[tlhIngan Hol] New words from Hamletmachine

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Mon Mar 30 13:02:27 PDT 2020

For the creation of the play {mu' mu' mu'} by the Dutch theatre company
URLAND that premiered on 4th of March 2020, I was asked to translate a
German play into Klingon, which was partially used in their play. The
play "Die Hamletmaschine" by German author Heiner Müller was written in
1977, is internationally known and has been translated into several

During translation work, I got help from Marc Okrand who could discuss
some useful information with Maltz. Due to some copyright situations, I
cannot publish the translation right now, but I do not want to keep
those words hidden until publication until then, so here we go.

For a clearer and more "colorful" overview, see the page at the Klingon
Language wiki: http://klingon.wiki/En/Hamletmachine

Body parts:
== Okrand quote ==
{nev'ob} refers to both the "thigh" and the "upper arm" (above the
elbow). Similarly, {reStav} refers to both the "shin" and the "forearm."
If it's necessary to make a distinction, precede these words with {'uS}
or {DeS}.

{cha'neH}, when used alone, means "forearm." But when preceded by {'uS},
it means "lower part of the leg."  You could also say {DeS cha'neH} for
"forearm," but this would probably be used only in a context where you
were talking about both the forearm and the lower leg and wanted to
clarify which was which.

{reStav} is "shin," meaning the front of the lower leg. (I assume
"Schienbein" is "shin bone." {reStav} is more than just the bone. The
only way Maltz was aware of for referring to the bone is {reStav Hom}.)

{Do'ghI'} is "calf," meaning the back of the lower leg ("Wade," presumably).
== Okrand quote end ==

Clarifying "hang":
== Okrand quote ==
{HuS} takes an object. If your shoes are hanging on a wall it's because
somebody hung them there.

{HuS} is not used to mean "lynch" or "execute by hanging." That's a
different word: {jIb}.  (Maltz thought maybe an early form of torture or
execution was hanging people by their hair, but he wasn't totally sure
about this and may have just been reacting to the homophony.)

And there's another word: {tlhep} "be suspended, be dangling."  Use
{HuS} if, for example, you hang your coat on a hook on the wall or hang
sheets on a clothesline to dry.  But if, say, you see a spider dangling
at the bottom of one of those silk threads that spiders extrude, use
{tlhep}. Or if you see a pair of shoes tied together by the laces and,
for whatever reason, they're hanging by the tied-together laces from an
overhead power wire, use {tlhep}.
== Okrand quote end ==

Okrand agreed that {jIb'egh} is "suicide by hanging".

Next, there was a question about a "concubine":
== Okrand quote ==
Maltz thought the best word for this might be {lIwnal}, though maybe
not: the cultural connotations are a bit different since, in Klingon
culture, everything associated with a {lIwnal} lacks honor, and this is
not necessarily the case for a (Terran) king's concubines or courtesans.
Note that only married people could have a partner who could be
considered a {lIwnal}. Also, {lIwnal} could be male or female, so if
it's necessary to distinguish, say {loD lIwnal} or {be' lIwnal}.
== Okrand quote end ==

More words:
{ghenlan} - Greenland (country)
{qaw'} - flip over
{qaw'moH} - flip over (i.e. "make something flip over")
{rIv} - split
{vIrgh} - rip (up), slash, tear (up), gash
{'o'nI'} - foam, froth

Not new words, but combined translations:
{DeSwar bIr} - refrigerator
{jorchan velqa'} - stage decoration
{much jech} - costume
{much yaH} - stage
{qab jech} - mask

{qo'qa' qo'la'} - Coca Cola
{lIyenIn} - Lenin
{maw} - Mao

The question for a "stage" was answered with a general statement:
== Okrand quote ==
Any place specifically designated for the performance of a specific task
(or tasks) is a {yaH}.  A stage is the {yaH} for the performance of
plays or, perhaps, music. A football field is the {yaH} for a football
game. A laboratory is a scientist's {yaH}. And, of course, on a ship, a
{yaH} is a duty station.  If context isn't enough to clarify what sort
of {yaH} it is, you can say things like {much yaH}, {QoQ yaH},
{tamlerQeD yaH}, etc.
== Okrand quote end ==

There's an idiom for "kill time": {'ebmey jonHa'}

Talking about a "virgin", Okrand suggested saying it literally what a
virgin is:
{pagh ngaghpu'bogh be'} or {not vay' ngaghpu'bogh be'}

Doing so, he answered the question if {ngagh} can be used with people.

And in case anyone wondered, {jach} is a good verb to describe what a
{jajlo' Qa'} does.

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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