Newsgroup message of July 6, 1998

Subject: Re: Marc Okrand


On {yIH ghaghwI'} "one who mates with a tribble".


Newsgroup: Star Trek Expert Forum
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998

Quote wrote:
>As I specified in my original post, the purpose of getting the phrase
>was to incorporate it into a story I am writing. I do appreciate the
>response and help, but everything I have gotten so far, while it may
>be correct for conversational Klingon, does not fit the blank space I
>have left in my story for it.
> [snip]
>Klingon insults a federation officer in Klingon. Federation officer
>ignores him. Klingon says to other klingons in Fed standard "He does not
>even know when he has been insulted."
>Federation officer: "I cannot be insulted by (a) ____________.

Seems to me that the phrase that best fills in the blank ("I cannot be insulted by (a) _______") is the one suggested a while back by both SuStel and Qermaq:

yIH ngaghwI'

(I'd leave the "a" in the English: "I cannot be insulted by a yIH ngaghwI'.")

If this is translated as "one who mates with a tribble," perhaps it sounds too formal or clinical (in English, not in Klingon) to function as a curse or insult. If it's translated "tribble mater-wither" or something like that, it has a somewhat better tone, but it's questionable English and therefore lacks punch. But English isn't the issue here; Klingon is, and, unless I'm missing the point, yIH ngaghwI' should work. I trust that, in the story, the Federation officer who utters the phrase is prepared for what the Klingon may do next.

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