[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing location and “prettier than all others” / Hoch DechtaH tI nIl

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Wed Jun 13 07:22:44 PDT 2018

> On Jun 12, 2018, at 23:44, Rhona Fenwick <qeslagh at hotmail.com> wrote:
> jang Daniel, jatlh:
> > I suppose in the Terran version,
> > the equivalent phrases are sentence fragments as well (“Oh the wing on the bird,
> > and the bird in the egg”
> Are they? Huh. The version of the song I'm familiar with deploys full sentences: "And the wing was on the bird, and the bird was in the egg, and the egg was in the nest, and the nest was in the tree, and the tree was in the wood, and the green grass grew all around, all around, and the green grass grew all around". That's folk songs for you.

Hah, folk songs indeed. The version I know also says “green grass grows” in the present tense, but luckily Klingon isn’t burdened by such distinctions.

> grass is the stereotypical green object (and both arise from the same etymological origin, along with the verb "grow", which is why "green grass grew" alliterates so neatly).

Wow, that is really cool! I never did get very far in learning my PIE roots, but I remember my mind being blown when I learned of connections between words that seemed fairly distinct from one another. (Although I wouldn’t put it past myself to have known about *ghre-, which I had to look up just now, at some point 15 years or so ago, only to have long forgotten it.)

> Alternatively, what about rendering the English directly as {magh SuD}?

Right, I called that out as a possibility, but I don’t know what color grass is on Qo'noS, and where possible I want to keep things planet-agnostic.

> If you've gotten to this point without having read through the TKD grammar sketch, then you've done amazingly well. 

Thanks, but to be perfectly clear, I *have* read through the grammar sketch, multiple times in fact, but until I had developed a better understanding of how to use the language in practice, I wasn’t able to retain anything apart from the basics (SVO word order, the existence of affixes but not how to use them, beyond noun type 2 and verb type 7 for some reason, and first/second person subject with third person object verb prefixes), which held me back from growing a better understanding of how to use the language, so it was a bit of a feedback cycle. I probably could have tried harder if I had been more motivated at the time (I’ve been trying to learn Klingon on and off since the early-mid '90s, never devoting more than a week or two to the effort at a time, and never getting far); I think the excellent Klingon in Discovery rekindled my interest, and the Duolingo course launching shortly after is what pushed me over the edge. What I meant is that now that I can actually make sense of what TKD is actually saying, it’s time to read it again, mInDu' chu' vIlo'taHvIs.

> QeS 'utlh
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