tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 03 12:40:48 2002

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RE: cha'DIch KLBC rI'

> I have a question about nuqneh.  You say that it does not mean hello ,
> that I understand but in TKD and on the tape they use it as a form of
> greeting . 

nuqneH is labeled as a greeting.  You very likely could here it spoken when 
people meet.  But it is not "hello".

An example, first from the viewpoint of a human listening in:

#1 is sitting at his desk.
#2 approaches #1.
#1 says /nuqneH/.
#2 proceeds to state his request.
The human watching this thinks, "/nuqneH/ must mean 'Hello'."

Now from the viewpoint of the klingons:

#1 is sitting at his desk.
#2 approaches #1.  For whatever reason #2 does not simply state his request.  
Perhaps he is not speaking until told to do so by his superior.
#1, because #2 has not yet stated his business, says /nuqneH/ "What do you 
#2 proceeds to state his request.

Another example:

#1 is sitting on a bench at the bus-stop.
#2 approaches #1... and proceeds to sit down on the bench next to him.
Nobody says /nuqneH/.  #2 doesn't say it to #1; what makes him think #1 wants 
anything.  #1 was simply sitting there minding his oun business.
#1 doesn't say it to #2; even tho #2 came over to #1, #1 knows what #2 wants.  
He wants the bus to get there quickly so he can get to his destination.
If #2 did want something from #1, he should simply say so.

If you approach me on the street; first, the polite thing to do is for you to 
get straight to the point and state what it is you want.  Don't waste our time 
inquiring about my opinion of the weather.  
If you don't want anything and it's obvious that you don't want anything from 
me, perhaps you simply chose to stand at the same place that I am (perhaps in 
the shade, or a view of a female), I am not going to say nuqneH.
If you don't say anything but you stand there facing me, I don't say "Hello, 
how are you?".  I say nuqneH "What do you want?".  To an outsider (TKD was 
written by a Federation linguist) this might look like a greeting; to some, 
a "Hello".

Many humans label it a greeting.  Really it is just straightforwardness.

Don't get me wrong; we can converse, we can chat.  Just start talking; without 
starting with "hello".

Look up the origins of "hello".  
To get someone's attention:  "Hello, anybody in there?"
William Bell inventing the telephone, "Hello (is there anybody on the other end 
of this wire?"

So if you say "Hello" to my face I take it as an insult; "Hello, is anybody in 

On the tape (I'm guessing PK) the human customer enters a store.  The merchant 
says /nuqneH/.  This can be viewed as a 'greeting'; but really the merchant is 
simply asking "What do you want", because after all, there is a variety of 
merchandise available in his store.  He doesn't know which item you what, so 
he's asking.

DloraH, BG

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