DaHjaj Hol 1100505 – two Aspect suffixes #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.

I’ve told you before that verb suffixes are one of the most interesting aspects of this language, and today will really make that point. Today we’re going to talk about the grammatical concept of “aspect.” Unlike most languages that you’re probably familiar with, Klingon doesn’t have “tense.” We don’t’ mark words grammatically to tell us whether a thing happened in the past or the future. Instead, “aspect” puts the focus on whether an action has been completed or not. Often, when translating Klingon sentences into English, indicating that an action is complete ends up putting it into the past tense, but don’t be fooled.

Today you get two Type 7 suffixes. Use –pu’ to indicate an action has been completed. That’s P, U, Apostrophe. –pu’. Use –ta’ to indicate an action has been completed, and was intentional! That’s T, A, Apostrophe. –ta’.

ghaytan nuH tu’pu’ neH
likely she merely found the weapon

bImejpa’ ‘uQlIj DaSopnISta’
before you leave, you need to eat your dinner

qaHoHmo’ Heghpu’ ‘ach qaHoHta’
because I killed him, he’s dead, but I didn’t (mean) to kill him

Often I will give you examples to illustrate a particular suffix that you’re learning, but in more regular speech including fine details of meaning are not usually necessary. Remember, Klingons like to be succint. You don’t have to indicate aspect when you describe an action, but doing so draws extra attention to that part of the meaning. To do that in English requires extra words and can become cumbersome. But in Klingon, if there’s a need to focus your attention on that part of the meaning, it’s as simple as adding a syllable. Congratulations, you’ve just opened up a new world of understanding through language. 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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