Star Wars in Ge'ez #1
In episode IV (A New Hope) Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi tells Luke about his father, bragging about what a great Jedi, pilot, and friend he was, before telling Luke that a young Jedi named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered him. We later learn (along with Luke) that this was only true "from a certain point of view." When Luke confronts the spirit of Obi-Wan on Dagobah he complains: "You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father!" Here's our Ge'ez rendering:
ነገርከኒ ከመ አግብአ ወቀተለ ወድር አባየ
(nagarkani kama 'agbe'a waqatala wader 'abāya)
So let's break this down a bit. First we have a perfect verb in the 2nd masculine singular (ነገርከ/nagarka) to which we've attached a 1st person singular object suffix (ኒ/ni). We've packed "You told me . . ." into one handy little word. We've then used the conjunction (ከመ/kama) to introduce the indirect speech (Dillman, 538). For the verb "betray" we had a few different options, since Leslau lists three different verbs with this meaning: ከድዐ, (አ)ግብአ and ጠለመ. I went with the second one just because that's the word used for Judas' betrayal in passages like Mark 3:19 and 14:10. Then we have our conjunction ወ/wa and our second verb (ቀተለ/qatala) in the perfect 3rd person masculine singular. I chose to use verb-subject-object word order, so we have Vader (ወድር/wader) followed by the accusative form of "father" with the 1st person singular pronominal suffix (See Lambdin, 41 where we learn that አብ looks like አቡ- /'abu- when it takes a pronominal suffix, unless it is in the accusative in which case it looks like አባ- /'abā-).
Some things I was curious about:
- What is the typical word order (if any) when you have two verbs (betray, kill) that share the same direct object (my father) and a stated subject (Vader)?
- If we wanted to use a qatalo lanegus instead of the simple accusative, what would that look like? Would it be as simple as putting the 3ms suffix on both verbs followed by ለ-?
Would you translate this any differently? And more importantly, was Luke right to be a little peeved with Obi-Wan?
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