Review - Star Trek # 30 Parallel Lives 2of2

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Villordsutch, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, Rachel is Hebrew for "ewe," while Richard is from the French for "powerful ruler."

    I find reference to various feminine forms of Richard, including Ricarda, Riccarda, Richelle, and Richlynn. No telling how common any of them are.
     
  2. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I just put "Ricarda" because someone suggested it and I had no better ideas. And I found a German intellectual on Wikipedia named "Ricarda" and some others on the Spanish Wikipedia. I guess "Rachel" is a better version though.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting, I did not know that. Maybe Richelle then. I don't know why, but Ricarda just sounds weird to me. No offense intended to anyone named Ricarda.
     
  4. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Ha! That's clever. I like that.
     
  5. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A bit off the timeframe, but I can see Ezra Dax as counterpart to Ezri.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that Ezri's supposed to be a Trill name, so why would its male counterpart be an Earth name?
     
  7. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Idle pondering:

    So, if characters in this universe all hold the same position, i.e., same career/life path/proficiency, etc as the prime 'verse counterpart, only they're of the other sex (tangent - how would it work for Novel Verse Andorians, I wonder? ;)), then does it follow that in more gendered societies than the UFP, social gender roles are also reversed? I don't quite see how that makes much sense in some cases.

    Am I overthinking this? (Yes, I am, but that's part of the fun, no? :lol:).

    "We warrior cultures traditionally place our physically less intimidating, less robust, child-bearing sex out into battle first. It seemed to make sense to us, at least ever since the gods dropped us on our heads soon after making us, giving us our proud forehead ridges in the process". :p

    I mean, with just Federation characters it's mostly just cosmetic, but moving further afield things might get a little surreal, I think...
     
  8. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I dunno. I guess not EVERYTHING would be the same. Haven't there been times when male characters have been involved in hazardous away missions multiple episodes in a row while their wives were expectant? I'm not saying that all pregnant women should hide themselves away for 9 to 10 months because they shouldn't have to. However, I don't think it's wise for pregnant women to be constantly placing themselves in danger and unnecessarily stressing themselves out at the height of their pregnancy.

    If you consider James Kirk a cowboy Starfleet officer, though, then that might be something that Jane Kirk will do anyway while she's pregnant with Davida/Devin/Dana Kirk/Marcus.
     
  9. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It is close enough to be a possible counterpart, and it would break the Roman pattern by giving a male character a feminine name. In addition, we've seen other aliens with Human-sounding names before, e.g. Irina, Deanna, Kira.

    Jonathan Archer: I'd like to suggest Jennifer Archer. The names may not be related etymologically, but the phonology is similar.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ezra is a masculine name, as in the poet Ezra Pound and the journalist Ezra Klein. It's the name of a scribe or priest from the Hebrew Bible.


    Deanna had a human father, so that could explain it. And Kira is that character's surname, not her given name.

    Although a lot of Trek alien names are human names too. There's Dr. Benjamin Spock, of course. Kang is a common Chinese and Korean surname, as is Chang. Odo was a common European name in the Middle Ages, related to Otto. A number of people have the given name Dax.


    Joanna would be a pretty close counterpart both phonetically and etymologically. It's the counterpart of John and means "God is gracious," while Jonathan means "God has given."
     
  11. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, but I meant feminine as in: the names and in '-a'. It is a male name but it sounds like a girl's name.

    But 'Deanna' is still an alien word, isn't it? It sounds close to 'Diana', and thus like a possible Human name.

    But would meaning matter in the 22nd century? Nobody I know, whether old or young, cared for the meaning when handing out designations to their offspring.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    See, that narrow, ethnocentric thinking is exactly what I'm complaining about. It only "sounds like a girl's name" to people from a particular part of our planet, people with a certain cultural and linguistic background. It wouldn't sound like a girl's name to someone who speaks Hebrew, let alone someone who speaks Arabic or Chinese or Hindi or Swahili -- in short, the vast majority of human beings. So it certainly shouldn't be expected to sound feminine to aliens from another planet.


    Huh? It's an actual human name. There are plenty of real people named Deanna -- '30s musical star Deanna Durbin, actresses like Deanna Lund and Deanna Russo, WNBA player Deanna Nolan, etc. The logical conclusion is that her human father picked it.


    The conceit of the story, ludicrous as it is, is that the characters are exactly like the originals aside from being the opposite sex. I'm just following that completely artificial and unrealistic premise to its logical conclusion. If we're dealing with alien names, then there's no reason to expect them to conform to Romance-language gender conventions, but if we're dealing with a human being with a name whose etymology we know, then playing the game of "exactly the same but gender-flopped" is doable.
     
  13. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I see. I've studied several languages, all of them European, and considered them as the standard.

    There's one possible handwave why aliens stick to Romance names but it's also ethnocentric from Euro-American position: The translators may render their names in such a style, equivalent to how the names of monarchs and popes are translated even in modern times (Giovanni/John Paul/Johannes Paul II).

    Of course, with most aliens being humanoid, their native names should be easily pronouncable but that isn't even the case among Humans all of the time.

    For a two-issue comic story with a paper-thin plot, "Parallel Lives" and the discussion it spurred still provided food for thought. ;)
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, it's definitely not the case. There's enormous variation in pronunciation even within human languages. Chinese or Japanese phonetics, for example, can be extremely difficult for an English speaker to get a handle on, or vice-versa. A lot of the vowel and consonant sounds in one language don't even have direct counterparts in another, and languages can differ in their use or non-use of stress and inflection.
     
  15. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In that case it makes even more sense to assume that the translator renders names in approximation, I guess.
     
  16. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    They'd have to. The English alphabet only has 26 letters which modern scholars know to be inefficient. Plus, not every English sound is found in other languages, and vice versa. And what about all the non-mammals in the Federation? Some of them can't even utter human sounds. An example of name conversion problems: just go to Bing Translate and put in "Azetbur". I'm not sure if it's what Star Trek authors versed in Klingon matters use, but it's way different from the English/Federation Standard rendition of her name.