[tlhIngan Hol] 'eSpanya' QISmaS (Beginner's text and questions)

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 08:40:50 PST 2021

On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 at 14:50, Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:

> I’m not sure that it has been explicitly stated that a Klingon second,
> minute, and hour are of identical length to the human time units of those
> durations, yet we quite comfortably behave as if that is true.

I don't think anyone's behaving as if Terran and Klingon units of time are
identical, and I suspect everyone actually assumes they're not. What people
are doing is using words for the Klingon units of time to translate the
Terran ones. It doesn't matter if one {rep}  on {Qo'noS} is really 45 or 81
Terran minutes or whatever, people are just using it to mean the unit of
time that's 60 Terran minutes when talking about time on Earth. This is one
of those situations where people actually mean {tera' poH rep} and dropping
the {tera' poH} because the context is time on Earth and not on {Qo'noS}.

It's similar to how the Chinese word 尺 (a unit of length which is about a
third of a metre) is used to translate "foot" and vice versa. Nobody who
does this thinks that the two units are identical (and if people need to be
specific, they can say "Chinese foot" or 英尺 ("English 尺")).

> And now, you want to get all huffy about the absurdity of assuming that
> the unexplained “traditional” Klingon alternative to military time could
> possibly be a 12 hour clock.
> Riiiiight.

When you say "12-hour clock", what you're referring to isn't a clock with
12 hours in a day, but a clock with 24 hours divided into 2 periods of 12.
And we have evidence that the traditional Klingon system wasn't 24 hours,
because we are told in Conversational Klingon that "Klingons have adopted
the way most civilized planets in the Galaxy tell time. They have
twenty-four hour days." If they've adopted 24-hour days, then their
traditional system didn't have 24-hour days, meaning that it couldn't have
had 2 periods of 12 hours, either. (Now, maybe they did have a literal
12-hour clock, i.e., 12 hours in a day, but that's not what you're saying.)

Also, we're told that the (traditional) Klingon day goes from dawn to dawn,
so presumably whatever audible signal {Qoylu'pu'} is referring to starts at
that time. That is, the sound is heard once at one hour (however long a
traditional Klingon hour is) after dawn, twice at two hours after dawn, and
so on. Even if there were 2 (or more) periods in a day (where the number of
repetitions of the sound resets to one), it would be an astounding
coincidence if the sound were heard twice at two hours after noon.

I'm not objecting to the idea that the traditional Klingon system is a
"12-hour clock" (a 24-hour clock with 2 periods of 12 hours) because of
"absurdity". Plenty of things in Star Trek are absurd, like the fact that
Klingons are humanoids with funny foreheads. But I just don't see any
evidence in favour of this idea, and it seems there are several pieces of
evidence against it.

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