[tlhIngan Hol] Maltz about raQ vs. ruQ

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Mon Mar 22 07:39:24 PST 2021

While talking about other words, Maltz explained - through Marc Okrand -
the difference between the verbs {raQ} "manipulate by hand, handle"
(KGT) and {ruQ} "control manually, by hand" (TKD).

The message is archived on qepHom.de:

and can be found in the Klingon Language wiki:


By the way, since you brought it up {raQ}, you might be wondering about
{ruQ}. Or maybe you’re not but, at long as we’re here… {raQ} and {ruQ}
are similarly defined. The difference is that {ruQ} is more likely to be
used when the handling alters the configuration of the thing being
manipulated and {raQ} is used when the thing being handled doesn’t do
anything if it’s not being handled.

So one can {raQ} a {betleH}, meaning move it around in various ways, but
the {betleH} by itself isn’t doing anything. Indeed, one may {raQ} any
(non-powered) hand tool. By extension, {raQ} is also used for creating a
work of art, since the clay or stone or whatever just sits there until
the {raQwI’} (so to speak) comes along.

{ruQ}, on the other hand, refers to controlling or handling something
that can or may do something on its own (or due to some source of
power), but the manual intervention causes it to do something else or
behave differently. So if your robot vacuum cleaner starts wandering off
in a direction you don’t want it to go, you could {ruQ} it to get it
back on track (by, say, picking it up and reorienting it).

If you manually adjust something, that’s {ruQ}, since you’re manually
determining or changing what the thing will do or how it will do it. You
don’t {ruQ} a {betleH} — unless, I suppose, someone has come up with an
adjustable {betleH} of some sort.

(If one were to {ruQ} a work of art, that would suggest that the artwork
is manipulable in some way, like kinetic art that has to be set up in a
certain way to work properly and can, in theory, get out of adjustment
or malfunction.)

Finally, {raQ}, rather than {ruQ}, is used when manually controlling a
ship because the person doing the controlling or manipulating is dealing
with controls — switches and buttons or those holographic things they
use on “Discovery” — but not the things that actually make the ship go
or move in a particular way. If you manually control the thrusters by
pushing a button or two (as opposed to letting the computer take care of
things), that’s {raQ}; if you manually control the thrusters by
physically doing something to them directly (yanking a thruster
component or twisting something or banging on something), that’s {ruQ}.


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

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