tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 06 17:18:21 1999

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Re: Translating the word "Klingon" into other languages?

>From: "Michael Kaplan" <>
>Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 10:24:38 -0800
>In English its "Klingon" and then in the warrior's tongue its "tlhIngan-Hol".
>Do any of the (non-English) folks on this list have any conventions for whether or not to translate
>it to other languages? I am tempted to keep it tlhIngan-Hol in all langs, truth be told.

I know Sami Laitala has been known to refer to Klingon in Welsh as
"Tllingan", which makes a certain amount of sense: in Welsh, the letter
"ll" is pronounced basically the same as the "lh" part of Klingon "tlh."
But "tll-" is not a valid initial sound in Welsh; maybe "llingan" would be
better.  Bear in mind also that this is Sami Laitala we're talking about,
who aside from not being a native Welsh speaker also kind of likes breaking
molds here and there.  He is a creative soul and likes to use it.  It
strikes me as unlikely that someone who didn't know about it already would
know what "tllingan" was, but then the same is true of English-speakers and
"tlhIngan Hol".

I can't find it now, but someone once mailed me an article from an Israeli
newspaper about Klingon; I'm pretty sure they used "klingonit" (maybe
"qlingonit" would be a more accurate transliteration of the letters, though
the sound in Hebrew is "k") for the Klingon language (it is a usual way of
forming languages, short for "ha-safah ha-klingonit", the Klingon language,
with "klingonit" being the feminine form of the adjective
"klingoni"/"Klingon-ish".  Languages are feminine in Hebrew: it's one of
those languages wherein everything is either masculine or feminine).

Hmm... Cherokee has symbols in its syllabary for syllables starting with
tl-... Presumably they'd be handy in writing "tlhIngan Hol", were one so

Hee... we're doing syllable-structure in my Phonology class these
days... Isn't it notable that "kl", "pl", "gl", "bl", "fl" are all allowed
as syllable-initials, but "tl", "dl", "thl" aren't?  There's a good
reason... related to the reason why "tw", "dw", "kw", "gw" are okay but
"pw" and "bw" aren't.  Think about it.


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