Aliens with one name vs. aliens with two names

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by t_smitts, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^No, the Vulcan family name is generally assumed to come before the given name, as in Asian naming order (see the examples in KingDaniel's post above). Which makes sense in a society that values family/clan ties so highly.

    It could be that Vulcan family names are extremely long and complicated, indicating multiple generations of lineage or elaborate clan interrelations, so the pronunciation difficulty is more due to the length and intricacy than due to the phonemes involved.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That's just it - it sounds easy enough, but odds are that you would aspirate the "T", make the "ee" just a tad too long, and turn the "o" into an "ough" of some sort when it must be but a single sound, not a diphthong of any sort. You would immediately reveal yourself for a foreigner in Finland just by calling me by my given name.

    Spock might be unable to stand all the little things that are wrong with how Kirk attempts to pronounce his surname... Although Kirk probably has Spock's given name down pat, considering Spock's own father pronounces it the exact same way. That is, unless Sarek uses the human-style pronunciation as a subtle insult to his son.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Funnily enough, in the Italian dubbing of the original series, Spock was usually pronounced something like "Spahk", while in the following films, it was usually pronounced like "Spohk". I always wondered why.

    On the other hand, due to the phonetic differences between English and Italian, also all the other names were pronounced quite differently from the original sound. McCoy became something like "MacKoee", and Kirk sounded more like "Keerk", etc.
     
  4. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps this might explain why in "The Immunity Syndrome" Kirk kept referring to Lt. Kyle as Kowl
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder is a part of the difficulty of pronouncing Spock's family name might be linked to the range of frequencies Vulcans can hear?

    Vulcan are depicted as being able to hear frequencies Humans can't. Humans can hear (basically) between 20 hertz and 20,000 hertz. Amanda said she could pronounce the name after years of practice.

    Could Amanda have trained herself to produce sounds, that she herself could not hear?

    :)
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^But that doesn't address the consistency problem Takeru raised: namely, if every Vulcan proper noun we've heard over the decades has been easily pronounceable, why would Spock and Sarek's family name be such an extreme exception?
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That's assuming that when Spock said "Koon-ut-kal-if-fee," the dash punctuation marks do not represented additional sounds that we could not hear, and not just breaks between words and/or syllables.

    Koon-ut-kal-if-fee might actually be a single run on word, and not five syllables.

    Portions of Spock's family name might be within our range, and other portions not.

    :)
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^But that still doesn't make sense of "You couldn't pronounce it," because it's still pronounceable after a fashion, and the distinction would be undetectable to human ears. So why not just tell Leila his other name?
     
  9. Elder Knight

    Elder Knight Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmm, he could serve as a Silly Party candidate for Parliament. (For those of you familiar with the Python sketch.)
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But in that case, Leila would be constantly voicing name all wrong, and Spock would have to listen to it.

    Even if the surname of Spock, Amanda and Sarek (and perhaps Sybok) is "Carl" to the human ears and tongues, this doesn't mean our favorite semi-Vulcan would wish to put up with the wrongly shaped vowel, the improperly rolling r, and the l that is 47% too short, not to mention with dropping rather than rising pitch, every time he manages to make Leila happy. It's worse if there are "secret" (ultra- or infrasound etc.) elements there that make all the difference to the Vulcan ear, so that it sounds as if Leila is expressing her admiration of somebody from a different Vulcan family altogether!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    As I said before, the whole unpronounceable Vulcan name thing has not been referenced in any canon production since then, which is why I prefer to think of it as an anomaly to be ignored, forgotten, and tossed into the same hole as "Class of '78", "James R. Kirk", Troi calling Riker "Bill", basically any characteristic of the Trill from "The Host", and that Spock who smiled and yelled in "The Cage".
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, it was referenced in two episodes, not just one, making it a little harder to dismiss. Maybe many Vulcans only do use one name, but Spock's family in particular continued an antiquated tradition of using a difficult family name as well?
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    It's spelled, "Raymond Luxury Yacht," but it's pronounced, "Throat Warbler Mangrove".
     
  14. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    So was the Morgana Quadrant. So was the the Klingon homeworld being called "Kling" (yeesh!) So was O'Brien wearing a lieutenant's pips for four seasons and even being referred to as such.

    Maybe. Still, I'd just as soon bury whole thing.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    And what's wrong with the Morgana Quadrant? (save for it being so damn difficult to get there?)

    The term "Kling" was only used once, in "Heart of Glory", and was not indicated to refer to anything specific. Apparently, it was just something the fat cats back home had betrayed.

    Again, only referred to as such once. If that; might have been Worf that Riker was talking to.

    Things that appear twice count as sort of confirmed for Star Trek. Like, say, Vash. I don't see much reason to ignore most of the things appearing only once, either, but if Trek does a repeat performance, then it rather suggests that nobody in charge objects to this thing. Also, it probably also becomes noticeable enough that a later episode or movie might decide to quote it again... Since we again are closely examining the period of time when even Spock's best friends didn't seem to know his other name, time is ripe for a retake!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You are a very silly man and I'm not going to interview you.