[tlhIngan Hol] irrealis {net jal} and the {net jalchugh}

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Feb 25 13:53:41 PST 2020

An Klingon observation from DS9 "Soldiers of the Empire":

BASHIR:     Another three centimeters to the right and you would have
                   severed the brachial artery.  […]  And if that had happened,
                   you would have bled to death right there in the holosuite.
MARTOK:  The human fascination with what might have been is tiresome,
                    Doctor. The artery was not severed and I am not dead.

From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> On Behalf Of mayqel qunen'oS
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:07 PM

> When a Klingon says {[sentence] net jalchugh, [...]}, the idea they wish to
> express is normally roughly analogous to an irrealis conditional in English ("were it
> the case that [setence], [...]"). You could imagine cases where somebody uses the
> expression in a more literal sense (qIt ghu' qaq net jalchugh, chaq qaS Daw'.),
> and in that case it will be up to the translator to distinguish between the two senses.

Thanks for clarifying this ! So far, I've been under the impression that the *only* way someone could use the {net jalchugh} could be in the irrealis way. It's good to learn, that we can use it literally too.

> I don't think so. net jalchugh sets up the condition for an irrealis. It's a set phrase.
> net jal only means that someone is  literally  imagining something. There's no
> condition, so no irrealis, only someone  imagining something.

ok, I understand.. It would be too good to be true, to be able to use the {net jal} on its own..

But, no problem ! Luckily we have the {net jalchugh}, so when the need for an irrealis will arise, we can avoid being caught with our pants down !

(I always found this english phrase very funny.. hahaha !)

~ mayqel qunen'oS
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20200225/c88e5859/attachment-0005.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list