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  5. "Human rIQbe'nISmoH qoq. Huma…

"Human rIQbe'nISmoH qoq. Human rIQmoHlu' 'e' chaw'be'nIS qoq."

Translation:A robot must not injure a human. A robot must not permit a human to be injured.

December 2, 2018



The suffix ordering seems a little strange to me here:

rIQbe'nISmoH seems like the best translation (though wordy) is needs to cause a human to be not injured. Which seems to me to be more like the second half of the first law of robotics than the first half of the first law. So I don't think it's a good translation.

The other options for positioning are:

rIQnISbe'moH might be the best fit, but it's really weird. I can't come up with a good translation, but might be something like causes to not need to be injured, like there's a human who needs to be injured, like he's crazy or something. Then the subject does something to the object which makes him not have such a need. This doesn't seem like a good translation either.

The third option, rIQnISmoHbe' means doesn't need to injure, which also doesn't have the correct meaning.

It seems like what "should" be the correct translation is:

rIQmoHbe'nIS, but apparently that's incorrect suffix ordering, so I personally believe (currently, but I'm asking the klingon grammarians for help), that must not injure can't be done in a single word.

So, feel free to tell me what I'm missing, but it seems like it'll need two "sentences"?


Because the ordering of -nIS and -moH is fixed and cannot be altered to indicate such subtleties in meaning, an ambiguity in meaning is recognized and allowed. -nISmoH can mean either "need to cause" or "cause to need". Context will usually make it clear. So then our question is, which of the parts is being negated in our verb: "not injured", "not need to", or "not cause"? I do agree that this sentence might not be the right choice. By saying "not injured", it makes it sound like the robot must repair injuries, which I don't think is the goal. If we are saying that the robot has to not cause a human to be injured, then -moH is probably the best place for the -be'. I am a strong supporter of Human rIQnISmoHbe' qoq which could be interpreted as either, "A robot does not cause a Human to need to be injured," or, "A robot needs to not cause a Human to be injured."


Why is, "android" not allowed?


An android is specifically a robot shaped like a human; a qoq is not necessarily human-shaped. For example, you might call C-3PO an android but hardly R2-D2.

So "android" is too specific a translation.

I've heard some people use qoq yoq "robot humanoid" to refer to an android.

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