[tlhIngan Hol] {ghIq} {ngugh} and time adverbs with time stamps

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Sat Oct 30 05:30:39 PDT 2021

Okrand also said (I think in TKD, but I don’t have a citation handy) that Klingon speakers don’t mind repetition for clarity’s sake. He said it was distinctly different from English in this regard.

I believe that one of the characteristics of English that runs so deep that when you speak it you start thinking the English way is that, with a huge vocabulary and incredibly complex grammar with extremely flexible word order, you have no excuse for boring repetition. You add repetition to your toolbox for poetic effect, if you like, because there is no other reason to do that, since repetition is so easy to avoid.

Meanwhile, Klingon doesn’t have a huge vocabulary or highly complex grammar, and the word order is only slightly flexible around the edges. The core of it is fixed.

When I had a German exchange student, for the first several months of her stay, I noticed that her speech seemed weirdly stilted in a way that was familiar to me because my wife, for whom German is a second language, often speaks with the same consistent, uncommon word order. Phrases came out in an acceptable, but unusual word order, and I wouldn’t have even noticed it if it wasn’t for her ALWAYS using that same word order, when a native English speaker would change it up for all the reasons you give for what you feel you can’t break down into smaller sentences in Klingon. Basically, German has word order rules that are less flexible than English.

And even though my wife’s first language is English, she got good enough in German that it heavily influences her word order when speaking English. There’s a part of her mind that still figures out how she would say something in German before it comes out in English, and this bends her English expressions in terms of word order.

So, if you think in Klingon, you don’t think like you think in English. It never occurs to you to avoid repetition when the language pushes you to be repetitive, except perhaps you feel pressure to… be less repetitive by saying less.

Get to the point.

If your expression looks boring and repetitive, then maybe it is.

You can hide that in English by saying pretty much the same thing over and over again, but scrambled around different ways with flexible word order, lots of synonyms, and many grammatical options for each nuanced repetition of content.

Klingon keeps you honest, in this regard.

Have you read any academic papers in English? Have you read any legal documents in English? These genres are like English on steroids. They are mind-numbing in their inefficiency of expression, but the culture of these documents requires this inefficiency.

Going from English to Klingon has similarities to rewriting an academic paper for a non-academic audience. There’s no room for floral nuance. Replace the filet knife with a bludgeon. There is no Klingon word for “Hello” or “Goodbye”, despite our craving to fill that void, so Maltz rolled his eyes and made some suggestions for what might be used in instances where one says it in English.

Think Different.

-charghwI’ ‘utlh

> On Oct 30, 2021, at 7:44 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's easy to say "rephrase" whenever you're dealing with a single sentence one has written in a post inquiring about grammar. But assume you're writing a looong text.. Perhaps you've already written four sentences "of the same kind" in a row, and you want the next sentence to be different, so that the reader won't be bored/irritated by seeing let's say six sentences in a row, each going like:
> adverb - verbbogh 'ej verbbogh noun - verb - meH'ed noun
> There are times you just can't rephrase, and I think that in such cases, it is necessary for one to know every alternative valid option.
> --
> Dana'an 
> https://sacredtextsinklingon.wordpress.com/
> Ζεὺς ἦν, Ζεὺς ἐστίν, Ζεὺς ἔσσεται· ὦ μεγάλε Ζεῦ
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