So Geeky It Hurts

I’m staying up late to help adjust my sleep schedule towards Vienna time. Instead of doing useful work (which would require a lot of typing, and might disturb Emery, who is asleep), I am studying Klingon out in the lounge.

As if that weren’t geeky enough, I have to raise the geekery to levels that would be lethal to any normal human. Unless you think you can handle it, don’t look behind the cut…

For my own twisted amusement, I have crossed two fictional universes in a way that just shouldn’t be. I give you…

The One Ring Poem in Klingon!!!

chal bIngDaq puqpu’ wa’DIch che’wI’pu’vaD wej Qebmey
vaSmeychajDaq nagh runwI’pu’ joHpu’vaD Soch Qebmey
HeghmeH ‘Ighlu’pu’ Humanpu’vaD jubbe’ Hut Qebmey
QuS’a’DajDaq Hurgh joHvaD Hurghqu’ wa’ Qeb’a’
puHDaq mo’Dor QottaHbogh Qibmey
Hoch che’meH wa’ Qeb’a’
tu’meH wa’ Qeb’a’
Hoch qemmeH wa’ Qeb’a’
‘ej HurghghachDaq tay’choH
puHDaq mo’Dor QottaHbogh Qibmey

If you still are capable of speech, you are probably asking yourself “Why? Why did I read this?”. After that, you’ll probably want to ask me “Why? Why did you create this?”.

The answer is simple: it was fun :o).


5 responses to “So Geeky It Hurts”

  1. Not sure about the rest of it, but Mark Mandel disagrees with you on the central bit:

    :>Yes, that’s what I meant. The Black Speech.

    :> “Ash nazg durbatulu^k, ash nazg gimbatul,
    :> ash nazg thrakatulu^k agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

    : But what was it in the original Klingon? :-)

    Since you ask…

    Hoch ra’meH wa’ Qeb
    Hoch SammeH wa’
    Hoch qemmeH wa’ Qeb
    ‘ach HurghghachDaq baghmeH

    Klingons disdain rhyme as effete.

    … and given that he’s fairly fluent in Klingon, I trust his version more. :-)

  2. That was the part I was most sure about.

    I used -‘a’ to emphasize the One Ring. I’m surprised he added the extra Hoch (all) in the “one ring to find them” line, since it’s implicit in the English version. I also left it implicit. Stylistic differences, I suppose.

    As for the verbs, he chose ra’ (command) and I chose che’ (rule). He chose Sam (locate) and I chose tu’ (find). He chose bagh (tie) and I chose tay’ (join). I don’t know what the semantic distinction is between ra’ and che’; I went with the more literal translation, although command may be more appropriate given the ring’s purpose. I don’t think that there’s any difference between Sam and tu’, unless the latter only means “find without looking”. As for bagh and tay’, tie is closer to bind, but join seemed more appropriate to me thematically. I also chose to use -choH (change in state) instead of -meH (for the purpose of). Not sure which is better.

    I don’t know why he used ‘ach (but) instead of ‘ej (and) for the conjuction.

  3. Nick, it’s beautiful. Don’t let anyone crush your geekiness.

  4. The poem translation itself was moderately geeky. But the comparison of two translations, going into linguistic detail about the semantic nuances of a language with no native speakers, that was geeky :-) I like.

  5. I will point out that the “no native speakers” is not entirely true.

    Apparently one member of the Klingon Language Institute tried to raise his son as a native speaker, but gave up when he realized that the vocabulary was too small and overly dependent on having a starship ;o).

Nurd Up!