tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jun 10 14:57:06 1999

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Re: modified Klingon spelling

lay'tel SIvten ghItlh:

>I use a slightly different version of the Klingon alphabet. It avoids the
>"eye vs. ell" problem and makes the text a little bit shorter too.
><suggestions snipped>
>> One other change I recommend but don't use myself is 'q>k', 'Q>q'.

Krankor's words have already been quoted. Now also consider why the letters
are as they are.

The capitals are substantially different from what the average speaker would
expect. The I is capitalized to remind the reader that it's the only vowel
that is different in pronunciation from, say, Spanish, where i is pronounced
"ee". As for consonants, the single-letter lower-case consonants are all
equal to or extremely similar to English. (Even q - think about how a q
alone, without a tailing u, sounds...) The D, H, Q and S are new sounds to
English speakers. And the double letters are all special cases. (Well,
except ch and maybe ng...)

Another point is this - this isn't even the official Klingon "alphabet" (we
don't know of one), but it is the one at least thousands of tlhIngan Hol
jatlhwI'pu' use every day. You could rewrite everything according to your
suggestions - TiNan hol jaTwi'pu' - but the former is recognized by, again,
thousands. You lose the benefit of the reminder capitals. Some letters are
not at all indicative of the phonetic sound of the letter. (Not that
Okrand's transcription tells all, either, mind you.)

I guess it's the fact that this transcription system has worked so well, was
designed by the language's inventor, and is in such wide use that I urge you
to learn the standard system, if you haven't.


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