[tlhIngan Hol] When better is missing go with preferable

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Thu Aug 18 11:21:27 PDT 2016

qunnoq :
> Thousand times I came across the need to express in klingon the word
> "better". And a thousand times I came up with nothing, because in
> klingon we can't form comparatives in the way good-better-best.
> Until just a minute ago, a light bulb lit inside my head! And I[] 
> realized that in the place of the absent "better", we can use {qaq}
> instead. Problem solved !

FYI we have two sentences with {qaq} - ironically in a law'/puS comparative:

  tlhutlhmeH HIq ngeb qaq law' bIQ qaq puS 
  Drinking fake ale is better than drinking water. TKW

  QamvIS Hegh qaq law' torvIS yIn qaq puS 
  Better to die on our feet than live on our knees. ST6
    ("Dying while standing is preferable to living while kneeling" TKW)

Okrand also discussed [qaq} a bit:

(st.klingon):  ... the answer to the question {jarlIj qaq nuq?} ("What is your preferable month?") would presumably be a definition of your favorite month ... What you really mean to ask is something like "Of all the months, which one do you prefer?" ... You use {qaq}, "be preferable", adjectivally ({jarlIj qaq} is "your preferable month"). I think what you mean is better expressed by using the verb {maS} "prefer" with you as the subject...

tlhIngan ghantoH pIn'a'
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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