tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 10 07:06:09 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Klingon Word of the Day: ta' tlhIngan Hol

Steven Boozer (

> Klingon word: ta' tlhIngan Hol
> Part of speech: noun
> Definition: standard dialect

KGT 14f.:  Throughout Klingon history, and still today, if the leader of the Empire carries the title {ta'} (Emperor), the way he speaks Klingon--that is, the dialect used by his family and people from his region--is always considered the best way. The vocabulary and grammatical details typical of the leader's area become the current model for the Empire. The way other people speak, if different, is considered somehow inferior, and the more any given dialect differs from that of the Emperor, the more inferior it is considered. Not only is the way of speaking considered inferior, anyone speaking only a nonstandard dialect is considered to be inferior as well, motivating everyone to learn to speak the way the Emperor does. On the other hand, since a change in leadership tends to bring in an Emperor from a different lineage and different region, the relative status of the different varieties can easily change, with a dialect formerly associated with a certain region becoming the standard dialect spoken by all. As a result, the various dialects of Klingon have persisted, with most Klingons becoming adept at several of them. The system by which the Emperor's dialect is considered the standard dialect stayed in place even during those times when there was no official Emperor, as has been the case, until recently, for the last 300 years. Regardless of the leader's title, the leader's way of speaking is still considered the best. The term used for the standard dialect, however, harks back to the Emperors: {ta' tlhIngan Hol} (literally, "the Emperor's Klingon"), often shortened to {ta' Hol} ("Emperor's language"). It is appropriate to use these terms regardless of the official title of the leader of the Empire.

email to Lieven (3/27/12):  Maltz said that for language names the construction "country + Hol" is most common ... Of course, it doesn't have to be a "country." It could be a region or a political unit or alliance of another kind (which is why {DIvI' Hol} fits in). He noted that {tlhIngan Hol} is really a shortened form of {tlhIngan wo' Hol}, but nobody ever says that in everyday speech.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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