tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 15 14:38:40 1999

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RE: first tlhIngan Hol message

Welcome to the list, Price.

jatlh Price:

> tlhIngan Hol jatlhwI'pu':


> jIghIth ghItlhwIj waDIch.

maj. This is a good start. I understood exactly what you were trying to say.
I do have some corrections...

The most important thing you missed here is Klingon sentence order. The
object - the thing the action happens to - goes first; the verb goes in the
middle (just like English); and the subject - the thing that does the action
- goes last.

You went to the prefix chart and found the correct prefix <jI-> for a
subject of "I", which is good. The prefix you chose, though is only used
when the subject is "I" and there is no object. For example: <jIghung> - I
am hungry; <jISop> - I eat (something), I am eating. Since your sentence has
an object, you need a verb prefix to reflect that: <vI->. For example <chab
vISop> - I am eating the pie. Put this together and fix a typo (the missing
<'> in wa'DIch), and you wind up with:

ghItlhwIj wa'DIch vIghItlh.

Quite close to what you started out with.

> Qah, haghbe'

The English letter "h" appears both independently and as part of the Klingon
symbols <ch>, <gh>, and <tlh>. When used by itself, it is always
capitalized. Using the correct case is much more important when writing
Klingon because Klingon does not "capitalize" like English does. The
individual symbols are always written the same way, and different cases mean
entirely different symbols. <q> and <Q> are two entirely different symbols,
and <ngh> is an <n> followed by a <gh>, but <ngH> is an <ng> followed by an

This part is missing verb prefixes altogether. Since these sentences are
commands rather than statements, they need imperative prefixes, which have a
special chart all their own. The first, <QaH>, probably is meant as "Help
me", so you need an imperative prefix with an object of "me". Looking it up
in the prefix table on page 34, we get <HI->. The second sentence, with
<Hagh>, just means "don't laugh", so you need a no-object prefix. For a
plural subject (there are lots of us on the list), you get <pe->. Finally,
although the suffix <-be'> is normally used to mean "not", it is not used
with imperative verbs. Instead, you need to use <-Qo'>. So you get:

HIQaH. peHaghQo'.

This was a good first message. Don't get discouraged by my rather long
winded explanations - you're on the right track.

Beginners' Grammarian

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