tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 19 12:34:47 2002

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Re: QeD De'wI' ngermey

>From: "...Paul" <>
>On Tue, 19 Nov 2002 wrote:
>Now, Klingon was developed to make up some good consistent technobabble in
>a science fiction series.  It has achieved that goal remarkably well, so
>you can argue that it needs no expansion because it's already achieved its
>goal.  But then you have ask, "where do we go from here?"  Unless we're
>all planning on becoming writers for the next 47 Star Trek television
>shows, the language has no purpose but to be a toy for entertainment.

It's true that Klingon has grown beyond its original purpose.  Dr. Okrand 
originally expected fans to use the dictionary to verify that the Klingon 
spoken in the movie was correct, not to learn to actually speak it.

So, maybe the question should be, what is the purpose of Klingon, as 
perceived by this community?  Not as a tool for Paramount to make their 
shows appear more authentic or enjoyable.  The purpose of the language is to 
communicate among the community, in a way that is accessible to all members 
of the community.  This is accomplished by being consistent with canon 
sources, and not making non-canon extensions.

I would have no problem with a document on programming, that used the word 
{tlhegh} to describe a queue, for example, making it clear in the document 
what the word means.  I wouldn't necessarily expect that this usage became 
commonplace, but maybe it would.  Depends on its utility.  But I would have 
a problem with someone coming up with a new "Klingon" word because they 
couldn't find a word in the existing vocabulary for the exact concept they 
wanted.  [Don't have a word for "stack"?  How about *{ghaS}?]

One common way to deal with problems like this is to borrow words from other 
languages.  Rather than creating a non-canonical word, just use the word 
"stack," and define it in Klingon.  This is a strategy that natural 
languages use all the time.

>And ultimately, most of us outgrow our toys after a while (or we replace
>them with new toys.  ;)

Klingon isn't a toy to me.  Sure, it's a hobby, but I've been at this for 
over 10 years now.

Here is a suggested course of action.  Take a crack at the document you 
think you can't write because you think Klingon is a toy language, and bring 
up the parts you're having trouble with here on the list.  If Klingon is 
really a flexible, powerful and communicate language (as I believe it is), 
we should be able to apply the available tools to communicating the 
difficult concepts.  Will we have to circumvent because of missing 
vocabulary?  Probably.  Does that matter?  YMMV.


--Holtej 'utlh

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