Sulu was named for the sea

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by T'Girl, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My parents are both such big Star Trek geeks that they almost named one of my sisters Penda.

    I still like it better than the given name Uhura ended up with.

    :)
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ In all instances I like the canon names better than the fan ones. Hikaru sounds much better than Walter, and Nyota fits Uhura better than "Penda".

    Now if only we'd find out what Lt. Kyle's real name is. :lol:
     
  3. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Penda is a much better name for Uhura when you realize that Nyota means 'Flowers' and Penda means 'Love'. Penda Uhura then means "Love of Freedom", while Nyota Uhura means "Flowers Freedom". Which do you think GR would want as a name for a character like her?
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought Nyota meant "star."


    :)
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    John Winston Kyle.

    (Whenever he's been given a first name in the novels, they've used "John". An article in "The Best of Trek" suggested "Winston".)
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    "Nyota" = "star".

    GR and NN were sought for approval for both "Penda" (at one of the early 70s conventions) and "Nyota" (see below).

    It does. Created with Nichelle Nichols' approval for the book, "Star Trek II Biographies" by William Rotsler.

    Later explained as a crucial part of the plot in the novel "Uhura's Song" by Janet Kagan.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    What's Swahili for "hailing frequencies open"?
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wito masafa ya kufungua.

    (google translate)

    :)
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I tried Google Translate and got a variety of results. It didn't translate "hailing" at all, so I tried "greeting frequencies open," "salute frequencies open," and "salute frequencies are open" and got different results each time. What did you use?
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    For some reason it only gives a translation for frequency as a single word, but not when used in a phrase or sentence.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Whereas it had no problem translating "frequencies," plural. Weird.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Had a similar problem with hailing, I substituted "calling."

    :)
     
  13. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't bother with Google Translate, and went directly to four different English/Swahili online dictionaries, including the official one from Kenya. While 'star' may be one potential translation, all four agreed that the first translation was 'flowers'. I ask again, which name do you think GR would have wanted for his Kenyan communications officer, "Flowers(or Star) Freedom" or "Love (of) Freedom"?
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The one that translated into "yes I'll get on the casting couch naked because I really want this part."


    . [​IMG]
     
  15. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Since he called his American captain and main protagonist "Heel-holder Church of the river Tiber"... I'd say he could have gone either way. :p
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Does that matter? If it can mean "star," that's good enough. William Rotsler wanted to give Uhura a first name that meant "Star." That's Nyota. And what's wrong with a word that means both star and flower? I think there's a rather lovely symbolism there.


    First off, he never said she was Kenyan. The series bible says she was "born in the United States of Africa." The Making of Star Trek says she's "a citizen of the Bantu Nation of United Africa." It was the novels The Starless World and Uhura's Song that proposed Nairobi as her birthplace, or perhaps drew on something from fandom.

    Second, I don't see how "Star of Freedom" is a bad name in the context of Star Trek. A star, figuratively, is a guiding light, an inspiration. What's more appropriate to Star Trek than using "star" to represent inspiration and hope? For that matter, "Flower of Freedom" works great too. "Flower" is the root of the word "flourish," and the growth and flourishing of freedom is hardly a negative image. The word "flower" can also mean the best or finest example of a group, like "the flower of our nation's youth." Really, these are great names symbolically. Sure, love of freedom is nice, but a bright light inspiring freedom, one who causes freedom to flourish, and the finest exemplar of freedom, all rolled into one -- isn't that even better?

    Third, remember, Roddenberry was no linguist. He made up the name "Uhura" by taking the Swahili word uhuru and sticking a Latin feminine ending on it. If he was willing to give her an imaginary, linguistically chimerical surname like that, I really don't think he would've been as picky about her first name as you are.
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    For a while, my personal theory was Sulu's first name was Napoleon. But that would have been too close to a character from another show also then airing on NBC. This theory was sort of reinforced in "The Enemy Within", when day player Jim Goodwin mangled a line which came out sounding like "Still no word from Mr. Solo, sir."
     
  18. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In that case, surely he promised to make her a "star," not a "flower." ;)
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Deflowered.

    * An asterisk resembles both a star and a flower. And the star inside the command Starfleet insignia. The Sydney-based Star Trek Fan Club (1972-1992) was called Astrex after an asterisk ("little star").

    As for GR and NN. Both were asked by the group of US convention fans wanting to use "Penda" in their fanfic, and both were asked by William Rotsler ("ST II Biographies") about the coining of "Nyota", explained as meaning "star". They said yes to both.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And of course there are flowers called asters because of their resemblance to stars. Plus starflowers, sunflowers, and flowers called sun star and Star-of-Bethlehem. I'm sure it's no coincidence that the same Swahili word is used for both flowers and stars.