tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 24 02:17:12 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography (was: Okrand at qep'a')

Michael Roney, Jr. (

(once again, no negative tone, just a lack of sleep)
Yeah, um, I stronlgy doubt that my keyboard has *any* extentions. I don't think I could type any of those fancy letters.

And no, I can't install any fancy fonts or drivers.

(I should just go to bed now)


-Michael Roney, Jr.
Professional Klingon translator

--Sent from my Palm PreMichael Everson wrote:

On 24 Jun 2009, at 03:13, DloraH wrote:

>>> If there is (which I doubt), it would have to use only the 26
>>> letters of the English alphabet, possibly with the apostrophe, as is
>>> the case now.
>> Why?
> For me it would be because that is what is on my keyboard.

There is a difference between what is printed on a keyboard and what  
is accessible via a keyboard driver. Alt and shift-alt (option and  
shift-option) are widely used to extend keyboards beyond what is on  
the key caps. The euro sign didn't use to be in keyboard drivers. It  
is now.

>> All of the characters use the Latin script.
>>> Where's the "dotless question mark" key on a Latin keyboard?
>> The glottal stop? On my keyboard I type shift-option-. and then space
>> to get it. Ê?Ê?Ê?Ê?
> What do you mean by "option"?
> Shift-. gives me ?

By "option" I mean the "alt" key, using the Irish Extended keyboard on  
Mac OS X. Shift-. gives me ? too. Alt-. gives me â?¥. Shift-alt-. gives  
me a deadkey which can generate É? Æ? É? Æ? É  ɦ É© Æ? ɲ Æ¥ Ê  Ê? Ê?  
Æ­ Ê? É? Æ´ È¥ (a bunch of letters with hooks used in IPA, African  
languages, and Gothic).

All operating systems support multiple keyboard drivers.

>>> Your examples are full of untypeable characters, and a few   
>>> unprintable ones.
>> I typed nearly all of them with the Irish Extended keyboard that  
>> ships with Mac OS X.
> Ah!  I don't have an Irish Extanded keyboard.

It is not hardware. My hardware keyboard is the Apple standard UK  
keyboard (same as the Apple standard US keyboard except for two small  
differences irrelevant here). If you are running Mac OS X the Irish  
Extended keyboard (software keyboard driver) is in there.

> I admit that sometimes Q and q are a problem.  Car license plates  
> are in upper-case only; but fortunately the one I went with doesn't  
> use either Q or q.


> Some of your characters didn't show up on my computer.

One would have to ask what computer it is, and what operating system.  
Not "showing up" means most likely that you don't have a font  
installed that covers them.

> On my PDA, those that do show up are completely different symbols.

That's a little too vague for me to imagine what you are seeing.

> If I made changes to the klingon writing, I would move the q to k.

Sticking with ASCII only there are two options that tread lightly, q - 
 > k and Q = q, or q = q and Q -> x. I rather prefer the latter option  
as q = [q] and Q = [qÏ?] (a fricative)

Michael Everson *

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