tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 07 12:48:45 2013

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Rendering {ghIqtal} in modern Klingon?

Steven Boozer (

< How would one say {ghIqtal} "To death!" in modern Klingon?

Okrand has given this some thought in KGT:

KGT 49:  Since dying in battle is considered a noble aspiration, suicide missions are a part of the Klingon military repertoire, and the honorable nature of such missions accounts for their nomenclature. The honorific verb suffix {-neS}, usually used when addressing a superior, is also used when the verb refers to a suicide attack of some kind:  {HIvneS}, awkwardly translated as "honor-attack," implies that suicide is part of the plan of the attack. Similarly, {HubneS} ("honor-defend") is used only when suicide is part of the defense plan. To say "attack honorably" but not refer to a suicide mission, the adverbial {batlh} is employed and the suffix {-neS} is not: {batlh HIv} ("attack honorably, attack in an honorable fashion").
   Along the same lines, the verb suffix {-chu'} ("perfectly"), when used with some verbs of fighting, implies that the fight results in death. From the Klingon point of view, {Suvchu'} ("fight perfectly") is "fight to the death." A similar construction is used for dueling ({Hay'chu'}, "duel to the death"). On the other hand, {-chu'} does not add this meaning to all verbs. {HeDchu'} ("retreat perfectly") means simply that there is a full withdrawal; though death may occur as part of the retreat, it is not necessarily implied by the verb. The archaic Klingon phrase {ghIqtal} also means "to the death," though it is generally used as a sentence in its own right, a type of exclamation. For example, just before striking the first blow or firing the first shot in a battle, warriors may shout {ghIqtal!}

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

Tlhingan-hol mailing list

Back to archive top level