[tlhIngan Hol] matlh juppu' mu'mey, from HolQeD 8-3, pages 2-4

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Jun 22 11:20:00 PDT 2016

The bracketed translation in PK is my own – IIRC this line by the hapless Klingon-speaking tourist was not translated on the tape -- so don’t take it as gospel.

FWIW here’s my transcript of the untranslated shopping scene that begins “Power Klingon” (T = Terran tourist, K = Klingon merchant):

K  nuqneH
 [What do you want?]
T  'IH jaj qar'a'?  maja'chuqjaj
 [Beautiful day, isn't it?  Can we talk?]
K  jISaHbe'
 [I don't care.]
T  bISaHbe'?  qatlh bIjatlh
 [You don't care?!  Why do you say that?]
chaq SoHvo' vay' vIje' vIneH
 [Maybe I'd like to buy something from you.]
K  tugh!  SSS... bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHegh
 [Hurry up!  Buy or die!]
   quvwIj DatIchpu', tera'ngan
 [You have insulted my honor, Terran.]
bIyIntaH 'e' Daqotlhbe'
  [You don't deserve to live (“keep living”).]

<sound of disruptor fire>

T  yIjotchoH
 [Calm down!]

<sound of more disruptor fire>

T  Dochvetlh yItlhap
 [Take that!]

<sound of phaser fire followed by more disruptor fire>
<Terran screams as he’s hit by disruptor blast>

All of which shows that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  Especially on Kronos.


From: Lawrence M. Schoen
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:43 PM
On Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 1:28 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name<mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
On 6/22/2016 1:19 PM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:

chaq SoHvo' vay' vIje' vIneH

[Maybe I'd like to buy something from you.] PK

Maybe the difference is insignificant, but I believe that in the

strict sense of the rules, the {chaq} should be placed before the


Yep. Consider also reH DIvI Duj vISuv vIneH I've always wanted to fight a Federation ship (ST5).

My best guess is that the placement of adverbials is different for neH than for 'e'.

To me, the translation given in PK is ambiguous, which is why I think there's a different question here that needs to be considered. Specifically, is {chaq} modifying the verb {je'} or the verb {neH}.

In my mind there's no question. The equivocation provided by {chaq} is all about the buying and not about whether you want it or not.

A clearer translation than that found in PK might be:

[I'd like to maybe buy something from you.]

And of course, as we know Klingon doesn't bother with those useful tools of sentence separation like commas, periods, and semi-colons. That said, I suspect we can all agree that the final {vIneH} is its own sentence.

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