[tlhIngan Hol] Writing continuously in irrealis

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Feb 9 12:54:20 PST 2018

On 2/9/2018 2:37 PM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> There is a problem I've been having, which I don't know how to overcome.
> If I want to write a story in english, a story written in irrealis (if 
> that's how we say it), then I can write:
> "If I was a giant, and I was living in a castle above the clouds, I 
> would be happy. And if my kingdom had many soft and furry cats.."
> In klingon, in order to write something as the above, we have the {net 
> jalchugh}.
> However, (and here is my problem), if I want to write an entire story 
> in irrealis, then what do I do ? Do I place the {net jalchugh} after 
> each and every sentence ?
> In the above example would I need to write {I am a giant net jalchugh, 
> and I live in a castle above the clouds net jalchugh, I am happy net 
> jalchugh..} ?
> Wouldn't this make the reader "tired", reading the {net jalchugh} 
> after each and every sentence ?
> Is there any other way of approaching this ?

The Klingon *net jalchugh* isn't a grammatical mood; it just sets up the 
reader or listener to understand that what you're about to talk about is 
a counterfactual situation. Once the audience understands this, forget 
about it. But every time you offer a new ounterfactual idea, you have to 
use it again.

*wochqu'wI' jIH net jalchugh 'ej 'eng Dung jem'IH vIDab net jalchugh, 
jIQuch. SepwIjDaq veD tun ghajbogh vIghro' law' tu'lu' net jalchugh...*

Okrand himself gave an example of this when he explained *net jalchugh:*

    *tlhIngan SoH net jalchugh, qagh DatIv *
    /If you were a Klingon, you would enjoy gagh/

Notice that Okrand says *net jalchugh* is used for counterfactual ideas, 
not hypothetical ideas. The above sentence, he says, implies that you 
are /not/ a Klingon, not that you might be a Klingon. He compares this 
idea of counterfactual versus hypothetical:

    *qaghwIj DaSopchugh, qaHoH *
    /If you eat my gagh, I'll kill you./

    *qaghwIj DaSop net jalchugh, qaHoH *
    /If you were eating my gagh, I would kill you

The first//one is hypothetical: you might eat my gagh. The second is 
counterfactual: you're not eating my gagh, but if you were...

So my above Klingon translation of your sentence assumes I am /not/ a 
giant/,/ that I am /not/ living in a castle above the clouds, and that 
there are /not/ many soft, furry cats in my kingdom. But if that were 

By the way, while your English sentence is colloquially fine, more 
formally English uses a subjunctive mood: /If I *were* a giant, and if I 
*were* living in a castle above the clouds, I *would be* happy. And if 
my kingdom *had* many soft and furry cats... /This is not the indicative 
past tense; it is the subjunctive mood. Most people nowadays ignore the 
subjunctive mood in English, in much the same way they ignore the word 


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