tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 14 08:28:39 2009

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RE: Facebook in Klingon

Steven Boozer (

>>                   or, in the more specialized terminology of sites
>>like Facebook, how to express "Wall-to-Wall" or "Friend Request"? I
>What are the canonical references to the terms <reD> and <tlhoy'> (<pa'
>reD>, <chevwI' tlhoy'>, <pIn tlhoy'>)?

Here's Okrand's post:

From: Marc Okrand <...>
Newsgroups: startrek.klingon
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 00:55:46 -0500
Subject: Re: walls

TPO [DloraH] wrote ...
>I'm working on a literary piece that makes many references to a wall 
>or walls.  Any ideas how I can handle this? (recast, metaphor, ...)

Actually, there are several words referring to "wall": 

An interior wall (such as a wall separating your living room from your
kitchen) is a tlhoy'. 

An exterior wall (that is, a wall which separates the inside of a building
from the outside) is a reD. 

For the interior side of an exterior wall, it is quite common to use
tlhoy', but the phrase pa' reD, literally "room's exterior wall"
(pa' "room") is also heard, referring to the wall in a room which faces
outside (as opposed to the other walls in the room whose other sides are
still indoors). 

The wall around a city is a yergho, which is apparently derived from
yer "domain, holdings, territory" plus gho "circle." 

A wall which divides a territory into parts (such as the Berlin Wall) is
also called a tlhoy', even though neither side of it is the interior of
a structure.  On occasion, for clarity, such a wall is termed a chevwI'
tlhoy' "separator wall") or a pIn tlhoy', literally "boss wall," presumably 
dating back to a time when each subterritory had a specific person in charge. 

The phrase pa' tlhoy' "room's interior wall" is also heard from time to
time, but usually only when it is necessary to distinguish the "interior
wall" sense of tlhoy' from the "separator wall" sense. 

A tlhoy' "interior wall" need not be vertical.  In a multistory
structure, the stories are separated by what Klingon architects and
builders call a tlhoy' SaS "horizontal wall".  The side of this "wall" 
which is the bottom of the upper story is the rav "floor"; the side 
which is the top of the lower story is the rav'eq "ceiling" (based 
on rav "floor" plus 'eq, an element otherwise unknown (there is no 
evidence it is connected to 'eq "be early").

rav "floor" is also used for the floor of a room on ground level (or a
basement floor, for that matter), even though there is no corresponding
rav'eq and no tlhoy' SaS. 

Similarly, though in general rav'eq "ceiling" refers to the ceiling of a
room that has a room above it, it may also be used for the ceiling of a
room on the top floor, even though there is no corresponding rav and no
tlhoy' SaS.  On occasion, though, the ceiling of the top floor is called
pa' beb, literally "room's roof" (from pa' "room" plus beb "roof"). 
The term beb refers to the covering on top of a structure. 

Hope this helps your story. 

>Also, might there be a culturally more appropriate rendition of
>"wall-to-wall" that conveys the meaning without using the "wall"
>terminology?  (Might a Klingon, for example, decorate another's <Ha'quj>
>or hang a <no' DIr> rather than post to a "wall"?)
>One problem I can see with translating some of FB's messages is that they
>might need to be significantly rephrased to be more Klingon-like or
>verb-centric.  For example, for "You have N friend requests", something
>like <jupchaj Damoj 'e' lupoQ N nuvpu'> might be better than a literal

I've never seen FaceBook, but how about using *{jup bey'} "friend display"?  See:

bey'         ceremonial display KGT
betleH bey'  bat'leth Display KCD
nuH bey'     Pride of Weapons (a ceremonial display of weapons) KCD
quv bey'     Honor Display (a ceremonial display of weapons) KCD

Canon Master of the Klingons

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