tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 10:44:55 2009

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RE: Klingon Draydels

Steven Boozer (

>>>While Scrabble and Boggle require knowledge of tlhIngan Hol to play (and
>>>in the case of the sets we used, the ability to read pIqaD), the
>>>draydels, despite being labeled in Hebrew, don't require you to
>>>understand Hebrew.
>>>So if I were to label a draydel in pIqaD, they'd still be able to play.
>>>Now before I get started, has anyone done this yet?

>>For those unfamiliar with draydels, see the WikiPedia article >>( ).  From the article:
>>  Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet:
>>  נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), which together form the
>>  acronym for "נס גדול היה שם" (*Nes Gadol Haya Sham* – "a great
>>  miracle happened there"). These letters also form a mnemonic for
>>  the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel: Nun stands
>>  for the Yiddish word *nite* ("nothing"), Hei stands for *halb*
>>  ("half"), Gimel for *gants* ("all"), and Shin for *shteln* ("put").
>>Fortunately we have words for all four of the Yiddish words:
>>  pagh  "nothing"
>>  bID   "half"
>>  Hoch  "all"
>>  lan   "place, put"
>>The trick will be coming up with a matching four-word Klingon equivalent
>>for the phrase "a great miracle happened there".  The first word is easy:
>>{pa'} "there".

> I've not actually made one, but many years ago I came up with this:
>   pa' QuDmo' bechchu' ghol
>  "The opponent suffered completely because of the insurrection there."
> pa' :: p :: pagh (nothing)
> QuDmo' :: Q :: Qapla' (success)
> bechchu' :: b :: bID (half)
> ghol :: gh :: ghaq (contribute)

Translating "a great miracle happened there" is relatively easy (and simple):

  pa' qaS ta' Dun.
  A great deed occurred there.

A {ta' Dun} reminds one of the Klingon proverb:

  ta'mey Dun, bommey Dun 
  Great deeds, great songs. TKW 

KGT 70-71:  Warriors have long celebrated great achievements and key events in song, reinforcing the importance of the accomplishments and actually reliving them while singing. Great deeds are "deeds worthy of song," as the Klingon leader Gowron once put it, and part of the appeal of engaging in battle is the prospect that, if the battle is a really good one, it will be fought over and over again in song.

... which also connects with the various songs about Hanukkah, the battles of the Maccabees, and draydels if not with the mnemonic letters of the game as ghunchu'wI's version does.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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