tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Aug 31 12:21:21 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Klingon Word of the Day: naj

Felix Malmenbeck (

>> I'm confused about indirect quotes.
> There are no indirect quotations in Klingon.

Are you sure about that? It's been my understanding that there's never been a decisive answer on this, unless one counts the use of {net jatlh} in paq'batlh.

The subject is spoken of here, but left vague:


WM: So, basically, in Klingon, you would just use {jatlh} a lot. If someone
    is asking a question, would you state the question and say {jatlh}?

MO: If it's a direct quotation, I would. Yes. If it's an indirect question...
    How would you do indirect quotation?

WM: Is there such a beast as indirect quotation in Klingon?

MO: That's a good question.

WM: Would that be something handled with the pronoun {'e'}?

MO: It could.

WM: In the example where you used that with the verb {tlhob} it was such
    an example that because of the person and number of the subject
    and object, you couldn't tell if it was a direct or indirect quotation.
    Since it had the {'e'} it wasn't technically a quotation at all. That was
    the reason I was drawn toward the concept that it would be an
    indirect quotation. It was the "I asked you command this ship..."

MO: That's not a quotation at all. That's just an "I ask you to do

WM: That's kind of what I think of as an indirect quotation, "I ask you to
    do that."

MO: If that's how you are defining it, that's fine. I have no problem with
    that. An indirect quotation the way I'm thinking of it, I'm not sure
    it is a technical term. "The person had said he would show up this
    afternoon," The direct quotation would be, "The person said, "I will
    show up this afternoon."

WM: You can tell the difference in that because of the difference in

MO: Right. But if I'm referring to me, and I say, "The person said I will
    show up this afternoon," then, which is that?

WM: Well, you have to know which you are saying. But in an example
    like, "I ask you to command the ship and..."

MO: It doesn't matter again. I wouldn't call that an indirect quotation in
    the way that I'm using it now. Maybe this is a clearer example of an
    indirect quotation: "The warrior said the bloodwine was cold"
    (which, in English, could also be "The warrior said that the
    bloodwine was cold").

WM: Okay. [[p.6]]


paq'batlh, however, has an example of {net jatlh}:

paq'raD, Canto 1, Stanza 2:

nuv ‘umHa’ leghchugh veqlargh
ngoS nuv ‘umHa'
net jatlh

Those unfit disintegrate
At the glance of Fek'lhr,
So it is said.

Other uses of {jatlh} in paq'balth are:

bIjatlhDI' bIval
> You speak wise words

jach veqlargh jatlh
muqaD vay' 'ej ghe'tor 'el porgh
nuqDaq ghaH petaQ'e'
>He screamed: "Where is the p'takh
>Who dares to enter Gre'thor
> Within a body?!"

le'yo'raj nIHlu'ta'mo' penoD jatlh qeylIS
nuHmeyraj tIQorgh
watlh 'Iwraj 'e' lu'aghmo' nuHmey jej
> [And Kahless spoke to them]
> [...]
> About avenging their stolen pride
> About caring for their weapons,
> For they represent the purity of their blood.

jatlh 'e' mevDI' qeylIS, lop
> After Kahless' words, they celebrate,

ghIq lutDaj jatlh qeylIS
> Then Kahless tells his tale,

tlhIH je qanra' puqloD pejatlh
> And you, sons of Kahnrah, speak up!

mu'meyDaj bojatlhDI' Suvaljaj
> May you recite his words with wisdom,

Uses of {ja'}:

SengmeywIj vIja'laHbe'
> I cannot speak of my tragedies

loDnI'Daj vavDaj je ja' qeylIS
nIteb peghoS
HatlhDaq peleng
> Kahless tells his brother and father
> to go their separate ways,
> And travel the lands.
toDuj lutraj quv lutraj je
Qoymey tlhIngan tuqmey
> To tell the Klingon tribes
> their story of courage,
> And honor.
DaH peHarghchoH
DaH molor yISuvchoH
> To tell them that now is the time
> To take up their arms
> And fight against Molor.
molor luSuvmeH
nuHmeychaj Suq
'e' tlhob qeylIS
> To tell them that Kahless asks them
> To take up their arms,
> And fight against Molor

Qo'noSDaq boqwI'mey
nejmeH je leng qeylIS
'ej chaHvaD lut ja'
> Kahless also went out to search
> For allies across Kronos,
> And told them his tale.

lut ja'taHvIS Hem qotar
> The people tell the tales with pride,

le'yo' lutmey juja'pu'mo' qatlho'
> I thank you, for your stories of pride,

le'yo' lutmey Saja'pu'
DaH naDev jIHtaHbogh meq Saja'
> I have shared stories of pride with you,
> Now I will tell you why I am here.

raSDaq toS qeylIS
rewbe'pu' qaD
'ej mu'meyvam ja'
> Kahless climbs onto the table,
> Turns to the people,
> And spoke these words.

may' lunungbogh repmey'e'
qeylISvaD mu'meyvam
ja'ta' molor qotar je
> This is what Kotar and Molor
> Have said to Kahless
> In the hours before battle.

ghu'vam qellI' qotar
ghIq pagh ja'taHvIS
qeylIS 'uchHa' 'ej ghaHvo' yIt
> Kotar thinks about this for a while,
> Then without a word,
> He releases Kahless and walks away.

...and, last but not least, a very surprising use of {ja'chuq}:

petaQ'a' SoH
bIlay'DI' qaHarbe'
quv HIja'chuqQo'
> You dirty p'takh,
> Your word means nothing to me,
> Don't speak to me of honor!
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