DaHjaj Hol 110511 – yes #tlhIngan #tlh

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Hello, and welcome. You’re listening to DaHjaj Hol, your daily dose of Klingon language. I’m your host, Lawrence Schoen.

There are two kinds of questions in Klingon. There are questions which are answered with specific information, such as “How many Romulans did your father kill in the war?” or “What is the air speed of an unladen swallow?” Then there are the other kinds of questions which can be answered either “yes” or “no.” HIja’ means yes, but only in answer to a yes/no question. Capital H, Capital I, J, A, Apostrophe. HIja’. A less common but equally valid word that means exactly the same thing is HISlaH. Capital H, Capital I, Capital S, L, A, Capital H. HISlaH.

When asked a yes/no question, you can simply respond with yes, or you can restate the original question as part of your answer. Like so:

HIja’ jIyatlh
yes, I’m pregnant

HIja’ choSeymoH
yes, you excite me

HISlaH ram meqmeylIj
yes, your reasons are trivial

HISlaH Dujmo’ HoD vIHoHta’
yes, because of the ship I killed the captain

You may never have thought about questions this way before, and now I’m sure you’re wondering how to say “no” as well. We’ll cover that on another day. Until then, you’ll just have to be more positive with your language and avoid opening negative worlds. You can do that, right? qo’mey posmoH Hol.


Today’s podcast is brought to you by the 18th annual summer conference of the Klingon Language Institute (aka the qep’a’ wa’maH chorghDIch) which runs from Sunday morning on August 14th through late evening Tuesday, August 16th. The following day, Wednesday, August 17th, is the official beginning of the 69th annual World Science Fiction Convention, conveniently taking place right there in Reno, Nevada!

Back to the qep’a’: This year, we’ll be splitting the conference into two parts:

Part One will be the usual blend of fellowship, curse warfare, singing, story-telling, and assorted language challenges as we’ve enjoyed for the past seventeen years, and will run from Sunday through Monday. We’ll begin in a meeting room at the Hyatt Place Reno-Tahoe Airport Hotel for Sunday and Monday, and on Tuesday morning we’ll move to larger function space over at Reno’s convention center (courtesy of Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention).

Part Two will begin at noon on Tuesday, and consist of various introductory lessons and explanations intended for newbies, beginners, and visitors dressed in Federation pajamas (or other noncombatants). Klingon grammarians will be on hand to help newcomers (not to be confused with linguistic “fresh meat!”) learn the basics of Klingon and use it to chat, sing, play games, and insult one another.

Full details can be found at http://www.speakklingon.info/

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