[tlhIngan Hol] Words from The Little Prince
Lieven L. Litaer
levinius at gmx.de
Fri Aug 31 07:30:48 PDT 2018
For your interest: The translation of the Little Prince into Klingon
took me 14 years. That was not because it was difficult, but just
because the Klingon language lacked so many words. Over the years, the
new words filled in the gaps of the translation, until there was a point
that it just needed a few more words to complete it.
Marc Okrand was so kind to talk to Maltz who was willing to reveal some
new words. Note that there are a few that are not really new words, just
Klingon spellings of Teran words.
From "ta'puq mach - The Little Prince (klingon translation) ", p. 153-156
bewbeb – Baobab (a Terran tree) This is a very specific tree, so this
Klingon word is borrowed from English. Maltz never heard of the thing
and thought it was pretty weird-looking.
Daqrab – well. It's normally a water well, but it could be an oil well,
assuming Klingons are aware of drilling for oil. If clarity is needed,
one can say bIQ Daqrab. "Source" is not part of the definition. A Daqrab
is constructed and/or dug.
DISjaj – anniversary. Maltz said there is a way (actually, several ways)
to refer to an "anniversary," which he characterized as a specific day
on which one recognizes or remembers an event that occurred a set amount
of time ago on that same date. The "set amount of time" could be a year
(what most people think of when they think of "anniversary"), but it
could be another unit of time: a month or a week.
DISjaj: anniversary measured in years
jarjaj: anniversary measured in months (the three-month anniversary of
starting a new job, say)
anniversary measured in weeks (the two-week anniversary of the day
someone quit smoking, perhaps)
A one-year anniversary would be DISjaj wa' or DISjaj wa'DIch (Maltz had
no preference). And so on. Maltz says that he's heard expressions like
tupjaj, which is presumably an anniversary measured in minutes – the
10-minute "anniversary" of someone not talking, maybe. He said this is a
form of wordplay, not a "real" word, but people do say things like this.
Do'ol – sand. What you find in the desert or on a beach. Not dirt.
DI'raq – sheep. There's a fluffy, woolly, shaggy Klingon animal called a
DI'raq, similar to a sheep. To distinguish, one can say tera' DI'raq the
first time it comes up, but probably shorten it to just DI'raq after
that. A male sheep, that is, a ram, is called DI'raq loD. It's two
words. Kin terms (like puqloD and lorloD) are set terms, regular
vocabulary items. For animals, Klingon doesn't have special words for
male vs. female. That is, English has ram (male), ewe (female), sheep
(both/either), but Klingon has only an equivalent for sheep – no
separate word for ram or ewe. If it's necessary to specify sex/gender,
it's done using the noun-noun construction.
Hovtej – astronomer / HovQeD – astronomy
Hov tut – telescope. Maltz says the most common way to say telescope is
Hov tut. He thought that was sort of an everyday or layman's term –
maybe even slang – and that astronomers called it something else... but
he didn't remember what that was.
moQbID – dome. This word is literally "sphere half" and is used in the
story for a bell used to cover something.
pu' – horn. The horn of an animal, same word as the spike on a boot (or
a spike in general). When clarity is called for, say Ha'DIbaH pu' or
DI'raq loD pu'. The plural of pu' is either pu'mey or pu'Du', depending
on the specific meaning of pu'.
qargh – be bulky, thick.
qeSHoS – fox. A Klingon animal that's kind of dog-like. They eat
vegetation and also small animals and birds. Klingons, of course, might
eat them, but mostly consider them pests.
quntej – historian / qunQeD – history science
ro'Sa' – rose (a Terran flower). Since there's no Klingon equivalent for
a rose, and this word is a specific name, this variation of the
Federation Standard word is used.
SaHa'ra' – Sahara (Earth desert). In Arabic, the sahara desert is called
aṣ-ṣaḥrāʼ al-kubrá, meaning "the Great Desert." If the Klingon version
came from Arabic, it would be something along those lines. But Maltz
says Klingons got the name from Federation Standard, which is why it is
Su'wan ghew – butterfly. This is not a literal translation for such an
animal, but Maltz suggested this word, because he knows it for a flying
insect with largish wings.
tom – tilt. Can be used for a head movement. [This verb is
intranstitive, so if you want to tilt something, say tommoH]
tlhegh jIrmoHwI' – windlass (literally: rope twister/rotator)
yItlhHa' – lenient, indulgent. This is formed from yItlh be strict,
severe, firm, stern, authoritarian.
yuQtej – geographer. yuQQeD – geography. The meaning of yuQ must have
changed over the years. Now it means planet, but maybe it originally
meant something else, something along the lines of place/location where
'ughDuq ghargh – caterpillar. Maltz said this is a little squirmy thing
that somehow turns into a Su'wan ghew. The 'ughDuq ghargh is not used to
prepare qagh, by the way.
Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"
More information about the tlhIngan-Hol