tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 19 07:09:54 2009

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RE: Correct use of retlh

Steven Boozer (

qe'San (Jon Brown):
>Ok so back to [retlh] and fixing my mistake of missing [-Daq] off.  if I
>wanted to translate, "I'd like a window seat, please." and taking into
>account that a Klingon would be more direct and not say please I thought
>maybe [Qorwagh retlh quSDaq vIba' vIneH].

{ba'} "sit" is apparently intransitive, so don't use the object prefixes.  E.g.:

KGT 124:  {quSDaq bIba'} ("You sit in a chair"--that is, "What you said is quite obvious")..." (KGT 124)

  Qorwagh retlh quSDaq jIba' vIneH
  "I want to sit in a beside/next-to-the-window-chair."

>Although saying that with the sea shore [bIQ'a' HeH] instead of [bIQ'a'
>HeH retlh] example, I wonder if anyone thinks that the use of [retch]
>is also redundant here. Maybe [Qorwagh quSDaq vIba' vIneH] is good enough.

{Qorwagh quS} "window seat (chair)" is a little too close to English for my taste.  How about: 

   Qorwagh retlhDaq jIba' vIneH.
   I want to sit beside/next to the window.

though I agree {retlh} may not even be necessary:

   QorwaghDaq jIba' vIneH.
   I want to sit at the window.

keeping in mind that in other contexts {QorwaghDaq} could also mean "in the window" (e.g. the ledge of an open window on a spring day) or "on the window" (e.g. an uninstalled window unit on the floor at a construction site).  Okrand writes:

TKD 27:  This suffix [{-Daq}] indicates that something is happening (or has happened or will happen) in the vicinity of the noun to which it is attached. It is normally translated by an English preposition: "to", "in", "at", "on". The exact translation is determined by the meaning of the whole sentence.

The "area nouns" are used when you need to be more precise than simply "in the vicinity of":  area above, below, inside, outside, next to, between, in front of, behind, etc.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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