tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Oct 14 23:19:56 1993

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Re: How To Learn?

On Oct 13,  6:25pm, Paul J. Clegg wrote:
> Subject: How To Learn?
> I own the Conversational Klingon cassette, and the book (with the extra
> TNG and ST6 material), but I've really no idea how to go about actually
> learning it...

     Few of us do. We just hobble along, trying several different methods and
learn a little from each method and in a year or two you wake up realizing
that you are (for lack of competition) a world class Klingon speaker. Captain
Krankor is an exception, in that HE would be world class EVEN IF THE REST OF
US WERE ANY GOOD. Unfortunately, since you don't speak Klingon and he has
committed himself to a month without posting in English, HE can't HELP you.
     My own method was to sit down and actually read the entire TKD (except
for the word list; I'll admit that despite repeated efforts, I have never
managed to read the entire word list) to get a good sense of the grammar,
then go back a few times and read it again, focussing on any particular point
of interest or confusion. Reading Krankor's column in HolQeD helped as well.
Looking at the other articles has been illuminating, even when there were
clearly errors in them. It is simply good to read Klingon text I didn't write

     CK was great for learning pronunciation and for learning to recognize
spoken Klingon. I played it in my car for weeks during my commute (whenever I
didn't have anyone riding with me). Repetition helped. Starting the tape in
random places helped.

     The lessons-by-mail helped some, though through my own lack of
organization, I have yet to make it past lesson 3. It was EASY enough. I just
filled it out and lost it. After I find it, I'll need to find an envelope,
then I'll need to find a stamp...

     This list has by far been the best source of learning Klingon for me.
Its main strength is that through it I see a lot of thlIngan Hol written by a
lot of different people. A lot of it is bad, and that becomes ever so much
more clear when someone writes something WELL and posts it. Suddenly, I can
see what makes something said in Klingon easy to understand or obscure, and I
hope I learn enough to make my own writings less obscure. (of course, nobody
seems to have gotten my targ joke, so maybe I'm not doing so well...)

     I wish the guy who wrote about scuba diving would write more. What he
wrote was incredibly inventive and clear. About the same time, another fellow
introduced himself with a similar level of clarity and ingenuity. Wherever
you are, I miss both of you.

     Now, there's Power Klingon, which I hope I can find tonight at the same
bookstore that originally provided me with TKD and CK. I have to admit, I'm
getting nowhere among my "real world" friends. Nobody I know off-line speaks
Klingon. That's the biggest gap in the available learning resources. If you
had someone who wanted to learn it WITH you, then the hunger to say something
would drive you better than ANY other method. That's how I learned sign
language. In college, friends hung out and signed. If I didn't know a sign, I
had to fingerspell (excruciatingly slow communication), so there was a strong
drive to learn new signs.

     Does anybody want to exchange cassettes of Klingon being spoken? Verbal
pen pals, if you will...

     As it is, I've become better than average at using the dictionary to say
or understand Klingon. If I sit and think for a while, I can generate
original Klingon sentences without TKD, but they are limited and few, and I
don't think I'm arrogant or insulting when I think that I speak Klingon
better than half the people on this list. How much more than half, I'm not
sure, and I suspect I'm being humble to say that instead of 75% or maybe even
90%... And I would LOVE to be WRONG! Then I'd have all these natural-speaking
Klingons to swiftly sweep me up to higher levels of proficiency.

     Instead, this is the ground floor. Welcome aboard. Only the persistent
become proficient and there are no short cuts. How do you get to Broadway?
Practice, kid. Practice.

--   charghwI'

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