tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jul 15 18:23:17 1999

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RE: KLBC e-mail greeting

jatlh Thorwald Peeters:

> tu'Ij!

> Which brings me to the heart of the matter: Is my way of 
> opening a message correct tlhIngan Hol?

> I've been asked what it meant and I think it means "you 
> (plural) listen to me!" The singular form ofcourse being 
> [cho'Ij!]. Now there is this prefix yI-...
> (which, on closer inspection doesn't seem *that* necessary)

Regular prefixes like <tu-> and <cho-> form statements, and the imperative
ones like <yI-> and <HI-> form commands. It can be a bit hard to tell the
difference in English, but in Klingon, the two are quite distinct. 

<choQaH> means "You help me" - at whatever moment the sentence refers to,
you are helping me. It is a simple statement; a piece of information. It is
not asking or telling you to do anything.

<HIQaH> means "Help me!" - I am asking/commanding/telling/imploring/etc you
to help me.

> Also the "to" part of my translation is something I'm 
> currently not quite comfortable with. the translation of 
> ['Ij] from TKD is "listen" and not "listen to". Am I
> getting paranoid here or what?

Not at all. <'Ij> is indeed defined as "listen", so it really does look like
it cannot take an object. This bothers a lot of people, but that's the way
it works. If it helps, think of <'Ij> as the active effort required to hear

If you want to say something in Klingon that you would normally use "listen
to" for in English, there are a number of ways you can do it:

SoQ vIQoy.
pumtaHbogh bIQ retlhDaq jIba'. jI'Ij. mujotmoH.
chuSqu' gheD. tIDaq vIHtaHvIS vIbuS, 'ej vIleghDI' SIbI' vIbach.

Beginners' Grammarian

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