German expressions in recent Trek novels

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Cut, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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."
     
  2. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Seconded... maybe they cut back to save on ink? :p

    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?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    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?
     
  6. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    I think a better example would be "parsec", I doubt most people know what it means when the characters say "the closest system is blah, blah, 4.3 parsecs away", but I don't see people complaining about it because it's a real astronomical distance.

    I think this is just a personal preference, some people feel uncomfortable if they don't know what some unit means in the units they're familiar with, other people can just accept it's a distance on the order of kilometres for example, and leave it as it is.

    we aussies (and the kiwis too) leave the U's in our spelling, and it's Aluminium! :p

    The problem, actually, is that the English didn't have a standardised spelling of words when the American established themselves. so the American spellings settled with one version, while the English a few years later settled on another version.
     
  7. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    actually, no. Daniel Webster changed a lot of the spellings to 'simplify' them when he wrote his American dictionary. he took the 'u' out of colour, honour, and changed the -re to -er like centre or metre. (that last one is stupid, because a meter and a metre are two different things in English-English...)
     
  8. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ditto Canuckistan; colour, grey, etc. That said, I've only once had an English teacher anal enough to insist on standardized Canadian spelling as opposed to the bastardized hybrid a lot of us use since we get a lot of media from the United States and pick up those spellings by osmosis.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  9. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it works in that context, yes. :)
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Really? What do the two spellings mean over there?

    Basically, British English is spelled the way it was pronounced when Samuel Johnson wrote his dictionary in 1755, and American English is spelled the way it was pronounced when Noah Webster wrote his dictionary in 1828. (Not Daniel Webster, who was an attorney, orator, and statesman from roughly the same period.)
     
  11. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    there's measuring device 'meter' and there's the measurement unit 'metre'.
     
  12. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Now that it's been explained, I'm pretty sure I already knew that, but forgot. :o
     
  14. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Of course, it also goes the other way: in the Doctor Who anthology KRAD recently edited, with a bunch of his Yank writing mates, it was all '-our' and '-ise' and lorries and crisps and whatnot.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I see more complaining about Han Solo's obvious misuse of the term. :p
     
  16. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :evil:

    But it can be important. I'm not sure how the US does it, but in Canada, its theatre, and that includes the theatre's URL, so it must be typed in that way of course, and I'm getting used to some of the US versions, so doing that doesn't always occur to me... :alienblush:
     
  17. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    Which makes sense, if your story is based in a particular location with particular characters I for one would be thrown out of the story if say the Doctor called a Mobile Phone a Cell Phone as it's not called that over here and most Doctor Who stories (on screen anyway) have been based in the UK.
     
  18. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Commodore Commodore

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    Well, it's not really that simple.

    Standard Canadian usage does retain -re endings where Americans use -er, for words like theatre and metre, and -our instead of -or. The last letter of the alphabet is pronounced zed, not zee. But Canadians don't use a number of British spellings. A British driver may run the tyres of his lorry over the kerb, but a Canadian driver has tires, a truck, and a curb to deal with. Canadians say aluminum and specialty, like Americans, not aluminium and speciality, the British terms. We're more likely to use -ize endings than -ise endings. UK verbs with -t suffixes for past tenses (e.g. dreamt) often have -ed endings in Canada and the US (dreamed -- with a long E sound). Slept and wept are exceptions in both countries.

    Canadian English is a more complicated subject than it may seem. It's neither British nor American. It's like it's a whole different country here.
     
  19. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    Funny thing, I've never been outside of the continential US.. And thus have learned firmly the American version English. However, I have never spelled theatre as "theater." The latter doesn't even look right to me. All other american spellings and such I do have however. Also the "our" in colour, honour, and favourite force me to want to mispronouce them. Like instead of the correct pronounciation I'd say it such that it sounded more like the ending of the word allure.
     
  20. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To bring the thread full circle: Write it with a capital T and it's German. ;)
     

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