tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 26 14:33:51 2002

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Re: KLBC: {-be'}

This is marked KLBC, but it has already been answered once. As an ex-BG, I have 
something to add...

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Trimboli" <>
> > > From: "Rohan Fenwick" <>
> [--snipped--]
> >
> > Erm . . . no, "He saw John and I in the park" is just wrong,
> > not a different rule.
> Are you saying this is wrong in English? Admitedly I would probably just
> have used "me" in place of "I". But then I always thought I was wrong..  I'm
> sure we were taught in school that "John and me"/"me and John" was incorrect
> and that, "John and I" was correct. I was taught that to have said "me and
> John" was rude.

There are two issues here. One has already been addressed by someone else who 
explained the difference between "I" as a subject and "me" as an object. He did 
not, however, address the separate issue of rudeness. This point of etiquette 
in English has grown in significance to be part of the grammar. Klingons see 
this as so typically human.

"Jane saw John and me at the store."

This is both grammatically correct and polite.

"Jane saw me and John at the store."

This is grammatically correct, but rude because silly humans don't like putting 
the first person first, even though they call it "first" person. They insist 
that you put the first person last. See the first example.

"Me and John went to the store."

This is both rude and grammatically incorrect. You wouldn't say "Me went to the 
store." Children often say something like "Me and John went to the store," or 
even more commonly, "Me and John, we went to the store."

You never hear ANYBODY say, "I and John went to the store."

I think it is quite interesting that nobody ever makes this mistake. When 
people make the grammatical mistake of confusing "me" and "I", they tend to err 
in favor of "me", and if they learn the difference between "me" and "I", they 
ALWAYS simultaneously learn the point of etiquette that always places the first 
person last. In fact, I suspect that "John and me went to the store" is more 
common than "I and John went to the store." We'll get the etiquette right 
before we get the grammar right.

This is a cultural issue interesting to anyone studying Klingon, since this is 
very unlike Klingon cultural relationship to language. We have no reason to 
believe that there is anything wrong with:

Qe' wIghoS jIH Qanqor je.

Basically, this translates to, "Me and Krankor, we went to the restaurant." 
{jIH} is {jIH} whether it is subject or object, and there is no rule suggested 
anywhere that I'm supposed to put {Qanqor} in front of {jIH}. In fact, it is 
slightly easier to understand the other way, since {Qe' wIghoS Qanqor jIH je,} 
might leave you, for a brief instant, thinking something about Krankor's video 

> I would probably want to re phrase this in Hol as
>  [park]Daq chaH [John] jIH je'e'.   nulegh
> John and I in the park. He saw us.
> Is that ok in Hol?
> Is the -'e' in the right place?

No. {je} is a conjunction and does not accept noun suffixes. Also, {chaH} is 
third person. In general, your effort here is confused, and it involves a 
concept in Klingon language that is a bit alien to new students of the language.

In Klingon, the locative (nouns with {-Daq}) always marks either the location 
where action happens, or the target of the action. It's not always clear which, 
though more often than not, it marks the location where the action happens. The 
verb {legh} is, unfortunately, one of those verbs where it could be either.

yotlhDaq jIH *John* je nulegh.

He saw John and me in the field.

The field can refer to where John and I were, or to where he was standing when 
he saw us, or if the field is big enough, both. There's no way to know without 
having the context better explained.

For that, you could say:

yotlhDaq jIH *John* je maHtaH. nulegh.

John and I were in the field. He saw us.


yotlhDaq ghaHtaH. jIH *John* je nulegh.

He was in the field. He saw John and me.


yotlhDaq jIH *John* ghaH je maHtaH. nulegh.

Admittedly, this one is a little strange because {ghaH} is third person and not 
usually part of the plural first person, but since the scope of {maH} is, as in 
English, not established as inclusive or exclusive and, like in English, 
basically means "two or more people, including me", in my humble opinion, this 

Okrand did miss an opportunity here to make Klingon all the more alien. Many 
human languages have "incluse" vs. "exclusive" first person plural. When I 
say, "We are going to the store now," I may be including you or not. In 
English, you can't tell except by context. Other languages have two different 
words for "we". One includes you and the other excludes you.

Meanwhile, I don't know of any human languages that have a separation between 
forms of the first person plural that include or exclude third parties. I'm 
sure something interesting could have been done with that. Oh well.
> qe'San

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