tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 02 13:30:21 1999

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Re: RE: Klingon pleasantries

Excellent response. A couple comments.

On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 11:40:07 -0800 (PST) "Andeen, Eric" 
<> wrote:

> jatlh loD Doq:
> > I know that klingons usually get to the point when speaking. 
> > They usually will refrain from pleasantries. However,..

> > <DuQuchmoHchugh> (Please) (Actually: "If it causes you to be 
> > happy")
> Please just abandon this one. Any attempt at "please" will turn a nice,
> straightforward, easily understandable Klingon sentence into something
> confusing. For example:
> qagh HInob.
> DuQuchmoHchugh, qagh HInob.
> With the first sentence, you would get a plate of qagh. With the second, you
> would get a blank stare or a puzzled look followed by a hearty laugh at the
> silly Terran.

Quite true. In fact, you must realize that you leave yourself 
wide open (so to speak) to the observation that the person with 
the qagh might be even more pleased to eviscerate you. You don't 
necessarily want to invite a Klingon to do what would make her 
or him most happy.

> > <bIchegh quvwIj> (Excuse/forgive me) Not a very good 
> > translation (Actually: "Return my honor")
> This doesn't work grammatically. It's really a sentence - "You return." -
> and an extra noun thrown in where the subject normally goes. It can't be the
> subject because the verb has the <bI-> prefix, indicating a subject of
> "you".
> In any case, I'm not even sure what "return my honor" means here. "Excuse
> me" or "forgive me" would probably be translated as a phrase similar to one
> of the following:
> QaghmeywIj tIlaj
> QaghmeywIj tIlIj
> HIpIchQo'

Well done. I like these suggestions. Also, we have all managed 
to forget our replacement proverbs, which serve the function 
this beginner seems to be seeking. HIvqa' veqlargh! See Power 
Klingon for a more lengthy description of how to handle these 
> None of these really work for the common uses of a polite "excuse me". Here
> are my suggestions for a few of those.
> Sneezing - remain silent
> Getting someone's attention - a tap on the shoulder, <qaH>, the person's
> name, rank or title

Keep in mind that if the person is armed and focussed on 
something else, a shoulder tap might not be the best approach. 
Be judicious and weigh in context when you want to get a 
Klingon's attention.

> Asking somebody to move out of your way - just proceeding, a gentle shove,

"Gentle" meaning "not hard enough to cause physical injury -- 

> <vIH> (clipped form of <yIvIH> or <pevIH>).
> > <jItlhIj> (Sorry) (Actually: "I apologize")
> This one is fine. The only difference from English is that, like <qatlho'>,
> it should not be used for trivialities.

Remember that in ST5 Klaa was coerced by a superior officer to 
say, "I apologize." What was the reason? Well, he tried to blow 
up the Enterprise without authorization from his superiors. 
Clearly, given the way he approached saying, "I apologize," this 
kind of blunder is at the lower threshold of the kind of thing 
for which one should appropriately apologize. If you try to blow 
up someone's ship and that turns out to be a bad thing, 
apologize. If you make a minor mistake while trying to set up 
the barbeque and torch your neighbor's pet and one or two of his 
children, apologize. If you are cleaning your disruptor and it 
goes off, taking out the back wall of your neighbor's house, 

If your error is less important than this, don't apologize. Just 
give a replacement proverb. {HIvqa' veqlargh} is short, easy to 
remember and works as well as any of the more involved ones.
> pagh
> Beginners' Grammarian

charghwI' 'utlh

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