[tlhIngan Hol] [English] Using "pong" as a verb to say "my name is..." ?

Alan Anderson qunchuy at alcaco.net
Sat Oct 1 20:26:59 PDT 2016

On Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 8:47 AM, Aurélie Demonchaux
<demonchaux.aurelie at gmail.com> wrote:
> But since in this example the person being called is “me”, and "Quvar" is
> only what I'm called, then instead of using < jIHvaD Quvar ponglu’ > can we
> also say:
> < Quvar vIponglu’ > - “I am called Quvar”?
> Kind of like the “prefix trick” I read about elsewhere on the Klingonwiki?

That works fine, though some people consider it extremely informal
usage. It is *precisely* the prefix trick, with the verb prefix
indicating what we'd call in English an indirect object instead of the
direct object.

Note that it's only the English translation here which has passive
voice. In Klingon, it's just an indefinite subject. Many occurrences
of the {-lu'} suffix can be translated with passive voice, but not

> Thus, in Klingon, can we use a similar structure?
> < Quvar jIpong’egh > -- I call myself Quvar

It is understandable, but I won't call it grammatically correct, and I
would avoid it.

On Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 12:31 PM, mayqel qunenoS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> Don't take me seriously, but if I read the {Quvar vIponglu'}, I would
> understand that "someone calls me Quvar"; this would raise the ambiguity
> that only "that someone" calls me Quvar, while others may call me
> differently.

You apparently still think {-lu'} is a replacement for using {vay'}.
In {vIponglu'}, there is no "that someone". The subject is vague and
unspecified, and it might as well not even exist.

> Also keep in mind, that the exact translation of {Quvar vIponglu'}, isn't
> "I'm called Quvar". It is rather "someone calls me Quvar". Klingon doesn't
> have a passive voice..

The exact translation of {vIponglu'} is closer to "someone or
something unspecified names me". What you proposed is instead an exact
translation of {...mupong vay'}.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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