DaHjaj Hol 110120 #tlhIngan #tlh

2 comments Written on January 20th, 2011 by
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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 and today is Thursday, January 20th, 2011 and I think you’re ready for another verb suffix.

Today I want you to learn about –jaj. That’s J A J. –jaj. . . –jaj. . .

–jaj is a Type 9 verb suffix which does something very odd. It takes the verb, and transforms it to the expression of a wish or desire, and is usually translated as may or let.

bIHaghjaj may you laugh
boljaj novlI’ may your alien drool
reH romoluSngan Suvjaj tlhIngan let Klingons always fight Romulans

This suffix comes in particularly handy when you’re making a toast! And so I’d like you to spend the rest of the day making up some toasts in Klingon. They don’t have to make too much sense (and after a few tankards of bloodwine who’s really going to care, right?).

Take each noun and every verb we’ve gone over in the past twenty days, and make up a toast. Throw in other prefixes and suffixes and such as fits. Walk up to friends and coworkers and family members and say things like may your waiter be ready to serve food or let your bat’lath soon kill the alien. Go ahead, you’ve got plenty of words and plenty of time.

I promise you that by the end of the day, even though you might not have noticed it happening, you’ll find yourself feeling more and more comfortable with Klingon than ever before. That, and you’ll be ready with a collection of new toasts the next time someone breaks out the blood wine. Just further proof that qo’mey poSmoH Hol, Language Opens Worlds.

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2 comments “DaHjaj Hol 110120 #tlhIngan #tlh”

Thanks for all of these lessons. I’m struggling with the grammar a bit, but I was wondering if you could check the following for me:

reH DaSuvrup ‘ach maS DaHaghjaj

Is that:

You are always willing to fight, but may you always prefer to laugh

Or am I making mistakes?

You’re making a couple of mistakes.

First, -rup means ready, not willing. There is a Type 2 verb suffix that means willing, but we haven’t gotten to it yet.

Second, most Klingon grammarians would probably argue that the leftover reH doesn’t carry over to both verb phrases in the sentence, only the first one. But you could make an argument for it.

Third and most importantly, you can’t use a verb (in this case maS) as the object of another verb (as you’re attempting to do with DaHaghjaj). Objects by definition have to be nouns.

Also, it’s helpful to keep in mind that Klingon verbs are not actually infinitives. Sentences of this form in English usually end up as two sentences in Klingon, typically with the second sentence acting as a commentary on the first.

Let’s ignore the first part of your sentence for ease of illustration:

To say something like May you always prefer to laugh, in Klingon you’d likely recast it into two sentences like so:

bIHagh. DamaSjaj.
You laugh. May you always prefer it.

where “it” stands in for the previous sentence.


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