A Conversation for 'Star Trek' - the Klingon Language

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Post 21


Almost two years on, I'd like to draw a definitive line under this question by quoting the footnote from the soliloquy in the Klingon version of "Hamlet", released in paperback form by the KLI, ISBN 0-671-03578-9:

"Klingon does not have an equivalent of the verb 'to be'. (Although it seems personal pronouns are becoming grammaticalised into copulas, taking on verb suffixes, they cannot bear an existential meaning). Therefore, the grammar of the Klingon original has been the subject of no little argument, with many scholars arguing for an archaic interpretation of taH ('continue' in contemporary High Klingon) The use of the third person as an impersonal is also highly deviant in Klingon literature. Apologists for the theory that Shex'pir originally wrote in Terran rather than Klingon have even gone so far as to claim that these four lines, or at least these three words (taH pagh taHbe') were translated into Klingon by someone other than the person(s) who translated the remainder of the play. smiley - winkeye These wild theories need not detain us here. The literal translation of the 'disputed' passage is:
"It [he?] either continues, or it [he?] doesn't continue. Now, I must consider this sentence [question?]. Is he honorable, when he endures the torpedoes and phasers of aggressive Fate in the brain? Or, when he takes weapons to fight a seeming ocean of trouble, and ends them by fighting them? He sleeps. He dies -- he merely dies..."

smiley - winkeye - note: the quotation taH pagh taHbe' was translated by Marc Okrand for the movie. The rest of the play was translated(restored) for the book by Nick Nicholas and Andrew Strader. I recommend it, but then I would, wouldn't I?


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Post 22



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