tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Aug 12 21:21:42 2002

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> If I want to say, Good to see you.
> {maj qalegh} good, I see you
> doesn't seem to give the same impression.
> what does the (to) in english mean?

What does this phrase mean to YOU?

"The current situation is good because I see you are well."
"I am pleased because I see you."
"It's nice to see that you are still alive."
or it could refer to literally "seeing" them if you are greeting a beautiful
girl... "Oh yah, it is good to see those... I mean you."

In KGT we have:
    maj ram ("good, [it is] night")

  When going to sleep, Klingons generally have noth-
ing in particular to express to one another. There are a
few set phrases, however, that parents frequently say to
their children, and the same expressions are commonly
used by good friends, particularly on a night before a bat-
tle. One of these phrases is yInajchu' ("dream well"; liter-
ally, a command: "Dream perfectly!"). The other, maj
ram, is an idiomatic expression usually rendered in Fed-
eration Standard as "good night," though this translation
obscures the real meaning of the sentiment. The Klingon
word maj is an exclamation expressing satisfaction, gen-
erally translated as simply "good," and functioning as a
sentence in its own right. The second word, ram, is a
noun meaning "night," and it is all that remains of two
formerly used longer expressions, ngaj ram ("The night
is short"; ngaj, "be short in duration") and nI' ram "The
night is long"; nI', "be long in duration"). The original
full expressions, then, were maj, ngaj ram ("Good, the
night is short"), suggesting that it would not be long be-
fore the next day's activities could begin, or maj, nI' ram
("Good, the night is long"), suggesting that there was
ample opportunity for rejuvenation and meaningful
dreaming. Over time, as result of frequent repetition of
the phrases, the original intent of both versions was lost.
People said them but did not give much thought to what
they meant. They came to be used interchangeably, as if
they meant the same thing, namely "Good, it is night."
Later, the expressions were shortened by dropping the
superfluous (and, by then, meaningless) ngaj and nI',
leaving the contemporary maj ram. As a practical mat-
ter, Klingons still do not think about what maj ram
means; they just say it, if they say anything at all, upon

So for a simple general phrase I would go with the /maj, qalegh/; but if you
want to be more specific about what you really want to say, then we need to
create sentences that do just that.

I have heard some, including myself, simply say /maj/ while going for a good
warrior grasp on the arm for a klingon "handshake".

DloraH, BG

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