided in KTG is inaccurate? Who do I trust if Okrand, the creator of the language and has final word on its usage, doesn't know what his own words mean? Apparently, he also did this with bang, when he translated reH bang larghlu' as "Love is always smelled." Does he do this often? When he does this, is it not considered canon? I'm simply trying to understand which Okrand examples are canon and which are not, because if he alters usage slightly, then it seems to be ignored by the majority as a mistake (as opposed to the occasional typo here and there, which are clearly noncanon).
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-'IwwIjDaq 'oH veS.
-ngoQ ghajnISbe' vIq. vIq ngoQ 'oH vIq. qatlh ngej rop'a' bIghelbe' 'ej qatlh meQ yotlh bIghelbe'. jISuvDI' meqwIj vIQIj 'e' DaghelQo'.
-qul ngaDHa' 'oH QeHwIj 'ej vaHbo' pubbogh 'Iw 'oH QeHwIj. choHIvmo' qaSuvbe'. bIyIntaHmo' qaSuv.
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« Reply #8 on: 12 10, 2009, 02:31: AM »


Back to muQaHpu'neS
In KGT, page 39 or 49  it is given as an example of how -neS should not, I repeat not be used. yIlo'Qo'!
To be more precise: the Federation Standard He/she, whom I honor, has helped me."
should not be rendered in Klingon as mu'QaHpu'neS
That is what Okrand explained.

So there should be no problem here, the only problem is the incomplete citation.

Now I am wondering how you can cite that example without knowing about the direct context. Is there a list on some web page with Klingon sentences with this incomplete example on it?

For reH bang larghlu' you should also read the entire explanation.
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chalvatlh
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« Reply #9 on: 12 10, 2009, 10:47: AM »

Now I am wondering how you can cite that example without knowing about the direct context. Is there a list on some web page with Klingon sentences with this incomplete example on it?
Indeed, there are a few such sites:

ghItlh'a' has muQaHpu'neS as an example use of the -neS suffix, but does not explain that this usage is incorrect.
Klingonska Akademien has a list of proverbs from The Klingon Way, but does not go into the details surrounding them.

I've never read The Klingon Way, myself, but I noticed recently that the audio book (voiced by Michael "Worf" Dorn and Roxann "B'Elanna" Dawson) is available from iTunes, so I think I'm gonna get that (along with the Ultralingua Klingon suite) for my iPhone.
I was trying to see if, for example, I needed to translate "Please move," Into Klingon, how would I keep the same meaning of politeness? It seems that I cannot, as the translation would result in simply a command to alter location (or simply display animation, depending on context). So if I tried to translate "Please move," it would come out as yIvIH. Then, if I translated that back into English, it would simply be "Move." The original meaning is lost. The only politeness I can find is -neS (not a complaint), so I was seeing how far I could stretch it.
Indeed, one has to use a slightly different mindset when speaking Klingon; try to move past one's need for politeness.
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El Payaso Malo
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« Reply #10 on: 12 10, 2009, 04:00: PM »

Thank you for clearing that up. Actually, I have a friend who has the book, but she is not good with English (speaks mostly Thai) and as such finds it difficult to convey things to me. Now I know that I lack context. I will have most of the canonical sources within a week or two, so these misunderstandings should disappear completely. I was just incredibly confused at first. The Dictionary includes examples on how things should not be used (like yaSpu' jIH) and it honestly hadn't occurred to me that he would do these in the follow ups, but it makes since and I feel kinda stupid.

Also, I do not have a need for politeness, per se; but I often attempt translations of various things for practice. One of the goals of a translator is to touch the true meaning of the phrases as closely as possible. Otherwise, I have no need of manners in Klingon or otherwise (unless I happen to be speaking to royalty that I respect, which doesn't happen often). Am I making sense? Stop me now if I sound insane.
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-'IwwIjDaq 'oH veS.
-ngoQ ghajnISbe' vIq. vIq ngoQ 'oH vIq. qatlh ngej rop'a' bIghelbe' 'ej qatlh meQ yotlh bIghelbe'. jISuvDI' meqwIj vIQIj 'e' DaghelQo'.
-qul ngaDHa' 'oH QeHwIj 'ej vaHbo' pubbogh 'Iw 'oH QeHwIj. choHIvmo' qaSuvbe'. bIyIntaHmo' qaSuv.
chalvatlh
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« Reply #11 on: 12 10, 2009, 07:22: PM »

Also, I do not have a need for politeness, per se; but I often attempt translations of various things for practice. One of the goals of a translator is to touch the true meaning of the phrases as closely as possible. Otherwise, I have no need of manners in Klingon or otherwise (unless I happen to be speaking to royalty that I respect, which doesn't happen often). Am I making sense? Stop me now if I sound insane.
Oh, by no means insane, although I was unaware that you were looking at this through the eyes of a translator, rather than those of a speaker.
The reason I enjoy tlhIngan Hol is that proper translations are often impossible, forcing one to really think about the concepts one is trying to present.  I believe that in order to translate the meaning of the word "please" into Klingon, one would have to sit down for quite some time and ponder what precisely it is we Humans mean when we use this word.
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QoghtlhIH'u'
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« Reply #12 on: 12 11, 2009, 04:57: AM »

Things always get lost in translation, even between closely related Terran languages. The phrase in one of the Potter's books "Can I see Uranus?" cannot be properly translated into Dutch or any other language without loosing the intended joke. Languages never translate one on one, that's life. "Cousin" cannot be translated without context into Dutch,  Indonesian "kaka" means both  "brother" and "sister", "His" and "Hers" cannot be translated into French.
It is not a particular Klingon thing that translations to and fro can be tough or impossible.


Now I am wondering how you can cite that example without knowing about the direct context. Is there a list on some web page with Klingon sentences with this incomplete example on it?
Indeed, there are a few such sites:

ghItlh'a' has muQaHpu'neS as an example use of the -neS suffix, but does not explain that this usage is incorrect.
Klingonska Akademien has a list of proverbs from The Klingon Way, but does not go into the details surrounding them.

The mughom wikia should not be used as a source for Proper Klingon then.
One of us should point out their errors to them...


[Edit -- combined double post]
« Last Edit: 04 10, 2010, 03:16: AM by Kesvirit » Logged
chalvatlh
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« Reply #13 on: 12 11, 2009, 11:01: AM »

Things always get lost in translation, even between closely related Terran languages. The phrase in one of the Potter's books "Can I see Uranus?" cannot be properly translated into Dutch or any other language without loosing the intended joke. Languages never translate one on one, that's life. "Cousin" cannot be translated without context into Dutch,  Indonesian "kaka" means both  "brother" and "sister", "His" and "Hers" cannot be translated into French.
It is not a particular Klingon thing that translations to and fro can be tough or impossible.

Indeed; having done a fair bit of translating between Swedish, English and French, I am painfully aware that translations are often not very straightforward (particularly from what little closed caption work I've done; those can be very challenging), even between closely related languages.  However, I find that - at least for Indo-European languages (such as the three mentioned above) - you can usually use more or less the same mindset when dealing with most natural languages, because there is enough symmetry that truly challenging translations are the exception rather than the rule; in some cases due to the shared origins, in others because there has been enough exchange between their speakers that people have found ways to get around language barriers.
With tlhIngan Hol, I find that difficult translations are much more common; I always find myself always having to break down every other sentence or entire paragraphs to get to their core meaning, and then building a completely new text from scratch.  I know there must be natural languages where this is the case, too (I'm thinking this is probably the case with Mandarin and most Native American languages, for instance), but I don't know any of them.

What I really enjoy is taking a sentence and looking at it from an Indo-European perspective, a Klingon perspective and a Lojbanic perspective.  Klingon and Lojban are both very different from my native tongue, and they are very different from each other, so if I feel that I have a fairly good grip of a concept if I can discuss it in all of these languages (I often jokingly refer to this as the Sapir-Worf Hypothesis...  ...and often find myself having to explain this joke to whoever I'm talking to Wink).

By the way, for those of you who enjoy challenging translations (and I'm sure that's just about everybody here):  The Facebook Translations application now has a Klingon project, with 34 438 phrases still in need of translation Wink
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« Reply #14 on: 12 18, 2009, 01:57: PM »

One must remember that to the Klingon mindset action is primary. All resources we have are tools to accomplish that action. Language is a tool for communication. Thus, even having a word for please, is much like decorating a carpenters hammer with feathers and rhinestones. Looks garish and doesn't really help accomplish the goal of hitting nails.
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« Reply #15 on: 01 07, 2010, 06:18: PM »

My inquiry is for translation purposes only. I was trying to see if, for example, I needed to translate "Please move," Into Klingon, how would I keep the same meaning of politeness? It seems that I cannot, as the translation would result in simply a command to alter location (or simply display animation, depending on context).

"Politeness" in Klingon is most effectively expressed by directness, without wasting the other person's time on superfluous speech.

If you absolutely must be more wordy than the simple command, you can try something like this:
bIvIH 'e' vItlhob I request that you move.
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