Posts Tagged ‘star trek’

Fun with Names

January 21, 2010

I have this ‘plan’ to translate some of the James Blish novelizations of Star Trek Episodes (classic Trek) into Esperanto. I want to do this purely for recreational reasons. The only problem I think I’m going to have is figuring  out how to deal with the character names.

Probably the very best way to deal with this would be to write them exactly as they are in English and put a small pronunciation key at the end for those people totally unfamiliar with ‘western’ names. That would be ‘IF’ I were writing this for publication.

But what if I were to transliterate the names? How would they change? ‘Uhura and Sulu go unchanged and even the pronunciation in Esperanto is virtually identical. Chekov would become Ĉekov, Spock would be Spok, Scott (Scotty) would become Skot (Skoĉjo). Mcoy becomes Mikoj. Probably the most troublesome would be James T. Kirk.

1) The biblical form of ‘James’ is ‘Jakob’. I’d likely meet great resistance  calling the Captain of the Enterprise Jakob T. Kirk (pronounced keerk). If I left the name alone, without a guide to non-Westerners, they would pronounce ‘James’ as ‘Yah mess’. If I simply transliterated(?) it It would look like ‘Ĝejmz’, Ĝejmz’ or Ĝemz, Ĵemz. Not exactly smooth. eh?

So I think that when I tackle that project (railroad book comes first,) I’ll leave the names be and figure there would be a pronunciation guide in the end.