[tlhIngan Hol] action based language

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Nov 9 07:01:34 PST 2020

On 11/9/2020 9:47 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> What I have observed is that many newbies come with phrases based on
> nouns like "My love for you is strong" and then we suggest them to
> rephrase it like "I love you very much".

Sure, this is a case where we have a verb *muSHa'*/love/ and no 
corresponding noun, and so naturally one will turn to the verb. And 
sometimes it's true that we have a verb with no corresponding noun. I 
don't think this makes Klingon verb-centric; it just means Klingon 
doesn't noun its verbs and verb its nouns as often as English does. The 
balance of Klingon is different than that of English.

> And then I recently started to wonder why we do that. Is it really the
> case that there are more verb-centric expressions or constructions than
> nouns? Or did we really just make that up many years ago, when we were
> missing so many words? 

I think missing words was part of it. I think fear of and confusion 
about *-ghach* was another. I think the fact that many English nouns get 
translated into Klingon verbs is significant and should be noted for the 
student, but I don't think that the entire character of the language 
should be named based on just that.

It's really just an admonition to the student not to translate word for 
word. Find out how Klingon wants to construct things and expression your 
idea using those Klingon tools. Sometimes, what is a noun in English is 
necessarily a verb in Klingon. But don't overstate this.


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