tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 02 11:18:41 1999

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Re: Klingon pleasantries

I feel like more would be learned if reasons were given for 
things, so I'll add a little to these suggestions.

charghwI' 'utlh

On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 09:20:10 -0800 (PST) "Lieven L. Litaer" 
<> wrote:

> ghItlh loD Doq:
> >I know that klingons usually get to the point when speaking. They usually
> >will refrain from pleasantries. However, I tried to translate some just
> >because I would like to use them. Here are the one's that I have so far:
> I've been thinking about that too:
> ><qay'ha' 'oH> (You're welcome) (Actually: "It is not a problem")
> Capitalize the "H"!
> Keep it short: {qay'be'} "(it is) no problem"

Two problems here. One is that the {'oH} is not just 
superfluous. It suggests emphasis. "IT undoes the state of 

The second problem is that Okrand already gave us {qay'be'} as 
"No problem" in TKD. The {-be'} is the simple negation you want. 
{-Ha'}, on the other hand, is a stronger negation typically 
indicating that the action undoes a previous action, as in the 
example (So'wI' yIchu'Ha'} meaning to disengage that which was 
already engaged, or somehow does something badly as in 
the example {yajHa'} which is beyond "not understand" and means 
"misunderstand". If I don't understand, I may know that I 
don't understand, but if I misunderstand, I falsely believe 
that I understand and so my misunderstanding is even farther 
from understanding than a simple not understanding would be. So, 
you really want {qay'be'}.
> ><QaHraj qalaj> (Thank you) (Actually: "I accept your help")
> {qatlho'} "I thank you" - [This is listed as kad'lo in Omnipedia]

{qatlho'} is more useful, since you might thank someone for 
doing more than just helping you.
> ><DuQuchmoHchugh> (Please) (Actually: "If it causes you to be happy")
> Hm, yes, why not :-)

I never thought about "Please" before as an abreviation for the 
earlier "If it pleases you" which goes back to the French {S'il 
vous plait}, but I guess that is probably where it comes from. 
Wild guess, but it works.

Meanwhile, among the crowd *I* hang with, the equivalent in 
function to the English "please" in "Please give me the 
knife," is {DaH!} as in {DaH taj HInob!} "Give me the knife NOW."
> ><bIchegh quvwIj> (Excuse/forgive me) Not a very good 
> >translation (Actually: "Return my honor")
> That would be {quvwIj yIchegh}
> Klingon is a very short and direct language, just like you said. 
> {jIQoS} "I am sorry"

"Excuse me" seems to be the most unKlingon phrase yet. If you 
are saying it in order to interrupt someone, then just do it and 
get it over with. You might say the name of the person whose 
attention you want, but you wouldn't bother him with your 
feelings of sorrow just to get his attention unless you wanted 
it to be a very negative attention.

Imagine two officers having a conversation. A foot soldier walks 
up and says, "I have a tummy ache." That's not all that 
different than walking up and saying, "I'm sorry." Who cares 
what you feel? If you have something to say, JUST SAY IT.

If you want to say, "Excuse me," so that you can squeeze past 
someone in a tight walkway, just shove. If you insist on 
babbling politely, just say something like, {jIjaHnIStaH,} to 
explain yourself and sweep past them. If you want to be 
incredibly polite to superiors, say {jIjaHnIStaHneS, qaH.}

Think less about translating a phrase of specific words than 
think about the situation and think what meaning you wish to 
express in that situation.
> ><jItlhIj> (Sorry) (Actually: "I apologize")
> Same. good.
> Qapla'
>   Lieven / Quvar muHwI'
>   pa' qepHomwIj qelbogh De' DalaDlaH:

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