tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 12 06:25:30 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Qumran

Steven Boozer (

Marc Okrand to Lieven on 2013/06/08:

> While tetlh can refer to a scroll, it can also refer to anything rolled up
> scroll-like (like toilet paper).  The meaning of tetlh, over time, got
> extended to refer not only to the scroll/roll, but the contents of what
> may be written on a scroll and from there to refer to the sort of thing
> that may be traditionally written on a scroll, such as a "list" of things.
> So, even if not written on a scroll, a shopping list could be a tetlh.  So
> could a ship's manifest.
> A Qumran, on the other hand, is only a scroll.  And it has connotations of
> something important or sacred or ancient, though a Qumran need not be all
> three of those things.  When a scroll is a part of a ceremony of some
> kind, it's typically referred to as a Qumran, not a tetlh, even though it
> is a tetlh, so if you called it that, you wouldn't be wrong, but it might
> sound inappropriate.

As we know, the {paq'batlh} is a large series of ancient Klingon scrolls and religious texts, that among other things, passes on the stories of Kahless.  Among them is the "Eleventh Tome of Klavek" which describes how Kahless came back from the afterlife, having kept a scar to show that what he had experienced was real, so that he may save the soul of his brother. (cf. VOY "Barge of the Dead").  This would definitely be a {Qumran}.  (There's a picture one of the Tome's digitized pages at )  

KGT 182:  in the ceremony to induct new members into the Order of the Bat'leth ({betleH 'obe'}), the highest honor that the government bestows on a Klingon, the presiding official, usually the leader of the Klingon High Council, first reads a name from the {naD tetlh} (Commendation List), always calling out the inductee's name in the most formal way (given name plus father's name, such as {tI'vIS barot puqloD} [T'vis, son of Barot]).

So it seems that the {naD tetlh} itself isn't anything special - like a diploma or official certificate given to an honoree - it's just a list of names for the presiding official to read aloud.  It may even be on a PADD (whatever Klingons call those 24th century iPads).

Another scroll-related note Okrand wrote apparently with the {naD tetlh} in mind:

HQ 12.2 (p.9):  ... for the beginning of a list (of names or words, for example, whether spoken out loud or written on a scroll), one would say simply {pong wa'DIch} "first name" or {mu' wa'DIch} "first word". For the end, one could say {pong HochDIch} "last name" or {mu' HochDIch} "last word" ...

Thanks for clearing this up Lieven.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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