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  5. "potlhqu' wa' Qu''e'. SoHvaD …

"potlhqu' wa' Qu''e'. SoHvaD yIyuDQo'."

Translation:This above all: to thine ownself be true.

August 28, 2018

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

A wordier, but more faithful, translation would be qeSvam potlh law' Hoch potlh puS: SoHvaD yIyuDQo'.

(Yes, I recognize the source of this line is the KLI's translation of Hamlet.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

After having read the scene, I can see that the father was not dispensing commandments to his son, but rather offering counsel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_myr_

So are we supposed to memorize Hamlet? Equal parts humor and aggravation here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

No. A number of variations that are more direct translations are also accepted. Though it's a complicated sentence so perhaps more variations are needed. What did you put?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_myr_

I don't remember now. I tried a few things and all were wrong. I think most of them included: "...be true to yourself". Maybe one was - "don't be dishonest with yourself". The first one included the word mission. Another the word "task". If it happens again, I'll let you know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Just report them as "correct/should have been accepted". Then as we go through them we can decide if they are legitimate variations. And for those that aren't, we can add responses for Duolingo to give in the future when someone tries them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_myr_

...and I think "ownself" should be two words - "own" and "self".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

You are correct. I have added the space.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The original was "to thine ownself be true".

If you're going to modernise it, then "to your own self" would probably be more appropriate than modernising "ownself" while keeping "thine".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I had done a quick check with a search engine and all the websites that came up had it as two words. Now I have gone and checked the actual text of the play, and, indeed, there was no space. I will remove it again.

What happens in Duolingo when you add the space into your answer? Does it mark it wrong or count it as a typo? Do we need to add a variation with it separated into two words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I think it marks it as a type and says "you have an extra space" / "you are missing a space" but doesn't mark the answer wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/butsuri

I don't know where you checked "the actual text of the play", but the First Quarto, Second Quarto and First Folio all spell it "owne ſelfe" (the first has "thy" rather than "thine"), while the three modern editions of Hamlet I happen to have in my house all have "own self".

(Scans of facsimiles of the early editions can be seen at http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/ if anyone wants to check.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_myr_

It's in the translation into English of The Klingon Hamlet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/butsuri

I wondered if that might be it. But in that case, it seems what we have here is a typo in The Klingon Hamlet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/butsuri

If this is just an error in The Klingon Hamlet, rather than an archaism, I don't think there's any good reason to propagate it here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I don't think there's any error in the Klingon. And we accept a few different versions of the English, but are always willing to add more if someone thinks we've missed some legitimate translations. However, I think we will continue to accept the more direct and literal translations as alternatives and have Duolingo show the Shakespearean line as the "best" answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_myr_

The formulation of the first Klingon phrase seems poetical rather than literal and it isn't obvious to me that it should be translated into "This above all...". Is this more literal formulation possible (just out of curiosity): "Hoch DungDaq Dochvam..."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

"This thing at the area above everything"? There are a few reasons it doesn't work well. For one, we don't know that Doch works well for a concept like "don't deceive yourself." Secondly, I'm pretty certain that Klingon does not use the idea of "above" to mean "more important/to be considered first". And then there's the unlikelihood of applying a locative to a noun. If you used this as the object in a sentence, I would assume that "above everything" was the location of the action and that "this thing" was just the object of whatever verb comes after it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

Am I translating the first sentence correctly: "This mission is Mission One."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Not quite. "Mission one" would be Qu' wa'. Here the wa' is counting the missions, so limiting the number to only one. A direct translation would be, "One task is very important." The -'e' is the most complicated part to translate. You might say, "As for one task, it is most important," or, "ONE TASK is most important," or even, "one task, and nothing else, is most important." Though that last one might be better expressed with a neH after Qu'. In fact, if I were translating this I might have put a neH there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

Thank you very much. As you describe it, I can see it, yet I am still unable to think it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Is it the -'e' that confuses you? It's not absolutely essential here. Try this:

potlhqu' wa' Qu' One mission is very important.

wa' Qu' one mission is the subject.
potlhqu' it is very important is the verb.

It's just like any other basic sentence. All the -'e' does is focus attention on the wa' Qu' one mission.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

Thank you! I can see how the 'e' really does clarify the meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

"...one task, alone..." does clarify the statement, to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

potlhqu' wa' Qu''e' As for one mission, it is very important.

Not how I'd translate the original, as I mention above, but this is what it means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

I can see how that interpretation does capture the meaning of the original, and is certainly easier to, ahem, "grok."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeGOgletree

Since Klingon has no way of expressing the idea of a "This" that does not exist as an object, both translations are probably equally good, I think. Do you think that there is another possible one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

This phrase is not a good example of how to translate between the languages. It is probably OK to have a few of these in the course, but it's not a great teaching tool. Since Klingon has no way to say "this" without identifying what "this" is, you have to get used to specifying. You can say things like, "this thing" or "this idea" or "this task", etc. It's nice that English allows you to leave it very general and non-specific, but Klingon requires you to be very specific in this particular case.

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