[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: tamghay

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Mar 14 08:19:07 PDT 2018

Klingon word: tamghay
Part of speech: noun
Definition: light, luminescence, illumination
Source: Email from Lieven 2018-01-26

Lieven introduced his post with  "Anyone who has watched Discovery might have noticed that Lorca is sensitive to light. In another scene, Burnham said that the light is different where she is. These are two different things. Marc Okrand wrote..."

(Lieven < Okrand, 1/26/2018):  For this, {'otlh} "photon" would work, but even though it's scientifically correct (I think), it would be confusing in a Star Trek context because of photon torpedoes and such (and because there can be photons besides those in the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum).  You're right - Klingons would have a word (at least a scientific, technical term) for the phenomenon of light (aside from {'otlh}).  {wovtaHghach} is one such word.  Another is {tamghay} "light, luminescence, illumination" ('illumination' here does not mean "clarification, explanation, explication" or the like). <...>  You're right.  They are different (and, like you, I'd use {tamghay} for the examples you sent), but one's eyes could be sensitive to {wovtaHghach}.  For the light is different, however, {wovtaHghach} isn't so good (unless they're talking about the intensity of the brightness or something like that as opposed to, say, the color).  <...>  {tamghay Hurgh} sounds odd to me for some reason.  I think it would be {tamghay wovHa'}, which perhaps could be translated as "dim light".

(Lieven, 1/28 & 30/2018):  So when saying that Lorca is sensitive to "light", it's actually the {wovtaHghach} bothering him.  Otherwise, he would have to live in absolute darkness, where there is no {tamghay}.  <...>  The term {tamghay} is defined as "light, luminescence, illumination".  This one is the real "light", the thing emitted by a lamp, or the sun.  <...>  And I'm sure you can even combine those two: {tamghay wovtaHghach} "the brightness of the light".  Maybe this last shows the difference.

tIH 		ray, energy beam (n)

boch 		shine, be shiny (v)
tlhuD  		emit (energy, radiation) (v)
wew 		glow (v)
wov 		be light, be bright (v)

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

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