[tlhIngan Hol] Introduction and a letter from Marc Okrand

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed May 12 13:29:16 PDT 2021

On 5/12/2021 3:57 PM, James Landau wrote:
> >Date: Tue, 11 May 2021 07:49:34 +0200
> >From: "De'vID" <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com <mailto:de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com>>
> >{nuqneH} shouldn't really be used as a greeting by the incoming party. It
> >means "Whaddya want?"
> I remember reading that that's what *nuqneH* means, but . . . are 
> there any alternatives for people introducing themselves?

The Klingon way is to start speaking about business. Talking about 
things other than your business is suspicious to Klingons who don't know 
you. The language reflects this: it has no words for general greetings. 
*nuqneH* literally means /Whaddya want?,/ but it has the further 
connotation of "You haven't followed normal protocol and stated your 
business. I'm giving you this prod to get back on track. Take the hint 
before I escalate this into violence."

> >That said, what do *you* want from this mailing list?
> One thing I want is to finally start absorbing more of the Klingon 
> language -- the vocabulary, the affixes and their proper order -- so 
> that I can write and read it. Seeing other people write in it, often 
> accompanied by an English translation, and the joy that comes from 
> recognizing many of the words, or better yet, being able to translate 
> the whole sentence without having to look it up. For instance, reading 
> all the stuff mayqel writes about the Greek deities, accompanied by 
> their English translations so I can follow along, is nothing short of 
> inspiring.

maj. pov qechvam. bIQapjaj!

> Another thing I want is to start translating things into Klingon. Some 
> help isn't bad, but even if I translate the whole thing on my own, I 
> want to make sure I didn't (a) make a syntax error, (b) misuse 
> affixes, or (c) misunderstand the meaning of a word.
> I already have a particular pop song I'd like to translate in mind. 
> Stay tuned!

Beginners always want to translate things, especially songs and poems, 
and this is probably one of the hardest things you can do.

Translating simple sentences and ideas is one thing. Translating poetry 
or lyrics that were chosen to be metaphorical, subtle, and pithy is 
quite another, and even expert Klingon speakers have trouble doing it well.

I won't tell you not to translate such things, but I strongly recommend 
you start on expressing yourself in Klingon rather than trying to 
translate the expressions of others.


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