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  5. "You can see the restaurant f…

"You can see the restaurant from here."

Translation:naDevvo' Qe' DaleghlaH.

December 12, 2019

1 Comment


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

The observant student might notice that there's no motion "from" anything here. Nevertheless, this is a grammatical Klingon sentence.

Medieval and earlier peoples believed that vision worked by our eyes sending out beams. Whatever the beams touched, we saw. It wasn't until later that it became understood that our eyes collect light and our brains turn that light into images. Ancient and Medieval literature is full of allusions to "keen" sight that "pierces" gloom, and we see "from here to there." Our central metaphor for vision is of moving away from the eyes toward the thing we see.

Klingon appears to have the same metaphor. We have the canon sentence, pa'vo' pagh leghlu' The room has no view, literally One sees nothing from the room. We can only speculate, but it's possible that ancient Klingons believed the same thing about vision that humans did: that it works by the eyes sending out beams.

(Real-world reason: Marc Okrand just translated the vision metaphor literally. I tend to doubt that he considered the origin of seeing "from" ourselves when he translated it. Maybe he did and decided that Klingons had the same metaphor, but back when Conversational Klingon was produced Okrand made a lot more errors than he does now.)

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