[tlhIngan Hol] If there is not an english mis- de- dis- word ?

Felix Malmenbeck felixm at kth.se
Mon Feb 25 09:37:54 PST 2019

Not at all; from an in-universe perspective, Klingon and English developed on completely different worlds, so there would have been no way for them to develop such a close correspondence of terms, except through some cosmic coincidence.

Translations will usually be acts of approximation. -Ha' expresses that the verb it is attached to is undone, or done incorrectly, which often corresponds to adding mis-, de-, dis- or un- in English, but not always. There are many cases where adding -Ha' is perfectly natural in Klingon is perfectly natural while adding one of the aforementioned prefixes in English would sound really weird, or suggest a different meaning.

For example, {jotlh} means "take down", and {jotlhHa'} has been translated as "put back up". Saying "untake down" or "take undown" would sound very strange.


{lIt} means "get on", and {lItHa'} has been translated as "get off". Again, "unget on" or "get unon" would sound very strange.


{lay'} means "promise", and {lay'Ha'} has been translated as "break one's word" (KGT, TKW). It could perhaps also describe the act of telling a promise that one has no intent of keeping, even though we would describe that using another term in English.


From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> on behalf of mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2019 18:18
To: Klingon Language Mailing List
Subject: [tlhIngan Hol] If there is not an english mis- de- dis- word ?

Adding the -Ha' on a klingon verb, produces the meaning of mis-, de-, dis-.

Does this mean, that if there isn't a corresponding mis-, de-, dis- english word, the klingon word can't take the -Ha' ?

~ Capricorn

(pong vIwIvlaHbe' jay'!)

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