[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: boqrat

nIqolay Q niqolay0 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 10:54:01 PDT 2020

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 11:45 AM Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:

> Am 23.09.2020 um 17:23 schrieb Steven Boozer:
> > Klingon Word of the Day for Wednesday, September 23, 2020
> >
> > Klingon word: boqrat
> > Part of speech: noun
> > Definition: *bokrat*, type of animal
> I have always wondered if that is a proper name, or if this is a kind of
> rat: a "bok-rat".
> Of course, having a Klingon word {boqrat} eliminates the idea of it
> being a "rat"like animal, but that Klingon spelling appeared after the
> script was written.

Maybe it is a rat-like animal. "Rat" is a simple syllable, and Klingon does
have plenty of other strange coincidences with English. We even have a few
of those coincidences on Earth:

Mbabaram is famous in linguistic circles for a striking coincidence in its
> vocabulary. When Dixon finally managed to meet Bennett, he began his study
> of the language by eliciting a few basic nouns; among the first of these
> was the word for "dog". Bennett supplied the Mbabaram translation, *dog*.
> Dixon suspected that Bennett hadn't understood the question, or that
> Bennett's knowledge of Mbabaram had been tainted by decades of using
> English. But it turned out that the Mbabaram word for "dog" was in fact
> *dog*, pronounced almost identically to the English word (compare true
> cognates such as Yidiny *gudaga*, Dyirbal *guda*, Djabugay *gurraa* and
> Guugu Yimidhirr *gudaa*, for example). The similarity is a complete
> coincidence: there is no discernible relationship between English and
> Mbabaram. This and other false cognates are often cited as a caution
> against deciding that languages are related based on a small number of
> lexical comparisons.


The vowel in Klingon *rat* is /ɑ/, while the vowel in English "rat" is /æ/,
which is often transliterated as *e* instead (see *'epIl* "apple"), so
perhaps the perceived coincidence is just an artifact of the standard
Klingon orthography.
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