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Author Topic: learning how to do something  (Read 2086 times)
vaQDoq
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« on: 08 05, 2014, 05:11: PM »

Hi all-

My question is about how to say "learning to do something".   My specific example is a phrase i want to translate:  One must fall in order to learn how to stand.

My current translation is Qam ghojlu'meH pumnISlu'.  Qam is stand,  ghojlu'meH is for the purpose of one learning,  and pumnISlu' is one needs to fall.

I'm not certain on two things mainly.  
1) The usage of the indefinite subject lu'-.  I'm using it on two verbs- ghoj and pum since "one learns" and "one falls".
2)  The position of Qam at the start of the sentence- it's a verb but that is the object that is being learned, so not sure if i need to do anything with that.

How does this sound?  Does this make grammatical sense?  

qatlho'!

-vaQDoq
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De'vID
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« Reply #1 on: 08 05, 2014, 08:42: PM »

First, note that Qam means "he stands" (or "she stands" or "they stand"), and not "one stands", which would be Qamlu'.

Second, what is the relation of Qam to ghojlu'meH? It looks like the object, but the object cannot be a verb. The pronoun 'e' is sometimes used to turn a verb (or sentence) into the object of a verb, but Qam 'e' ghoj would mean "he learns that he stands", and not "he learns to stand". So how does Qam relate to ghoj? You already have your answer in the suffix -meH: QammeH ghoj means "he learns in order that he stands".

As for using indefinite subject, Klingon often uses second person (and address the listener directly) where English would be indirect. Consider these Klingon proverbs:
bIQapqu'meH tar DaSop 'e' DatIvnIS "To really succeed, you must enjoy eating poison"
HIq DaSammeH tach yI'el "To find ale, go into a bar"

Both are addressed to the listener, and the second is a command.

Finally, consider whether a Klingon needs to learn to fall, or whether qeq might not be more appropriate than ghoj.
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vaQDoq
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« Reply #2 on: 08 05, 2014, 09:42: PM »

First, note that Qam means "he stands" (or "she stands" or "they stand"), and not "one stands", which would be Qamlu'.

Yes, that's why i figured it wouldn't be correct.

Quote
Second, what is the relation of Qam to ghojlu'meH? It looks like the object, but the object cannot be a verb.

The pronoun 'e' is sometimes used to turn a verb (or sentence) into the object of a verb, but Qam 'e' ghoj would mean "he learns that he stands", and not "he learns to stand". So how does Qam relate to ghoj? You already have your answer in the suffix -meH: QammeH ghoj means "he learns in order that he stands".

OK, i see where you're going.  But in the original statement, there is the relation of ghoj to pum as well.  One must fall in order to learn.  So ghojmeH pum is He falls in order that he learns.  So i need that sentence plus whathever the person is learning.  He is learning a verb.  In english the group "to stand" would be a defacto noun- the object that the person is learning.

I now see two possibilities:

1) As two sentences:
bIQammeH bIghojnIS.  bIghojmeH bIpumnIS.
To stand, you must learn.  To learn, you must fall.

2) With multiple instances of -meH
bIQammeH bIghojmeH bIpumnIS
For you to stand,  for you to learn you must fall  or more naturally in English you must fall in order to learn how to stand.

Quote
As for using indefinite subject, Klingon often uses second person (and address the listener directly) where English would be indirect. Consider these Klingon proverbs:
bIQapqu'meH tar DaSop 'e' DatIvnIS "To really succeed, you must enjoy eating poison"
HIq DaSammeH tach yI'el "To find ale, go into a bar"

But arguably the famous of Klingon saying of does not address directly:  Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam  For the purpose of dying, today is good,  ie Today is a good day to die.  In this case it uses -lu' and i thought my phrase would have a similar connotation- as a generic saying.  To learn how to stand, one must fall

Quote
Finally, consider whether a Klingon needs to learn to fall, or whether qeq might not be more appropriate than ghoj.

Well, he's not learning to fall, he's learning to stand.  It's meant to be a saying, not a literal command.  IE, "learn from failure".

-vaQDoq
« Last Edit: 08 05, 2014, 10:12: PM by vaQDoq » Logged
De'vID
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« Reply #3 on: 08 06, 2014, 07:58: AM »

I'm not saying this is a rule, but I've noticed that Klingon proverbs that give advice use the second person, and those that make observations use indefinite subject.

"To really succeed, you must enjoy eating poison" - This is advice. If you want to succeed, do the following.
"To find ale, go into a bar" - This is advice. If you want to find ale, go into a bar.

"Today is a good day to day" - This is observation. The speaker is not saying that it would be a good day for you to die today, but just in general that it's a good day for dying.
batlhHa' vanglu'taHvIS quv chavbe'lu' "One does not achieve honor while acting dishonorably" - Again, observation. The speaker is likely not referring to the listener (that would be insulting), but to a third party.

So the question is: is "One must fall in order to learn how to stand" intended as advice, or as observation. Are you advising someone, "If you want to learn to stand, you must fall"? Or are you making your observation known to the listener about a third party, "If someone wants to learn to stand, he must fall"? That will determine the "person" to use in your translation.

An alternative to using -meH is to cast this as a conditional: bIQammeH bIghoj DaneHchugh, bIpumnIS.

I like bIQammeH bIghojmeH bIpumnIS.
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vaQDoq
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« Reply #4 on: 08 06, 2014, 03:53: PM »

I'm not saying this is a rule, but I've noticed that Klingon proverbs that give advice use the second person, and those that make observations use indefinite subject.

Ah, i see.  Good point.  I think in my mind i was thinking of it more as observation, ( along the lines of Heghlu' meH QaQ jajvam ), hence why i used -lu' initially. Though i didn't really explain it well or draw the difference nearly as well as you have described here.

Quote
An alternative to using -meH is to cast this as a conditional: bIQammeH bIghoj DaneHchugh, bIpumnIS.

I like bIQammeH bIghojmeH bIpumnIS.

Ah good, glad that multiple instances of -meH aren't a problem.

Now, if we put it into observation form, would we have multiple instances of -lu', one on every verb?

Qamlu'meH ghojlu'meH pumnISlu'   One must fall in order for one to learn how to stand


-vaQDoq
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« Reply #5 on: 08 07, 2014, 08:50: AM »

The repeated -lu' isn't a problem (and repetition doesn't sound weird in Klingon the way it would in English).

There's no problem with the chained -meH clauses here, either, since both readings effectively mean the same thing.

(Qamlu')meH (ghojlu'meH pumnISlu') "(One needs to fall to learn) to (stand)"
(Qamlu'meH ghojlu')meH (pumnISlu') "(One needs to fall) to (learn to stand)"

It's possible to come up with a sentence with chained -meH which is ambiguous, but I can't think of one right now.

Another possibility to consider is to negate the sentence, as in 'oy'be'lu'chugh Qapbe'lu' "no pain, no gain" (or, perhaps, "one must experience pain in order to succeed"). Qamlu'meH pumbe'lu'chugh ghojbe'lu'.
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