DaHjaj Hol 110601 – excessively #tlhIngan #tlh

3 comments Written on June 1st, 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.

For the opening day of June I have a special bit of chuvmey for you. The word is tlhoy. TLH, O, Y. tlhoy means overly, or to an excessive degree, or excessively, or too much. Let’s try it out.

tlhoy roumuluSngan DatIch
you overly insulted the Romulan

tlhoy chom vIHIv, ‘ach vIHoHnISbe’
I attacked the bartender excessively, but I did not need to kill him

ghaytan machechchugh tlhoy HIq wItlhutlh
likely if we are drunk, we drank ale too much

Maybe you’ll spend the rest of the day thinking of verbs phrases that you indulge in too much. Maybe this interest in excess will creep into your dreams and you’ll find yourself not merely dreaming in Klingon, but doing it overly much. If so, don’t be alarmed. It’s just another sign of worlds opening up because of the 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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3 comments “DaHjaj Hol 110601 – excessively #tlhIngan #tlh”

It’s worth noting that there’s another word that serves a similar purpose: ‘Iq = be too many, be too much


wa’Hu’ ram targh ‘Iq vISop. = I ate too much targ last night. [I should have stopped after the first 0.5 kg.]
wa’Hu’ ram tlhoy targh vISop. = I over-ate targ last night. [I shouldn’t have eaten the bones. / I should have tried a wider variety of foods.]

Similar yes, but grammatically very different. As an adverbial, tlhoy is modifying the verb (action or stative) of the phrase. On the other hand ‘Iq is a stative verb which you’re using (in your example) to modify the noun.

This produces a very different focus. One which some would argue is marked (i.e., drawing extra attention to itself) by virtue of emphasizing a noun, when generally speaking Klingon is all about the verbs.

Moreover, I didn’t bring up this comparison in the podcast because, while I agree it’s worth noting, at the moment it’s beyond the scope of the DaHjaj Hol podcast because we haven’t yet discussed using stative verbs to modify nouns.


While it’s true that Klingon is more verb-centric than English, it seems to me that when it is the quantity of liquor consumed that is relevant, rather than the manner in which said liquor was consumed, using ‘Iq simply makes more sense.

To quote Okrand:
When {tlhoy} is used, it denotes that the action expressed by the verb ({Sop} , {Qong} ) is what is being overly done or done too much.
Thus, the sentence:

{tlhoy qagh vISop}
I eat too much gagh / I eat gagh excessively / I overeat gagh

expresses the notion that the eating is excessive, not that the amount of gagh is. (Note that although it is possible to say this, it is not something anybody would be likely to ever say).

Good point though about not having covered stative verbs as noun modifiers; I had neglected to consider that.

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