DaHjaj Hol 110524 – mugato #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.

Today I get to share one of my favorite nouns with you. It’s mughato’. M, U, GH, A, T, O, Apostrophe. mughato’ means… well, it means mugato. Yeah, that’s not really helpful, but it illustrates an important point. A mugato is an alien animal, kind of like an albino gorilla with an enormous horn. But that’s not the point. The point is, typically the names of things that are only found in specific places don’t translate well. At best, they get mapped onto the sound system of the other language – as is the case with mughato’. I tell you this because sooner or later someone is going to ask you what the Klingon word for something like guacamole is. Right. They’re not going to stop and work through the mental gymnastics of how unlikely it is that a culture belonging to an alien race from a distant part of the galaxy might develop guacamole. No, instead they will mock you for not knowing the word. At this point you have to defend your honor as a language warrior, and the best weapon for that is words. In such situations, I like to reply with “what’s the English word for taco?” Right. It’s taco.

The point of today’s podcast is that while language opens worlds, sometimes it does so on the very world where we began. 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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