tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Apr 14 07:38:18 2009

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RE: Hallmark commercial

Steven Boozer (

maHvatlh (Zrajm C Akfohg):
>I'm working on an update of, and so (among other
>things) I've tried to pinpoint the release time and contents of the
>famous Hallmark Bird-of-Prey Christmas ornament commercial.
>(a) Does anyone know where I can find a recording of it? (Googling and
>YouTube got me nowhere.)
The pre-tlhIngan Hol McDonalds hamburger commercial is at: 

My notes say that there are links to other Klingon-related videos on YouTube.  The Hallmark commercial might be there.  (If you do find it on the Internet, let us know and I'll add the URL to my notes.)

>(b) Could anyone provide me with a transcription of it? -- Through the
>various posts here, and by searching the web I've found the following
>three sentences which are all said to originate from the Hallmark
>commercial (most of these I've found in several places, so they seem
>pretty genuine). However, not having seen the commercial, I have no
>idea in which order they should come, on who is saying what.
>   {pIj maSuvpu' batlh maSuvpu' 'ej maQapbejta'}
>   "In our many battles, we have fought with honor and achieved victory!"
>   {vaj malopmeH tlhIHvaD nob SaSuqpu'.}
>   "So to celebrate, I've gotten you all a gift."
>   {Qapqu' wovmoHbogh janHommey!}
>   "It even has working lights!"
>I also found a summary of the events in the commercial:
>   Hallmark commercial promoting a Klingon Bird-of-Prey Christmas ornament. 
>   Done entirely in Klingon, with English subtitles. The Klingon language 
>   itself was written by Marc Okrand.
>   The commercial has a Klingon commander (played by Robert O'Reilly)
>   rewarding his officers for their victory in battle by giving them
>   a gift - a Klingon Bird-of-Prey Christmas ornament. We then see an
>   insert shot of the ornament in Guy Vardaman's hand, after which
>   Vardaman's Klingon remarks "That was very nice of him", to which the
>   other Klingon suggests giving their commander a "thank you" card.

Here's all I have on the commercial:

				  (Winter [Christmas] 1994?)

GOWRON:    {Qapla'}

           {pIj maSuvpu' batlh maSuvpu' 'ej maQapbejta'}
           In our many battles, we have fought with honor and 
           achieved... VICTORY!

           {vaj malopmeH tlhIHvaD nob SaSuqpu'}
           So to celebrate, I've gotten you all a gift.

           {tlhIngan toQDujHom 'oH}
           It's a Klingon Bird-of-Prey ornament.

CREWMAN 1: {toQDujna' rurchu'}
           It looks so real!

CREWMAN 2: {Qapqu' wovmoHbogh janHommey}
           It even has working lights!
CREWMAN 1: ({peghmo' ... })                               (?!?)
           That was real nice of him.

CREWMAN 2: {HIja' <gibberish> wISuqnIS}                    (??)
           Yeah, we should get him a thank you card.

The last two lines are badly garbled.  Whatever gibberish Crewman 2 is saying, from the verb prefix {wI-} it should be a singular object noun, probably formed from the verb {tlho'} "thank" or the noun {tlho'} "appreciation, gratitude" -- *{tlho'meH nav/ghItlh} "thank you card"?

"The commercial switches to Federation Standard displaying the ship and giving the sales pitch.  After that we see the warriors speaking to one another as they leave through the door. [This scene seems to follow the rule: 'If you can't remember your lines, mumble a lot.' We can only surmise that Dr. Okrand gave them some legitimate lines and they chose to fake it instead." (Glen Proechel)]

Mark Okrand commented on the old MSN BBS (6/18/1997):
"I haven't seen the commercial in a while, but I don't think wov was used as a noun there. Though the Klingons in the ad may have ad libbed a bit, the phrase the one Klingon was supposed to say regarding the little lights in the Bird of Prey ornament was {wovmoHbogh janHommey}. That is, 'little devices that cause (something) to be light or bright' or 'little devices that brighten (something)' or 'little devices that light (something) up' or the like. {wov} is a verb 'be light, bright' followed by the suffix {-moH} 'cause' (thus, 'cause to be light')." 

>(c) The Hallmark Bird-of-Prey Christmas ornament seem to have been
>produced 1994, but does anyone know (as exact as possible) when the
>commercial was first aired. I'm guessing November 1994, could that be

October or November 1994 seems right.  Hallmark has produced a special Christmas ornament each year for several years now.  Have you tried looking for their web site for more information?

Let us know what you find out.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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