[tlhIngan Hol] naH in fruit names 'oQqar in vegetable names

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 08:35:38 PDT 2020

On Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 8:29 AM mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:

> 'epIl naH
> ghIrep naH
> Sutra'ber naH
> but..
> tera' na'ran
> tera' na'ran'a'
> tanje'rIn
> and..
> 'anyan 'oQqar
> gharlIq 'oQqar
> andl let's not forget
> tlhagh patat 'oQqar naQHom
> With regards to the fruits, I can't understand the rationale by which
> some fruits have the {naH} and some don't.

In the case of {tera' na'ran} (and the variations on it), the difference is
that it's not a transliteration of the Federation Standard name of the
fruit. It's being described by reference to a Klingon fruit, the *na'ran*.
A Klingon speaker presumably already knows that a {na'ran} is a fruit. Same
thing for {tera' peb'ot} for "cucumber".

In the case of {'oQqar}, they're described that way because there's a
more-specific Klingon word for that part of a plant. (I have some questions
about this topic, actually, but I'll save them for another time.)

{tanje'rIn} is really the only odd one out. Perhaps Klingons have somehow
become familiar enough with tangerines to not need to add the descriptive
{naH}. Or perhaps the Klingon style of referring to off-world plants
changed at some point after the Eurotalk food list.

> Does this mean that while
> we can say {tanje'rInmey Soppu' qeSHoS}, we can't just say {'epIlmey
> Soppu' qeSHoS} ? Do we *need* to add the {naH} too, thus writing
> {'epIl naHmey Soppu' qeSHoS} ?

I don't think we know one way or the other for certain. Personally, though,
I don't think there's much of a problem with dropping the {naH}, or
{'oQqar}, or whatever. I'd probably keep it for {per naHmey} and {ray' tIr}
just because the transliterations are actual Klingon words. And if your
audience is likely to be a bunch of {'I'SeghImpu'}, you might want to stick
with the more precise version. Maybe you could use the full name the first
time it's mentioned, and then just the transliteration part. You don't need
to refer to Worf as {mogh puqloD} every time you mention him, after all.

> Similarly, if we want to say "the chef put french fries next to the steak".
> Can't we just say {Ha'DIbaH baylaD retlhDaq tlhagh patat naQHommey
> lanpu' vutwI'} ? Do we *need* to add the {'oQqar} too, thus writing
> {Ha'DIbaH baylaD retlhDaq tlhagh patat 'oQqar naQHommey lanpu' vutwI'}?

If it were me, I might not even bother with the {tlhagh}. I feel like
{patat naQHommey} would suffice in most contexts, unless the audience was
utterly unfamiliar with Earth steak-related culinary practices. (On another
note, I think you could just call a steak {Ha'DIbaH}. {Ha'DIbaH baylaD}
mostly makes me think of deli meats, not steaks.)
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