tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jun 18 07:36:35 2009

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RE: Correct use of retlh

Steven Boozer (

qe'San wrote:
>If I wanted to say, "My Commander is waiting for me next to the ship"
>would it be, [Duj retlh muloSlI' la'wI']

Close. {retlh} "area beside, next to, beside" needs the locative suffix {-Daq} when used as a place stamp:  {Duj retlhDaq} "at the area next to the ship".    

  Duj retlhDaq muloSlI' la'wI'

{retlh} is a noun (not an adverbial) and is grammatically no different than {lojmIt} "door, hatch" for example:  {Duj lojmIt} "the ship's hatch" vs. {Duj lojmItDaq} "at the ship's hatch".  Like all the "area nouns", {retlh} needs {-Daq} when talking about location:

TKD 27:  An English preposition need not be a part of the translation. Klingon {Dung} means "area above", and {DungDaq} is "overhead", literally something like "at the area above". 

We have an example of {retlh} in canon:

  loS... qIb HeHDaq, 'u' SepmeyDaq Sovbe'lu'bogh lenglu'meH
   He ghoSlu'bogh retlhDaq 'oHtaH 
  It [DS9] waits... on the edge of the galaxy, beside a 
   passage to unknown regions of the universe. (SkyBox S99)

>Something else I was thinking of that may use retlh. I wanted to a word
>or construction to symbolise "beach" (or shore as in the land at the sea
>edge, whether it's an actual beach or not doesn't really matter).
>I decided on ocean's edge rather than land's edge as I imagine you can
>have an edge of land not abutting water, like a cliff, whereas a water
>edge can't really be next to anything other than land.
>So I thought that retlh may help and came up with:
>  [bIQ'a' HeH retlh]

As it happens, DloraH (Roger Cheesbro) used *{bIQ'a' HeH} for "(sea) shore" in his "{ghIlghameS}: A Klingon Translation" (2000).  

>but again wasn't sure if that was the correct position for retlh in that
>noun-noun construction or even at all.
>If both of those are correct I assume I could then say:
>  {bIQ'a' HeH retlh} muloSlI' jupwI'

The position of {retlh} is correct (following the noun or noun phrase) but again, use {-Daq}.  (See the S99 example above {loS... qIb HeHDaq} "It waits... on the edge of the galaxy".)  So:

  bIQ'a' HeH retlhDaq muloS jupwI'

But when using {retlh} you may not need {HeH} "edge, rim" at all since an "area" is implied.  E.g.:

  bIQ'a' HeH
  the sea's edge/rim

  bIQ'a' retlh
  (area) beside/next to the sea

  bIQ'a' HeHDaq
  at the sea's edge

  bIQ'a' retlhDaq
  beside/next to the sea

  bIQ'a' HeH retlhDaq
  at the area beside/next to the sea's edge

The difference is pretty subtle.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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