DaHjaj Hol 111116 why? #tlhIngan #tlh

2 comments Written on November 16th, 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.

As you’ve come to learn, Wednesdays have become question-word days, and today is no exception. Allow me to introduce you to qatlh. Lowercase Q, A, TLH. qatlh means why? It works like chay’ / how? and ghorgh / when?, by which I mean it occurs at the beginning of a sentence, and transforms that statement into a why? question. Pay close attention to the following examples and you’ll understand what I mean:

qatlh loDvetlh HoH mughato’
why did the mugato kill that man?

qatlh bIbepbe’ narghta’pa’ HoD
why didn’t you complain before the captain escaped?

qatlh tlhoy HIq Datlhutlh DuropchoHmoH
why do you drink too much ale if it will make you sick?


You could take any Klingon sentence you’ve ever uttered up to this point, and turn it into a question with today’s word. You could do it deliberately, or you could ease into it and just let it happen. Either way, you’ll be opening new worlds through language. qo’mey poSmoH Hol.

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2 comments “DaHjaj Hol 111116 why? #tlhIngan #tlh”

I love the example:

qatlh tlhoy HIq Datlhutlh DuropchoHmoH why do you drink too much ale if it will make you sick?
Instead of using a single sentence with a subordinate if-clause, it uses two sentences: A question and a statement.
I feel it does a good job showing how Klingon sentence structure is often very different from English.

I was pleased to have come up with that one myself. For me, it really illustrates how you can use qatlh to full advantage.

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