tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jul 09 06:57:36 1999

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Re: pab chu'

I'm going to try to beat voragh to the punch. {{:)> I just 
happen to have an available copy of Okrand's post on how to 
express what time it is:

What time is it?

Actually, there are several ways to ask "What time is it?" in 
Klingon.  Here are a couple.

In dealing with time in interplanetary communication, Klingons 
have come to use the 24-hour system favored by the Federation.  
There are 24 hours in a day (meaning 24 Earth hours in an Earth 
day), numbered one through 24.  For example:

    tera' rep wa'
    "Earth hour one" or "one o'clock"     (<tera'> "Earth," 
<rep> "hour," <wa'> "one")

    tera' rep cha'maH
    "Earth hour 20" or "20 o'clock" or "eight o'clock p.m."
    (<cha'maH> "20")

    tera' rep loS wejmaH
    "Earth hour 4:30"
    (<loS> "four," <wejmaH> "30")

If the context is clear, the word <tera'> "Earth" may be left 

    rep cha'maH  "20 o'clock, eight o'clock p.m."

When working within this system, one doesn't inquire as to the 
time; one demands that the number of the current hour be 
specified.  Thus, the equivalent expression to "What time is 
it?" is a command:

    rep yIper!  "Ascertain the hour! Specify the hour!"

This is literally "Label the hour!" (<rep> "hour"; <yIper> 
"label [it]!," consisting of the imperative prefix <yI-> plus 
<per> "label").  Though the verb <per> "label" is usually used 
in the sense of "attach or assign a name to," it can also be 
used for such notions as  "ascertain, specify, pin down."  This 
is not considered slang or idiomatic.

When giving the time using this system, hours are numbered, not 
counted.  That is, one says <rep cha'> "hour two, hour number 
two, two o'clock," not <cha' rep> or <cha' repmey> "two hours" 
(<rep> "hour," <repmey> "hours"; a plural suffix, here <-mey>, 
is not needed when a number modifies a noun, but it is sometimes 
used anyway).  Accordingly, it is not customary to ask for the 
time by saying <rep tItogh> or <repmey tItogh> "Count the 
hours!" (<tItogh> "count them!" made up of <tI->, the imperative 
prefix used for plural objects, plus <togh> "count").

In nonmilitary contexts (as rare as these may be) and in 
situations where interplanetary communication is not a concern, 
the most common way of asking "What time is it?" in Klingon is 
quite different. It is based on the way the question was asked 
long ago, in a time before Klingons traveled around the galaxy 
and before there was any significant amount of interaction 
between Klingons and residents of other planets:

    'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?

This is literally "How many times has (someone) heard (it)?" or 
"How many times has it been heard?"  (<'arlogh> "how many 
times?" a word that functions adverbially, made up of the 
question word <'ar> "how much? how many?" and the special number 
suffix <-logh> "times" [as in "six times"]; <Qoylu'pu'> "someone 
has heard (it)," made up of <Qoy> "hear," <-lu'> "indefinite 
subject," <-pu'> "perfective," that is, the action has been 

What is not clear from this locution is what it is that has 
supposedly been heard.  In modern Klingon, the "what" in this 
phrase is never expressed.

It appears as though, long ago, at least some Klingons were 
notified of the time by some audible signal (though what means 
were used to calculate the time in the first place remain to be 
discovered).  Perhaps this signal was a specific sound (a person 
shouting? a beat on a drum? a gong? the growl of an animal?) and 
that word was originally part of the expression, for example, 
<'arlogh bey Qoylu'pu'?> "How many times has someone heard the 
howl? How many times has the howl been heard?" (<bey> "wail, 
howl"). Or maybe the expression contained a more general word 
such as <ghum> "alarm" or <wab> "sound, noise": <'arlogh wab 
Qoylu'pu'?> "How many times has someone heard the sound? How 
many times has the sound been heard?"

It has also been speculated that there was once a bit more to 
this expression, namely an element stating the time period the 
questioner was concerned about.  For example, maybe people said:

    DaHjaj 'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?

That is, "Today, how many times has someone heard it?" (<DaHjaj> 
"today"), suggesting that the questioner is concerned about how 
much time has gone by "today" (as opposed to, say, "this week").

Or maybe the fuller expression was a little less specific:

    qen 'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?

"Recently, how many times has someone heard it?" (<qen> 
"recently, a short time ago").

Regardless of its original full form, the expression comes down 
to us now as simply <'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?>.  The phrase is 
considered an idiom because what it means ("What time is it?") 
cannot be understood on the basis of the meanings of its 
components ("How many times has someone heard it?").

The answer to the question <'arlogh> "How many times?" is, as 
might be expected, <X-logh>, where X is some number. For example:

    cha'logh Qoylu'pu'.

This is literally "Someone has heard it twice" or "It has been 
heard twice" (<cha'logh> "twice," from <cha'> "two" plus <-logh> 
"times").  This is the Klingon equivalent to "It's two o'clock." 
Originally, this was a statement of time in the traditional 
Klingon system, but it is now also used for the 24-hour system. 
The idiomatic <'arlogh Qoylu'pu'> also shows up in such questions as "What time do we leave?":

    mamejDI' 'arlogh Qoylu'pu'?

This is literally "When we leave, how many times will someone 
have heard (it)?" or "When we leave, how many times will it have 
been heard?" (<mamejDI'> "when we leave," made up of <ma-> "we," 
<mej> "leave, depart," <-DI'> "when").

An answer might be "We (will) leave at eight o'clock:

    mamejDI' chorghlogh Qoylu'pu'

Literally, "When we leave, someone will have heard (it) eight 
times" (<chorghlogh> "eight times," from <chorgh> "eight" plus 
<-logh> "times").

Since subordinate clauses such as <mamejDI'> "when we leave" can 
come before or after the main clause, it's also possible to say:

    'arlogh Qoylu'pu' mamejDI'?
    chorghlogh Qoylu'pu' mamejDI'.

Literally, "How many times will someone have heard (it) when we 
leave?  Someone will have heard (it) eight times when we leave."

In actual conversation, of course, it's usually not so 
repetitive.  You'd probably hear:

    'arlogh Qoylu'pu' mamejDI'?
    chorghlogh Qoylu'pu'.

"How many times will someone have heard (it) when we leave? 
Someone will have heard (it) eight times." 

Or even:

    'arlogh Qoylu'pu' mamejDI'?

"How many times will someone have heard (it) when we leave?
Eight times."

On Fri, 9 Jul 1999 09:32:34 -0400 Jeremy Silver 
<> wrote:

> Terrence Donnelly wrote:
> > SKI: I recently posted some new pages to my Website containing a listing
> > of all the grammar addenda and corrections post-TKD that I could find.
> > You may find it interesting.  Let me know if I said something wrong or
> > forgot your favorite bit.
> > 
> I may be missing something - I am only a beginner after all.
> Under:
> Appendix: A Selected List of Useful Klingon Expressions
> -
> 1.Telling time:
> -
> You answer with a time label: rep wej "three A.M.";
> CK list the time format as:
> "Six Hundred Hours, or Six O'clock in the morning is: Six, jav, plus
> hundred, vatlh, plus rep.
> Altogether its   javvalth rep."
> Which is more correct/canon?
> Shouldnt both be listed?
> Regards,
> -- 
>    Jeremy Silver   |\
>  __________________| \
> |__________________|  | 
>                    |  | A1200, Blizzard 1260, 34Mb
>  mupwI' yI'uchtaH! |__| 1.4Gb HD. Amiga Forever.

charghwI' 'utlh

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