[tlhIngan Hol] {'} as [t] - dialect?

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Sun May 20 11:44:35 PDT 2018

>> On May 20, 2018, at 12:07, Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:
>> Am 20.05.2018 um 17:22 schrieb Daniel Dadap:
>> I was listening to “The Klingon Way” as narrated by Michael Dorn and Roxann Biggs-Dawson, and couldn’t help but notice that it sounds like B’Elanna almost always (but not totally consistently) pronounces the {qaghwI'} as [t]. Perhaps [t] as an allophone of either /t/ or /ʔ/ may have been a feature of Miral’s dialect? Or is it an idiosyncrasy particular to B'elanna?
> I would not regard this tape as being any official dialect, not even a canon example of Klingon. SuStel wrote it in a very polite way, but I would just say that this audio book version of TKW is really, really bad. I listened once to it, and stopped halfway because it hurt my ears. Beginners of Klingon should actually never listen to that, because it's just bad Klingon.

Thanks, Quvar, SuStel je.

Of course it’s just a flawed production, and there were many other pronunciation issues besides {'} as [t]; it’s just that this particular one was fairly consistent, and I thought it was interesting. I do like making up explanations for things that are just artifacts of the realities of a production with limited resources, but I do so just for fun. For example, when  T’Kuvma is reciting the qeylIS prayer with his dying breath and says “jIjaHmeH yIwovmoH” when other instances of the prayer are spoken as “maleghmeH yIwovmoH” or “jIleghmeH yIwovmoH”, and indeed the subtitles translate T’Kuvma’s version as “bring us light to see”, my made up explanation is that T’Kuvma knew he was dying and changed the prayer to jIjaHmeH yIwovmoH to mean something like Suto'vo'qor vIjaHmeH yIwovmoH, and that the subtitles are in errror, even though the actual error was almost certainly in the delivery of the line.

Anyway, like SuStel said, we don’t know how well a half Klingon who doesn’t really like being Klingon speaks Klingon. That’s what I meant by the pronunciation being idiosyncratic to B’Elanna. If it’s not a feature of Miral’s dialect as I’d like to imagine it is, then I could easily see it just being that B’Elanna speaks Klingon about as well as Roxann Biggs-Dawson does.

I do think it’s something of a disservice that the actors didn’t get better coaching for this tape. The coaching for Discovery was excellent in my opinion, and it’s too bad that a tape that purports to be instructional on the Klingon language couldn’t get a similar level of treatment.

> This information is included in the German version, but I'll add that to the wiki immediately right here:
> http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/TheKlingonWay
> -- 
> Lieven L. Litaer
> aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"
> http://www.klingonisch.de
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