DaHjaj Hol 110122 #tlhIngan #tlh

2 comments Written on January 22nd, 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 Saturday, January 22nd, 2011, or as I like to think of it, Proverb Day.

We’ve been working toward this all week, so I won’t keep you in suspense. Here is this week’s proverb:

batlh bIHeghjaj This has the somewhat colloquial translation of: May you die well

Let’s break that down. Four words in English but only two words in Klingon, specifically a leftover and a verb.

The leftover is batlh, which we’d normally translate as honorably or with honor, but here we’re rendering as well.

The verb is bIHeghjaj. Let’s break this down into its three syllables for you, which you’ll quickly discover is a very useful way to approach Klingon verb phrases:

The three pieces are bI–, Hegh, and –jaj.

Most — though not all — verbs in Klingon will begin with a verb prefix. Knowing the person and number of the subject and object of a verb will help tell you what else you should be looking for in a sentence. In the case of bI– we know at a glance that any verb it attaches to is not acting on an object. bI– also tells us that the subject is singular and second person, or you, so other than a possible pronoun, we don’t need to waste time looking for a noun in the subject position anywhere in this sentence. Mind you, the sentence still has a subject, but it’s understood from the prefix and doesn’t need to be stated explicitly with a noun.

If a verb has a prefix, then the second syllable is always the verb itself, what we might want to think of as the “root.” If the verb doesn’t have a prefix, than the first syllable will be the verb root. In this case, it’s HegH die.

After the root come the verb suffixes. A verb may not have any suffixes, or may have many. Recall that in Klingon there are nine types of verb suffixes (plus a tenth “rover” category). In theory any verb can have suffixes from one or more of these categories, but will always follow two rules:

1) no verb can have more than one suffix from the same type.

2) suffixes always attach to the verb in ascending order (with the exception of certain “rover” suffixes), using the values associated with each type.

We’ve only talked about a few verb suffixes thus far, the Type 2 suffix –rup be ready, and the two Type 9 suffixes –wI’ one who does/is and –jaj may/let.

Following the rules above, we could have a word like: HoHrupwI’ which is a verb with both a Type 2 and a Type 9 suffix, and means something like one who is ready to kill.

We’ll talk more about the rules for suffixes over the coming weeks, particularly as you learn more of them.

For now though, practice today’s proverb a few more times.

batlh bIHeghjaj May you die well

And then ask yourself, can you really enjoy swapping in some of the other verb roots you already know. You won’t know until you try, so by all means, give it a try. And remember, qo’mey poSmoH Hol, Language Opens Worlds


2 comments “DaHjaj Hol 110122 #tlhIngan #tlh”

You forgot batlh when you said the proverb at the end of the lesson. bIHeghjaj by itself only means “may you die”.

Besides that, great lessons. I’m really enjoying them.

Whoops! Good catch, RKS.

I’ve uploaded a new version of the recording, and modified the post on my website.

Now to go tweak the twitter feed…

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