Word: ring, make musical sound



A verb with a positive or neutral connotation to be used with musical instruments, music players and other things that are currently making sound. 'ey is not enough as it doesn't imply that the device currently makes sound. chuS is not appropriate as "noisy" has a negative connotation. wab chenmoH seems like a too technical way to describe beautiful things like music.

Comment below with feedback and suggestions.


  1. Use {lIng}:

    {wab lulIng QoQ jan} "Musical instruments produce sound."
    {baS 'In mupDI', wal 'oH 'ej wab lIng} "When she struck the bell, it vibrated and produced sound."
    {wab lIng ghogh HablI'lIj, maqoch} "Your phone's ringing, dude."

    1. {lIng} is just a synonym for {chenmoH} that is mentioned in the description. It is a technical word that brings to mind energy generators, physical phenomena and other such things. The point of this entry is to look for a word that is appropriate in other contexts. You certainly wouldn't say in English "Your phone produces sound, dude". That is a true statement, but doesn't convoy the intended meaning of a musical, beautiful sound. Same goes for {wab 'ep lIng} "to produce a pleasant sound". That phrase sounds like a robot talking.

      I'm disappointed in the atmosphere on this forum that seems to discourage any suggestions that have connotations in addition to their literal meanings.

      1. The *English* word "produce" may sound technical and scientific, but we shouldn't make that assumption about the *Klingon* word {lIng}, for which we have little usage data.

        One of the joys of using Klingon is that it *isn't* English, it's its own system with its own idiomaticity. Adding too many words to bring Klingon in line with English semantics takes away from the experience of learning an artificial language with its own unique semantic space.

        The third sentence sounds like a robot to English sensibilities, but for a Klingon there's nothing strange about it at all, given what we currently know. Taking a look at other ways that {wab} is used, we find it used in compounds: {wab HevwI'} "sound receiver" (='radio'), {wab qoSta' 'aplo'} "sound ribbon box" (='audio cassette'). There are many more examples of this – Klingon encourages its speakers to think atomically about concepts.

        Many of us don't want Klingon semantics to become more like English, and we vote and voice our opinions in this forum with that in mind. I have in the past suggested words that have subsequently been explained by others as unnecessary, and I have voted against my own words on that basis.

        1. You are right in that we can't know if {lIng} sounds technical, but we also can't know if it doesn't. By using it in this context you are putting different connotations to it than English has. It is, in my opinion, as bad as assuming it has the same semantics as English.

          If you look closely, you see that the suggested word is a one that isn't even found in English (it is not same as "ring" as most musical instruments don't ring). The suggestion is not that we copy any English word. Klingons are proud of their music and have many music words that English lacks. The suggested verb would be like an intransitive version of {chu'}. A word to be used when we are not focusing on who is playing the instrument (if there even is a player). I think it would be useful.

          1. But your target concept *is* closer to the semantic fields of the English words "resound" and "reverberate". That's still thinking with an English brain, whether we're immediately conscious of it or not. I and others want to keep a distinctly Klingon feel to the language.

            There are many examples of Klingon words which are given an English gloss that seems technical or grandiose, but whose real-world applications are broader. A good example of this is {tlhej} "accompany". One hardly ever uses the English word in everyday life, but in Klingon we use it all the time to mean that someone simply "goes with" or "comes with" someone else.

            Another good example is {Do} "velocity". Physics term, right? Well, we see it pop up in {Do Qe'} "velocity restaurant" (='fast food eatery'), {qam Do Duj} "foot velocity vehicle" (='bicycle'), {Do qaD} "velocity challenge" (='race').

            So I'm not just making this stuff up. My above usage of {lIng} is consistent with how Klingon vocabulary has been deployed for years.

            The other concern here is that there are many concepts we simply can't discuss *at all* with current vocabulary – those ideas should be given precedence and attention before we consider ideas that we can readily express atomically.

            I get that it's disappointing to see one's ideas shot down. Like I said, it's happened to me and it's frustrating. But I've had words sit on this list for years. *shrugs* Something might change.

          2. I don't have an English brain, my native language is not English. I didn't even know that the words "resound" and "reverberate" existed before you said so. I looked them up in my English dictionary and they don't seem to mean what this suggestion is about, albeit they are close.

            If this request was presented to Okrand and he said {wab lIng} or whatever, I would certainly accept that and be satisfied to know that {lIng} can be used in such way. The request isn't necessary about a single new word, it could as well be a multi-word construction. The main point is, you or I can't know if that is the appropriate word in that situation. As you said yourself, Klingon words are formed in a way that is unique to the language. What you are doing here is taking the word formation to your own hands, putting connotations to words that we don't know to exist. In some ways, it is no different from claiming new new root words on your own.

            Maybe for you the most important thing is to acquire as many coarse meanings as possible so that we can roughly describe as many things as possible. It seems that your modus operandi on this forum is to find any way, no matter how clumsy, to go around the suggestion and describe the suggested thing. And it works most of time, as most things can be explained with the words we currently have.

            But for me, clarifying connotations of previous words and (if required) then adding new words, is equally important. These connotations and their little meanings make it possible to be much more precise with the language. Sure, you can describe a concept using eg. four existing Klingon words and be understood, but getting to know what is the preferred (eg. most handy) way to describe a concept is useful.

          3. Whether you were aware of 'resound' and 'reverberate' is irrelevant; this suggestion helps us express zero additional discrete ideas and still would make Klingon more English-like.

            In my responses I have cited multiple examples of how Klingon actually works. If the semantic fields of {tlhej} and {Do} operate that way, it stands to reason that {lIng} operates similarly. That is consistency. If my examples are 'clumsy' then so is Okrand; they are consistent with his style and usage as I have demonstrated multiple times. You haven't cited any examples, presumably because you can't bring any evidence to the table besides your own preferences. If Klingon worked the way you want it to work, I would support this concept. But it doesn't, so I don't.

          4. I still don't see how my suggestion that isn't even an English word is English-like.

            Your examples prove nothing. Look at {Do Qe'}: the fact that the word "velocity" can be used a word where English would use the word "fast" in my opinion makes the language more English-like, not less. As for the other words, they are derived differently in Klingon than in English. They are derived in a third way in my native language. How they are derived is irrelevant here. They have nothing to do with the suggestion: "make a musical sound".

            What you are arguing here, it seems, is that Klingon somehow lacks more fine connotations and is limited to these "discrete concepts" you talk about. That we should always derive from existing words if possible. That idea is completely wrong. For example, there are multiple words that describe different sounds: {ghugh}, {ghughugh}, {Qoghogh}, {HaS}, {Huy}, {'uq}. How is the suggestion of a "musical sound" any different from these? These all could be just {wab lIng}. But they are not, because in Klingon, like in most other languages, there are these "non-discrete" words that describe finer aspects than very broad concepts.

            Perhaps you don't *need* the word that is suggested here, but please don't argue that is "un-Klingon" based on evidence that has nothing to do with the situation.

          5. About {tlhej}: It is one of the words in Klingon that works like a preposition in English. {tlhej} corresponds to "with" and {rur} corresponds to "like". This is because of the differences in grammar and these concepts must be expressed using different parts of speech. Semantically I think they are pretty close to the English word meanings.

            I'm sorry that I sounded aggressive in my last message, I overly used the word "completely". You are not completely wrong. It is true that many concepts in Klingon have very different connotations than the English words using which they are defined. I still think your examples are not relevant to this case. As I said {tlhej} is actually quite close to an English concept "with", and {Do} words are just derived differently than in English, they do not imply a larger pattern.

            Based on my examples Klingons like to categorize sounds (not surprising as they care about their music). Just {wab lIng} probably could work as a general way to say "there is a sound here", but it doesn't identify this sound. Now perhaps {QoQ wab lIng} "make a music sound" would work (that is also actually very close to the English expression, more than the suggested word in my opinion; I think using "make + noun" is an English feature, also present in many Romance languages; as the suggested concept doesn't exist in English, "make a musical sound" is one way I circumvent it in English). In my opinion, based on the other sound verbs I listed, I think it would fit the language to have a separate word for musical sounds.

          6. There are several issues here:

            1) Will your suggestion make Klingon semantics more English-like?
            2) How are {Do} and {tlhej} relevant?
            3) Is your suggestion useful/descriptive/distinct/warranted on the model of {ghugh}, {Qoghogh} etc?
            4) Is your suggestion consistent with Klingon sensibilities?

            1) Yes, because it would cause the language to occupy a more similar semantic topography to English. As I pointed out, English already has a very similar concept to the one you're asking for. So getting this word would anglify Klingon, whether this is what you intend or not.

            2) The point about bringing up {Do} and {tlhej} was that their single-word glosses are technical or formal, but their applications are broader. If you'll remember you objected to the use of {lIng} in the context of {wab} on the grounds that there was no evidence that they should be used together. That was the relevant evidence to the contrary. This is not a farfetched principle. We see it all the time. {vIta'pu'be'} isn't glossed as "I didn't accomplish it"; it means "I didn't do it!"

            3) {ghugh}, {Qoghogh} etc describe different qualities or timbres of sounds, or the way in which the sound is produced (e.g. with different parts of the vocal tract). Your suggestion doesn't describe anything beyond what a {baS 'In} or {QoQ} sounds like, and doesn't differentiate between the two, or between the numerous ways that instruments can make sound. So its descriptive power is very weak. More specific timbral vocabulary would be much more preferable.

            4) Given what we concretely know about Klingon style and culture, to say nothing about the future needs of this community, such a suggestion does in fact clash with Klingon sensibilities. I have few misgivings about characterizing it as such. To "speak with vocal fry" is {jatlh; ghughughwI' rur} (=speak like a growler). So an entirely consistent rendering of your suggestion would be some variation on {QoQ baS 'In joq rurbogh wab'e' lIng}.

          7. I agree with you that it would be preferable to have different words for different kinds of instruments instead of one word for all musical sounds (though I don't oppose such word; I still don't think it is too near any English word, as this is one of the words I miss when using English).

            Would you support if I suggested words for different kinds of timbres?

        2. I'm a native Finnish speaker and this word exists in Finnish. I know what kind of word the entry is suggesting, and let me tell you, it is not the same as "resound". This word does not have an English translation. This is a general verb for "producing a more or less melodic sound that can be any volume level". As far as I am concerned, it is not natural to say "the piano resounds", "a phone resounds" or "a doorbell resounds". In all these cases English would use either "ring" or "make sound". In Finnish, in all these cases, I would have used a single word that is widely used and part of "natural speech". Therefore this word would not make klingon more "English", it would actually make it less English, and more Finnish.

          You suggested to use {wab ling}, which is quite literally "make sound". But as well as fergusq said, this is a very English way to say this. {wab ling} is just an English phrase translated to Klingon, so actually you are suggesting to use a heavily English influenced phrace instead of a new word that does not even exist in English.

          Like you said, it is hard to think outside of the box if you have an English brain. I suppose that you have Englsih as a native language so maybe you just do not see that {wab ling} is a much more English way to say this than the suggested verb.

          1. The everyday way to say "produce sound" in English is "make sound". Using the English verb "produce" in this context is marked – it is a formal usage, not the way everyday people speak.

            In Klingon, there's every reason to believe that {wab lIng} is neither formal nor informal (see {Do}, {ta'} and {tlhej} above) – it's a plain way of saying "make sound". So you're incorrect about my examples being inspired by English. {lIng}, "produce", and "make" have different semantic fields. One would not use {lIng} to refer to a film producer or a music producer, for instance.

            What is this Finnish word? I'd like to investigate it. In any case I think you've read your own native Finnish semantics into this suggestion.

          2. You've constructed a contradictory argument here. I and pupunu argued that {wab lIng} is a direct translation of the English expression "make sound".

            1. You say that this is not the case as it means "produce sound" instead of "make sound".
            2. You also say that the meaning of {lIng} is not same as the English "produce". Instead it is more like the English "make".
            3. Therefore, it seems that {lIng} is merely glossed inaccurately and should be "produce, make".
            4. Therefore, {wab lIng} is a direct translation of the expression "make sound". (Contradicting your original statement)
            5. Therefore, it is an expression "inspired by English". An anglicism in other words.

            The Finnish word is "soida". https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/soida

          3. Your (3) is simply wrong, so your argument falls apart. {lIng} is not "glossed inaccurately". You are approaching the gloss too literally. With words of this kind we expect flexibility with the formality or informality of the usage. I've given you three examples of other words that do this. The usage of {lIng} can be inferred from other usages of other Klingon words. Just like how I wouldn't use {lIng} for what a film producer does, I would never use {lIng} for certain other instances of "make" in English – {chenmoH}, {mutlh}, {cher}, to say nothing of {lIng} and others, divide up the semantic field occupied by English "make".

          4. You missed the point. It doesn't mean exactly "produce" or "make", but something between. All TKD glosses are inaccurate as they are just glosses, not full dictionary definitions with all possible connotations.

            As you yourself said, {lIng} is one of the words that can be used to translate "make". {wab lIng} is a direct translation of "make sound", or as direct as it can be. It has a "sound-like work" and a "make-like word", both approximations. And that is why anglicisms are problematic: they take similar words and ignore their finer connotations. You don't know if {lIng} can be used in this context. You just assumed it can be, as a similar English construction exists.

          5. No I understand the point. You want to get me with my own argument about anglocentric thinking. But I've already identified how the semantic space of {lIng} is distinct from either "make" or "produce" in English, so that argument can't work. It's a very obtuse position to assume that {lIng} can't refer to sound when we have no usage data, given the history of how Klingon glosses have been used in the past. Does the verb {poH} mean 'to time' in the sense of an actor timing an entrance, or an athlete timing her performance in a footrace? If we have no usage data, and no sense of one 'prototypical' usage, then we have to assume that the word can be used both ways. That principle, more or less, applies with {lIng} – its 'products' may be matter, motion, or abstractions.

            To answer your other question above, I would most probably support suggestions of timbral vocabulary.