tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jan 04 10:54:18 1999

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RE: Klingon Bird of Prey poster: THE TEXT


> Excuse my ignorance, but do the letters in Klingon make 
> the same sounds as Federation Standard?  I must admit, 
> I do not understand the meaning of the apostrophes and 
> capitals.

The writing system we use here is a system for writing Klingon in ASCII. It
is not the Klingon writing system called pIqaD. We don't really know
anything about the Klingon writing system.

Each symbol in the writing system we use corresponds to a particular sound
in Klingon. Each symbol is either a single character like <t> or <H>, or a
combination of characters like <ng> or <tlh>. The character normally used
for an apostrophe in English - <'> - is also a symbol in the writing system.
Capitalization is important - some symbols (e.g. <b>, <v>) are always
written lower case, and some (e.g. <I>, <D>) are always written upper case.
There are even two different symbols - <q> and <Q> - which share the same
English letter. Another one to be careful with is the English letter "h",
which is always written upper case when used alone as the symbol <H>, but
can also be part of the symbols <ch>, <gh>, and <tlh>.

The Klingon writing system does not, however, do any "normal" English
capitalization - the symbols do not change when starting a sentence, a
proper name, or the like.

Many of the symbols sound exactly like the English letters used to represent
them. Most of the single letter "lower case" symbols behave like this.
Others, like <S> and <D>, are similar to the English letters, but different.
Still others, like <Q> and <tlh>, are unlike anything at all in English.

The first chapter of _The Klingon Dictionary_ describes the sounds of
Klingon in detail, and the audiotape "Conversational Klingon" lets you
actually hear them. Also, if you have a sound card, the KLI has a sounds
page at: /kli/sounds.html.

Beginners' Grammarian

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