[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: jatlh

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu Aug 15 08:50:17 PDT 2019

I remember there being a time that Okrand explained that the difference between {jatlh} and {ja’} was that the direct object of {jatlh} was the language or the text being spoken, while the object of {ja’} was the person being addressed.

This fits the differences in definitions given, since one speaks a language and one says a bunch of words, but one tells a person, or reports to a person.

Meanwhile, I think that Okrand subsequently discovered an error in canon, or came to fear that there might be such an error, and backpedaled to expand the definitions so that the two words could be used interchangeably.

Given that, I favor using {jatlh} when the direct object is a language or quoted words and {ja’} when the direct object is the person being addressed, and I silently forgive anyone, including Okrand, from not following this guideline.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Aug 15, 2019, at 11:40 AM, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:
> Klingon word: jatlh
> Part of speech: verb
> Definition: say, tell, speak
> _______________________________________________
> yIjatlhQo' 
> Be quiet! Don't speak!  TKD
> bIjatlh 'e' yImev 
> Shut up!  Stop speaking!  TKD/PK
> bIjatlh 'e' yImev.  yItlhutlh!
> Stop talking! Drink!  TKW
> tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a' 
> Do you speak Klingon?  TKD
> tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHbe' 
> I cannot speak Klingon.  TKD
> I don't speak Klingon.  CK
> bIjatlhQo'chugh 
> if you refuse to speak. TKD
> DIvI' Hol Dajatlh'a' 
> Do you speak Federation Standard? CK
> 'eb Qav jatlhpu' 
> He said, "Last call!" CK
> qatlh bIjatlh? 
> [Why do you say (that)? (untranslated)] PK
> jIjatlhpa' jatlh Hovmey 
> The stars will talk before I will. PK
> 'avwI'vaD jatlh qama' jIghung 
> jatlh qama' jI'oj 
> jatlh qama' jIDoy'qu' 
> jatlh 'avwI' jIDoy'be' 
> A prisoner says to the guard, "I am hungry." 
> The prisoner says, "I am thirsty." 
> The prisoner says, I am very tired." 
> The guard says, "I am NOT tired."  (PK)
> qa'vam yuQ Quv DaghojmeH Duyma'vaD yIjatlh. 
> [To learn the Genesis Planet's coordinates, speak to our agent.] (ST3 DVD case)
> yIjatlh 
> Speak!  ST5
> [occasional response to {nuqneH?}: "Sometimes the response is yIjatlh! (Speak!), after which the person who began the conversation continues." (KGT 184)]
> Dajatlhbogh vIyajlaHbe'. yIjatlhqa'! 
> I find no match for what you just said. Please say it again. (KCD .wav file)
> qep'a' wejDIchDaq jatlhtaH tlhIngan Hol HaDwI'pu'. 
> [untranslated] (MO to SuStel, st.klingon 11/1996)
> SoHvaD pagh vIjatlh
> Human I have nothing to say to you, human. (ENT "Affliction")
> DaH DIvI' Hol vIjatlhchoH.  'oy' HughwIj. 
> [untranslated] (Vincent Van Gerven Oei's speech at qepHom wa'maHDIch]
> jatlh 'e' mevDI' qeylIS, lop 
> After Kahless's words, they celebrate (PB)
> bIjatlhDI' bIval 
> You speak wise words (PB)
> jatlh 'e' mevDI' nuvpu' mejmoH ghaH ratlh be'nalDaj luqara' neH. 
> After his last words, all were sent away, but his wife Lukara. PB
> quv tIghmey Sov Hoch tlhInganpu' 'ej puqpu'chajvaD lutvam lujatlhqa' 
> Every Klingon knows the way of honor, and teaches their children by this tale. PB
> nuv 'umHa' leghchugh veqlargh ngoS nuv 'umHa' net jatlh 
> Those unfit disintegrate at the glance of Fek'lhr so it is said. PB
> tlhIH je qamra' puqloD pejatlh
> [translation unavailable]  (PB) 
> qatru' jatlhlu'bogh yupma' 
> Festival of the Spoken Nerd (MO to De'vID, 3/2015)
> vulqan Hol jatlhlaHmeH Mr. Spock, vIghojmoHta' 
> [I taught Mr. Spock how to speak Vulcan. [untranslated] (ASM)
> naDev tlhIngan Hol wIjatlh 
> We speak Klingon here. (DSC "Will You Take My Hand?" NON-CANON)
> [sign in the Orion market on Kronos in pIqaD and Orion letters)
> (st.klingon 6/1997):   The object of {jatlh} "speak" is that which is spoken.  Thus, it's OK to say "speak a language", for example {tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh} "you speak Klingon".  But it's also OK to say "speak an address, speak a lecture", for example {SoQ Dajatlh} "you speak an address" or, more colloquially, "you deliver an address" or "you make a speech".  To say simply {jatlh} "he/she speaks" implies "he/she speaks it", where it is a language or a lecture or whatever.  The indirect object of {jatlh}, when expressed, is the hearer/listener.  Thus {qama'pu'vaD tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh} "you speak Klingon to the prisoners", {qama'pu'vaD SoQ Dajatlh} "you make a speech to the prisoners".  
>    "When the indirect object (in this case, the hearer) is first or second person, the pronominal prefix which normally indicates first or second person object may be used.  There are other examples of this sort of thing with other verbs.  For example, someone undergoing the Rite of Ascension says {tIqwIj Sa'angnIS} "I must show you [plural] my heart".  The pronominal prefix in this phrase is {Sa-}, which means "I [do something to] all of you" in such sentences as {Salegh} "I see you [plural]" but when there's already an object (in this case, {tIqwIj} (my heart), the `object' of the prefix is interpreted as the indirect object, so {Sa-} means "I [do something to] it for you" or the like...  Since the object of {jatlh} is that which is spoken, and since you or I or we cannot be spoken (and therefore cannot be the object of the verb), if the verb is used with a pronominal prefix indicating a first- or second-person object, that first or second person is the indirect object. 
>    Which is a not very elegant way of saying that {qajatlh} means "I speak to you or", more literally, perhaps "I speak it to you", where "it" is a language or a speech or whatever:  
>  	qajatlh 			I speak to you
> 	Sajatlh			I speak to you [plural]
> 	chojatlh 		you speak to me
> 	tlhIngan Hol qajatlh 	I speak Klingon to you. 
>    There's another wrinkle to this.  The verb {jatlh} can also be used when giving direct quotations:  
> 	tlhIngan jIH jatlh 	he/she says, 'I am a Klingon'
> 	jatlh tlhIngan jIH	he/she says, 'I am a Klingon'  
> (With verbs of saying, such as {jatlh}, the phrase that is being said or cited may come before or after the verb.)  If the speaker is first or second person, the pronominal prefix indicating `no object' is used:  
> 	tlhIngan jIH jIjatlh	I say, 'I am a Klingon'
> 	tlhIngan jIH bIjatlh	you say, 'I am a Klingon'
> There are instances where the pronominal prefix marks a big distinction in meaning:  {tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh} "you speak Klingon" [vs.] {tlhIngan Hol bIjatlh} "you say, 'Klingon language'," [that is you say the phrase 'Klingon language'].
> (KGT 30):   Even though this is probably just a coincidence, there is a slang term {jat}, used throughout the Empire but somewhat more frequently in the areas near Ruk'evet, which means "speak incoherently, mumble", a notion with negative connotations for Klingons. Enunciating Klingon clearly is always important, but one should take extra care to not accidentally say {jat} (mumble) when intending the similar-sounding {ja'} (say), {jatlh} (speak), or {jach} (yell).
> SEE:
> jatlhHa'  	say the wrong thing,  misspeak (v)
> jatlhwI'  	speaker (n)
> nuqjatlh 	What did you say? Huh?! What did he say? (excl)
> ja' 		report, tell (v)
> jaw 		chat (v)
> jach		yell (v)
> jat		speak incoherently, mumble (v)
> ghugh 		vocalize (by animals) (v)
> tlhup 		whisper (v)
> Sor 		speak literally (v)
> SorHa’ 		speak metaphorically (v)
> yI' 		speak in an honorable or respectful fashion (v)
> qol 		pronounce (v)
> rev 		quote (v)
> maq 		proclaim (v)
> QIch 		speech (i.e. vocal sounds) (n)
> SoQ  		speech, lecture, address (n)
> ghogh 		voice (n)
> wab 		sound, noise (n)
> Note that {qol} was revealed to De'vID back in January and {rev} is one of the brand-new verbs from qep'a' 2019.
> --
> Voragh
> Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
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