[tlhIngan Hol] mu' chu' (pab chu' je) chabal tetlh: filling the gaps (concept)

Lieven levinius at gmx.de
Tue Mar 21 00:32:10 PDT 2017

Am 21.03.2017 um 02:40 schrieb Michael Kúnin:
> An hour or so ago, qurgh started the {chabal tetlh} thread for the
> upcoming qep'a' on Facebook. As FB is not very suitable for long and/or
> elaborate messages, I decided to summarise my idea here.

That's a good idea.

> The raw idea is: take the list of 5000 most frequently used English
> words and see which of them are *really* missing in our knowledge of
> Klingon.

That's not always true; many beginners seem to be missing words which 
are just expressed by other ideas, or just do not exist. Note that there 
still is no english word for "Kindergarten", but it works anyway.

> 1.2. By "*really* missing" I mean that there is no adequate translation
> (e.g., {'IHchoHmoH} for "suit (verb)", which appears in a sentence in
> TKD, is adequate,

Indeed. Beginners (and others) should know that since that was proposed 
in TKD, Okrand certainly thought about it, and hence it makes not sense 
asking for a verb like suit. Most of the time, there IS a way to express 
things, and very often, Okrand refuses to create a new word and instead 
proposes the use of an existing.

> 1.3. Another important aspect is whether we can reasonably expect that a
> Klingon word exists. Thus, I would exclude "Terran" words where the
> {banan naH} approach can be used. For example, if I need to say "oak", I
> would use {"oak" Sor} (there does not have to be a {Qo'noS} plant
> similar to the oak anyway).

Exactly! I recently had to translate the text for a children's show 
where the main characters are a mouse and an elephant. Okrand agreed 
that the word {Qa'Hom} for mouse is fine, but Maltz was not aware of an 
elephant like animal, so he suggested I just say {'e'levan}. [I did not 
post this to the list as this is not really a new word]

> For grammar, I would suggest to take a good English grammar for advanced
> learners (of English as foreign language), and identify which
> grammatical structures are missing in our knowledge of Klingon.

And even then, most things can be described somehow. Looking at our own 
grammar (being english, german or chinese) may be even more confusing 
than expected. English is very complicated, Klingon is not.

Just my two cents to this :-)

Lieven L. Litaer
aka Quvar valer 'utlh
Grammarian of the KLI

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