[tlhIngan Hol] pseudo-Klingon words from the paq'batlh

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 2 09:39:50 PDT 2019


On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 7:37 AM De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:

> What do people think about the following Klingon "words" from paq'batlh?
> They don't appear in the main (Klingon-language) text, but are used in
> otherwise English sentences in the introduction or footnotes.
>

There are a lot of Klingon words that describe various elements of Klingon
culture (rituals, foods, planets, etc.) that haven't been transliterated
officially but that are, in some sense, "official" Klingon concepts. KGT
mentions the planet Morska and rotting *forshak*. DS9 had "kal'Hyah", the
Klingon version of a bachelor party which involves four days of fasting and
trials. And so on. If someone took an educated guess at a transliteration
for those concepts so they could use them in a sentence, I'd be okay with
that. I might get confused if I wasn't well-versed in Klingon culture as
depicted on TV, and I wouldn't suggest that *mo'rISqa*, *vorSaq* or
*qalHay'aH* end up in boQwI' just yet.

In the case of *Huy'reH* and *cha'ang*, the issue is a little different,
because the words as presented don't really need to be transliterated.
They're already in phonetically-acceptable Klingon. If someone were to ask
Marc Okrand for the official Klingon words for those concepts, I feel like
his answer would just be "what's wrong with *Huy'reH* and *cha'ang*?" (He
seems pretty diplomatic when it comes to handling Klingon words invented by
others for specific aspects of Klingon culture.) They're not really generic
words, they're very specific concepts, so it seems unlikely that they'll be
used in a context where anyone involved hasn't heard of them already. If
someone sees the word *vorSaq*, even if they've heard Worf talking about
*forshak*, they might still have difficulty connecting the transliteration
to the word they know. But if someone's heard of *Huy'reH* from the opening
of the paq'batlh, they're probably not going to have much issue connecting
that idea to the word *Huy'reH* in a sentence. (It feels a little like
asking Marc Okrand what the Klingon spelling for *Qov* or *Quvar* is. It's
just a name.) My suggestion would be that they're fine to include, with a
note along the lines of "This spelling hasn't been vetted by Okrand, but...
come on." (Maybe a little more diplomatic than that.)

As for *Qich'lut* and *paq'jachchu*, I'd recommend asking first. *QIch*
*lut* is probably fine to include, I think - if Okrand doesn't vet the
paq'batlh spelling (with the ' and lowercase i), *QIch lut* is probably
what he'd go with. It might be useful to have an entry for them anyway,
marked with a ? for "dubious canon" and mentioned to have an archaic
spelling. It's possible someone reading paq'batlh might not know they
weren't "official", and wonder why they're not there.

(I'd also ask if the ' in paq'batlh, paq'raD, et al., is considered by
modern Klingons to be the same letter as the qaghwI', or if it's a distinct
symbol that just happens to look the same when rendered with *DIvI' Hol
ngutlhmey QIv*.)
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