[tlhIngan Hol] wIj jup in the paq'batlh

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed May 3 09:16:42 PDT 2017

For those interested, I stumbled across an example of {wIj jup} in the paq'batlh (in the section called {qeylIS SuvwI' qan je}):

  wIj jup
    SengmeywIj vIja'laHbe'
    jIHvaD ratlh pagh

  Dear old friend,
    I cannot speak of my tragedies,
    There is nothing left for me. 

(KGT 40):  Use of these otherwise bizarre constructions indicates an unusual closeness between the possessor and what is possessed, comparable to the Federation Standard practice of using a derogatory epithet to show affection (as in "John, you [epithet], it's good to see you"). Indeed, this is the best interpretation of a phrase heard among Klingons who are particularly good friends: {wIj jup} ("friend mine"). A translation such as "my very good friend" or "my dear old friend" may come closer to what is intended. It is not known with certainty why this construction is found predominantly among the higher classes...

As we know, this was Okrand's backfit to a scriptwriter's attempt to translate "my friend" literally} in DS9 "Blood Oath" when Kor called his old friend Curzon/Jadzia Dax {wIj jup}.

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

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