[tlhIngan Hol] color entry at kli.org

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Sep 3 14:18:12 PDT 2019

It occurs to me that, given an NPR program earlier in the year, perhaps Okrand was listening.

It said that languages do not tend to get color words until the people who use the language develops a pigment that can dye or paint things that color. Evidence of this is that all the ancient Greek writings lacked a word for “blue”. The sea is described as the color of wine and the sky is described as white. The word “blue” isn’t found in those languages until the Greeks came up with a blue dye.

So, it would, with that in mind, make sense to describe a woman’s eyes as being dyed or tinted, even if the color is quite natural.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Sep 3, 2019, at 12:42 PM, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:
>  (KGT 81f.):   Compared to Federation Standard, Klingon terminology associated with
>   colors is rather limited. ... There is, however, a verb, {nguv}, which means something
>   like be "dyed, stained, tinted", though it is seldom used except in the phrase {chay' 
>   nguv} ("How is [it] tinted?") or ... in the form {nguvmoH} ("dye, tint, stain"; that is,
>   "cause to be dyed," etc.) -- for example, {ret'aq nguvmoH} ("He/she stains the knife
>   handle").
> I understood "seldom used except in the phrase {chay' nguv}" as meaning this is the idiomatic way Klingons ask about specific colors --  so *{chay' nguv be'vam mInDu'?} would be perfectly acceptable.  While "be dyed, stained, tinted" might imply artificial, modified or added color in English, perhaps it doesn't in Klingon.  
> But if you don't like {nguv}, try {chum} "be colorful" instead:  *{chay' chum?} "How is it colorful?  In what way is it colorful?"  So far, the only things we know for certain are {chum} are sunrise {jajlo’ chum} ("colorful dawn") and sunset {tlhom chum} ("colorful dusk").  (OTOH {chum} "be colorful" may just be the opposite of {Dem} "be clear, transparent, uncolored".)
> Voragh
> ----------------------------------------Original Message---------------------------------------------
> From: mayqel qunen'oS
> So, I meet a friend of mine who says: "michael, I met a woman who has the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen".
> And me, wanting to ask "seriously ? what color are they ?", I don't have a way to ask because "klingons don't have a word for color".
> Or I can say something like "how are they dyed/stained/tinted" ?
> But the jay' problem is, that I'm not asking if she wears make-up..
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