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Old December 17 2008, 03:50 PM   #31
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
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It's sorta like how the Klingon characters' dialogue is in English most of the time, except for random things like them mentioning how many kellicams away something is.
Well, what's wrong with that? A kellicam is a distinct unit of measurement, no doubt different in length from a kilometer. 500 kellicams would be a different distance from 500 km, just as 500 km would be different from 500 miles. It's not just an arbitrary substitution of a foreign term for the same thing; it's the correct name for the specific unit of measurement being used.
I think it is a matter of style that appeals to some readers and not to others. I can tolerate this, as it colours up the narrative. It is in my eyes not a matter of measurement as such.

Another tool-of-the-trade is to include comparisons with fictional events, landscapes, animals and fruits (those are examples I can recall off the top of my head) and the like to make stories set in different settings more setting typical. For example (this is not a literal quote) comparing the heat in engineering to that of the Delora desert.

Sometimes it makes sense, when there is reference to something that has been shown on screen and is know to (most) fans (at least). Even if it is done every now and then it might spice things up.

But if overdone, it tends to bother me. Big time.

As it boils down, it is simply a matter of the author's writing style and the personal preferences of the reader.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I mean, if I say that I'm reading 500 roentgens of radiation, that's not a gratuitous insertion of a German word, because that's the correct and only name for that particular unit of measurement.
This whole thread wasn't meant as a criticism. I simply had the feeling some more german (influenced) words came up in recent works. I get the feeling that somehow you feel that you have to justify that or make clear that nothing the like was intended. Why is that so?

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'Sonnenaufgang' means 'sunrise', the setting of the sun in the morning.
Actually the word "setting" only refers to the sun going down at night. It's related to "sit" or "settle."
I corrected that above.
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Old December 17 2008, 03:54 PM   #32
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

I liked seeing some German (and not just expletives), not just because my brother is studying it to keep in touch with some long lost family we found, but its also nice to know that everything isn't English, that all other languages haven't died...
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Old December 17 2008, 04:13 PM   #33
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Cut wrote: View Post


This whole thread wasn't meant as a criticism. I simply had the feeling some more german (influenced) words came up in recent works. I get the feeling that somehow you feel that you have to justify that or make clear that nothing the like was intended. Why is that so?
Huh? No, I was just using "roentgens" as an illustration of my point with regard to the kellicam issue. It's just coincidence that it was German. I didn't even know Karl Roentgen was German until I looked it up. I figured he was Dutch or something.
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Old December 17 2008, 06:17 PM   #34
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
It's sorta like how the Klingon characters' dialogue is in English most of the time, except for random things like them mentioning how many kellicams away something is.
Well, what's wrong with that? A kellicam is a distinct unit of measurement, no doubt different in length from a kilometer. 500 kellicams would be a different distance from 500 km, just as 500 km would be different from 500 miles. It's not just an arbitrary substitution of a foreign term for the same thing; it's the correct name for the specific unit of measurement being used.

I mean, if I say that I'm reading 500 roentgens of radiation, that's not a gratuitous insertion of a German word, because that's the correct and only name for that particular unit of measurement.
What's wrong with it is that a roentgen is a real thing that I can look up. Not even Memory Alpha is sure what a kellicam actually is.

That said, one of my favorite (bad) sf devices is the fictional space measurement-- I love it when characters start measuring distance in "spatials", or time in "spans", or what have you
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Old December 17 2008, 06:42 PM   #35
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

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What's wrong with it is that a roentgen is a real thing that I can look up. Not even Memory Alpha is sure what a kellicam actually is.
We don't know what size it is, but we can assume from context that it's a Klingon unit of measurement. It stands to reason that Klingon sensors would be calibrated to give distances in those units and that Klingon officers would therefore report a ship's distance in those units even when speaking English. The point is, it's not just a different word for the same thing; it's a different thing, a unit of different size. So using that term isn't arbitrary.
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Old December 17 2008, 07:15 PM   #36
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
Cut wrote: View Post


This whole thread wasn't meant as a criticism. I simply had the feeling some more german (influenced) words came up in recent works. I get the feeling that somehow you feel that you have to justify that or make clear that nothing the like was intended. Why is that so?
Huh? No, I was just using "roentgens" as an illustration of my point with regard to the kellicam issue. It's just coincidence that it was German. I didn't even know Karl Roentgen was German until I looked it up. I figured he was Dutch or something.

That's fine then. I just don't want to go on anybodies nerves here, being a member for a mere day
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Old December 17 2008, 07:17 PM   #37
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
What's wrong with it is that a roentgen is a real thing that I can look up. Not even Memory Alpha is sure what a kellicam actually is.
We don't know what size it is, but we can assume from context that it's a Klingon unit of measurement. It stands to reason that Klingon sensors would be calibrated to give distances in those units and that Klingon officers would therefore report a ship's distance in those units even when speaking English. The point is, it's not just a different word for the same thing; it's a different thing, a unit of different size. So using that term isn't arbitrary.
No, but it is fairly arbitrary that the narrative would translate Klingonese and Klingonese idoms into English and English idioms the vast majority of time, but not in spacial measurements or in insults or wishes of success.
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Old December 17 2008, 07:28 PM   #38
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

But that's just my point, it's not arbitrary when it comes to measurements, because they're different things. A kellicam is different from a kilometer is different from a mile. I mean, is it arbitrary to translate references to cubits in the Bible rather than converting them to feet or meters? Of course not, because it's a distinct unit. It has a different length than a foot or a meter.

Besides, one could argue that "kellicam" is the English word for the unit that's known as qelI'qam in Klingonese. In fact, that's exactly what Marc Okrand says in The Klingon Dictionary. Look up qelI'qam and it gives the English equivalent as "kellicam." However you spell or pronounce it, it's a distinct unit of a specific size. Substituting "kilometers" for "kellicams" would make as much sense as substituting "purple" for "blue."
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Old December 17 2008, 07:33 PM   #39
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

I thought a Kellicam was 2 kilometers?

And from that my brain (probably incorrectly) assumes that a 'cam' must be 1km.
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Old December 17 2008, 07:44 PM   #40
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Marie1 wrote: View Post
I liked seeing some German, (and not just expletives) but its also nice to know that everything isn't English, that all other languages haven't died...
My sentiments exactly, although I did not entirely enjoy it, I studied Deutsch at Secondary school and it's nice to read something in another language in a Trek book that I can understand.

Now if you writing folk could put the U in color the World in my eyes would be a brighter place
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Old December 17 2008, 07:53 PM   #41
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Christopher wrote: View Post
But that's just my point, it's not arbitrary when it comes to measurements, because they're different things. A kellicam is different from a kilometer is different from a mile. I mean, is it arbitrary to translate references to cubits in the Bible rather than converting them to feet or meters? Of course not, because it's a distinct unit. It has a different length than a foot or a meter.

Besides, one could argue that "kellicam" is the English word for the unit that's known as qelI'qam in Klingonese. In fact, that's exactly what Marc Okrand says in The Klingon Dictionary. Look up qelI'qam and it gives the English equivalent as "kellicam." However you spell or pronounce it, it's a distinct unit of a specific size. Substituting "kilometers" for "kellicams" would make as much sense as substituting "purple" for "blue."
But if none of your readers know what a kellicam is, all you've done is confuse them. And obviously you wouldn't do a one-to-one substitution of "kilometer" for kellicam. But you could approximate.

Or, you could take the Forged in Fire approach: "Koloth saw that the enemy ship was 17,000 kellicams away, or, as the Earthers would say, 32,743 kilometers."
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Old December 17 2008, 08:55 PM   #42
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
Or, you could take the Forged in Fire approach: "Koloth saw that the enemy ship was 17,000 kellicams away, or, as the Earthers would say, 32,743 kilometers."
Please don't, that was one of the weaker parts of Forged in Fire.

I even mentioned it in my review:

The characterizations are good for the most part, the only thing really bothering me was that the authors used phrases like “what the earthers called ...” when writing from a Klingon's point of view too often. I understand that this was used to translate Klingon terms, but the way and sheer number of times it was used - for example, in chapter seven - really hurts the characterization, because the reader could be led to believe that Koloth is overly fascinated with Earth, as every second thought he has is about what the humans call something.
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Old December 17 2008, 09:04 PM   #43
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Marie1 wrote: View Post
I liked seeing some German, (and not just expletives) but its also nice to know that everything isn't English, that all other languages haven't died...
My sentiments exactly, although I did not entirely enjoy it, I studied Deutsch at Secondary school and it's nice to read something in another language in a Trek book that I can understand.

Now if you writing folk could put the U in color the World in my eyes would be a brighter place
Seconded... maybe they cut back to save on ink?

For colour, honour... etc.

I know the US nixes the U's, but what if the writer isn't from the US? Would the Us be edited out?
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Old December 17 2008, 09:18 PM   #44
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
But if none of your readers know what a kellicam is, all you've done is confuse them.
Why? When Torg told Kruge, "Enemy closing on impulse power. Range, 5000 kellicams," it was perfectly clear from context that a kellicam was a unit of distance. When he then counted off "3000 kellicams" and "2000 kellicams," that reinforced his earlier statement that the Enterprise was drawing closer. I don't see anything confusing there. The viewer didn't have to know what the actual length of a kellicam was in order to understand what was going on there, any more than the viewer has to know the rest mass of a tetryon or what raktajino is made of.
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Old December 17 2008, 09:39 PM   #45
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Marie1 wrote: View Post
I know the US nixes the U's, but what if the writer isn't from the US? Would the Us be edited out?
From what I've read, I'm sure they do as I noticed that in Uma McCormacks Hollow Men and also in James Swallows Terok Nor story that it was spelt color, but that's probably due to the American Market for Trek books (and most books in general) is far higher than over here in Blighty!!!

What just occured to me, of the English speaking nations of to globe, is it just Americans who omit the U in colour as well as having, say a Z in a word like specialise for example (if a zed is not even used in that word, I hope I'm making sense) or do Canadians, Australians and Kiwi's etc do that as well?
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