tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jan 28 08:28:21 2009

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RE: KLBG Translation assistance

Steven Boozer (

>Keep in mind that Klingons are a people who have a word for "weapon",
>but lack one for a "tool". I don't think they'd have separate words
>for non-weapon explosives because they likely think of them as weapons
>first, and as having a constructive function secondarily.
>In other words, a Klingon would never consider using a tool as a
>weapon because they don't understand that an object could be a tool.
>They only understand that some weapons can be used in a tool-like way,
>though they don't have a word for "tool".

KGT 61:  A {'etlh} ["sword, blade"], even if primarily a weapon, may be used in other activities as well, such as hunting and even sculpting. Indeed, to restrict the use of a {'etlh} to combat is to minimize the flexibility of its design. By the same token, a blade not designed as a weapon may be used as a weapon if need be, though to be attacked by a warrior wielding something that is normally classified as a tool is considered by some to be an insult to one's honor.

KGT 79-80:  In addition to the specialized tools, any blade ({'etlh}), even if designed for other purposes, may be used as a sculpting tool. Kahless himself is said to have used his bat'leth, the original "Sword of Honor," to carve a statue for the woman he loved, presumably Lukara.

>A human sees a claw hammer as a tool that can be used as a bludgeon. A
>Klingon sees the claw hammer as a bludgeon that can be used to hammer

KGT 65:  The word {chetvI'} refers to both the tool used to help throw the {tlhevjaQ} spear and also a torpedo tube of a particular kind.

>I carry a knife. I think of it as a tool. If I needed a weapon, I
>probably wouldn't think of using it, because to me, it is a tool, not
>a weapon. If someone pointed it out to me, I would notice that, yep, I
>could use this knife as a weapon, but that's not why I carry it.

KGT 63:  The general term for a knife used as a tool is the same term used for a knife as a weapon, namely {taj}. If context is unclear, this could lead to some confusion. When clarity is required, the tool knife may be called a {pe'meH taj}, a knife for cutting.

>A Klingon sees a paper clip as a weapon. By the way, it can also hold
>pieces of paper together, whenever you aren't actively using it as a

Aha!  So that's why {mavjop} is listed in TKD!

Canon Master of the Klingons

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