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« on: 02 08, 2012, 10:52: AM »

nunqneH. jIH 'oH chu' Daq vam Hol. jIH Sov jIH 'oH qab Daq 'oH. vay' QaH DIchDaq taH bel. jIH tul SoH DIchDaq taH laH Daq lan Dung tIhej jIH.
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« Reply #1 on: 02 08, 2012, 02:24: PM »

Maybe you could post what you wanted to say in English, and we can look at your Klingon attempt then.

Edited to add:

OK, I think I see what you were going for.

To be blunt, some of the words are correct, but otherwise... Do you have a copy of The Klingon Dictionary, or do you just have access to an on-line dictionary?  I don't think this is the proper place to teach someone Klingon from the ground up, but I'll make a few observations:

1. Klingon is not just a code for English. That is, you can't just use Klingon words to replace the English words in a sentence. It has it's own ways of combining word units and its own arrangement for making sentences. Your first sentence literally reads "I he to-be-new place this language." Probably not what you wanted. The closest actual Klingon translation for the idea "I am new at Klingon" would be tlhIngan Hol chu'wI' jIH. "I (am) a Klingon language newbie."

2. 'oH is not a form of the verb "to be". It's actually a pronoun. It can sometimes appear to act like "to be" in some kinds of sentences, but it is still a pronoun. tlhIngan jIH "I am a Klingon" really means something like "I (=) Klingon".

3. I don't know if self-promotion is against the forum rules, but if you want a simple idea of what Klingon grammar looks like, you can check out a page on my website I wrote a while ago.

4. Good luck!

« Last Edit: 02 08, 2012, 03:33: PM by ter'eS » Logged
Klingon formerly Known as Fraek
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In order to succeed, you must enjoy eating poison!

« Reply #2 on: 02 09, 2012, 02:07: AM »

Hi there!

I'm guessing you used the MrKlingon.org translator, or a similar one. However, please be aware that it simply translates word-by-word, and - as ter'eS mentions - that just doesn't work.

Now, ter'eS said most that needs to be said, but as an exercise, I figure I'd go through your post sentence by sentence, tell you what's wrong and what it should be.

This is commonly translated as "Hello", but this is not an accurate description; there is no Klingon word for hello, so the translator you used just used nuqneH as a substitute because it's the most common "greeting" in Klingon. What it really means is nuqneH, and, as such, doesn't really belong; it is you who want something, not we.
Here is a video that explains the word nuqneH.

Now, as I do this, you'll see that you made a lot of mistakes, and that Klingon is perhaps more complicated than you expected. I sincerely hope that you won't be scared off by this fact; we've all made countless mistakes in our efforts to learn Klingon, and I only point them out to you so that you can learn from them. Hopefully, when you've studied for a bit, you can come back to this post and realize just how much you've learned!
Also, I don't expect you to memorize everything I write here; I just hope this post gives you some insight as to what complications can arise when writing Klingon. It's these complications that make Klingon so difficult...  ...and so much fun Smiley

So, how does one open up a conversation in Klingon if there's no word for "Hello"? Simple: Just state your business! For example, if you want to learn Klingon, you can say tlhIngan Hol vIghoj vIneH. {Klingon language (I->it)-learn (I->it)-want}

jIH 'oH chu' Daq vam Hol.
I suppose you wanted to say "I'm new to this language", but - as ter'eS described - you can't write it like this.
  • jIH = I (or "I am")
  • 'oH = it (or "it's")
  • chu' = he/she/it is new (or "they are new")
    Quote from: Note on adjectives
    Klingon doesn't have adjectives in quite the same sense that English does. States like being new or old, hot or cold, heavy or light and so forth are instead expressed using verbs. So, if we take the word paq ("book") as an example, chu' paq means "the book is new".
    Now, there are several things to notice here. For one thing, how can a two-word Klingon sentence represent a four-word English sentence? Well, for one thing, Klingon doesn't really have a word for "the"; paq can either "a book" or "the book" (or even "books" or "the books", but I won't go into that here). Furthermore, the word "is" is baked into the word chu', which here means "it is new". So, we go from four words to just two!
    Another interesting thing is that the word order is opposite of what we might expect. If paq means "the book" and chu' means "[it] is new", shouldn't "the book is new" be paq chu'? The answer is "No!", because in Klingon, the standard word order is object-verb-subject, not subject-verb-object. So, to say "the baby (ghu) eats (Sop) the food (Soj", you kind of have to say "the food eats the baby" (Soj Sop ghu). It's actually a bit more complicated than that, but let's keep it simple for now.
    More on Klingon "adjectives" here
  • Daq - As a word, it means place. As a noun suffix, it means "to", "at" or the like. For example, nu'SIylanDaq SoHtaH means "You're in New Zeeland" (and Suverya'Daq jIHtaH means "I'm in Sweden"). You can see a quick guide to Klingon locative expressions here.
  • vam - This is a noun suffix (meaning "this"), and is useless by itself.
    Daj Holvam = {interesting language-this} = This language is interesting
    Dochvam vIneH = {thing-this (I->it)-want} = I want this thing
    quSvamDaq jIba' = {chair-this-at (I)-sit} = I sit in this chair
  • Hol - This means language. However, to say "at this language", you'd say HolvamDaq...  ...but you shouldn't say that, either, because you're not physically at the language. In Klingon, the suffix -Daq refers to physical locations, and not abstract concepts like "in English", "in fact" or "at large".
So, how to put it all together? Well, ter'eS gave you a very good suggestion: tlhIngan Hol chu'wI' jIH
Broken down, this is:
tlhIngan Hol = Klingon language = Klingon/Klingonese
chu'wI' = {new-(one who is)} = newbie, newcomer, one who is new
jIH = I/I'm

So, putting it all together: I'm a Klingon language newbie.

Got all that? No? Don't worry; you'll get the hang of it!
Now, on to the next sentence:

jIH Sov jIH 'oH qab Daq 'oH.
So, I'm guessing you wanted to write "I know I am bad at it". However, because Klingon grammar is almost opposite to English, it doesn't come anywhere close.
  • jIH = I/I'm
  • Sov - As a verb, this means "he/she/it/they know [it]". For example, "ter'eS knows this information" would be De'vam Sov ter'eS {info-this know ter'eS}. Also, as in English, you can say that you know a person. For instance, ter'eS Sov loghaD means "loghaD knows ter'eS".
    It can also be used as a noun. It then means "knowledge". lI' Sovvam = This knowledge is useful!
  • jIH = I/I'm
  • 'oH = it/it's
  • qab = he/she/it/they is bad
    qab ghaH = He is bad; qab ghaH = She is bad; qab 'oH = It is bad; qab paqvam = This book is bad
    (notice that ghaH can mean either "he" or "she" (or "he's" or "she's")

  • Daq - We discussed this above, already Smiley
  • 'oH - it/it's
So, how would I express this in Klingon? Not gonna go into detail on this, because if I did this post could get very, very long, but I'll list some examples.

Well, first of all, how does one say "I'm bad at it"?
I might recommend tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHbe' = {Klingon language (I->it)-speak-can-not} = I can't speak Klingon.
Another alternative is tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhchu'be' = {Klingon language (I->it)-speak-perfectly-not} = I don't speak Klingon perfectly.
A slightly more complex version is tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhmeH jIpo'be' = {Klingon language (I->it)-speak-(purpose) (I)-skilled-not} = I'm not skilled at speaking Klingon.

So, let's say we go with the first option - tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHbe'. How do we go from this to saying "I know I'm bad at it"?
In Klingon, to say "I know that [X]", you say [X] 'e' vISov.
'e' is a pronoun meaning roughly "the previous sentence".
It's ONLY used as the object of a sentence.
So, if [X] is tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHbe', we get tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHbe' 'e' vISov.

So, that was a bit more complicated. Don't worry if you don't understand all of it right away; you'll learn all of this in time.

Now, on to the next sentence:
vay' QaH DIchDaq taH bel.
Guessing you were going for "Any help would be nice" or the like.

  • vay' = anybody, anything - I wouldn't recommend using this word here. Instead, I'd recommend Hoch; I'll explain below.
  • QaH - As a verb, this means "he/she/it/they help(s)". For instance, loghaD QaH ter'eS means "ter'eS helps loghaD", and qaQaHlaH {(I->you)-help-can} means "I can help you".
    There's also a noun QaH that means "help, aid". QaH vIpoQ means "I need help", and QaH vIneH means "I want help".
  • DIchDaq - DIch means "certainty", so DIchDaq means something like "in certainty". However, as we've mentioned, the suffix -[/b]Daq[/b] refers to locations, not abstract contexts, so this makes no sense.
    Quote from: Note on the future tense
    The matter of how to say will/would/shall/should/etc. is not entirely simple, and I won't go into it here. Suffice to say that Klingon lacks tense, so qaQaH can mean "I help you", "I will help you" or "I helped you". Therefore, the matter of how to say shall/will/should/would is usually irrelevant.
  • taH = he/she/it/they endure(s), survive(s) - Used in the classic phrase taH pagh taHbe' ("It endures or it doesn't endure"), often translated to English as "to be or not to be". That's why the translator uses it to translate "be". However, in reality, there isn't really a Klingon word for "be".
  • bel = he/she/it is pleased (or "they are pleased")
So, how to express this in Klingon? Well, I might recommend jIHvaD lI' Hoch QaH.
  • jIHvaD = {me-for} = for me, to me
  • lI' = he/she/it is useful, they are useful
  • Hoch = all
  • QaH = help
Putting it all together: "All help is useful to me".

Alright, now, on to the last sentence:

jIH tul SoH DIchDaq taH laH Daq lan Dung tIhej jIH.
Guessing you wanted something like "I hope you wll be able to put up with me"

Before I get started, let me say that we can definitely put up with you; new learners are always welcome Smiley

  • jIH = I/I'm
  • tul = he/she/it/they hope(s)
  • SoH = you/you're (singular; plural is tlhIH)
  • DIchDaq - As I mentioned above, this makes no sense.
  • taH = he/she/it/they endure(s)/survive(s)
  • laH - As a noun, this means "ability". It's also a verb suffix, denoting ability. qaQaHlaH = "I can help you", tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaH = "I can speak Klingon"
  • Daq - place (noun) or verb suffix (see above).
  • lan = he/she/it/they place(s)/put(s) something(s) - For instance, quSDaq paq vIlan - "I place the book on the chair"; qachvamDaq quSmey vIlan = "I put the chairs in this building"
    Quote from: Note on idiomatic expressions
    "to put up with somebody/something" is an idiomatic expression meaning roughly "to tolerate". However, this meaning is quite separate from its literal interpretation, and therefore trying to translate it directly isn't wise. Indeed, this is true even between closely Earth languages such as English and Swedish (you wouldn't understand what I meant if I said "he put rhubarbs on my bike" or "places are first to the mill", just as I wouldn't understand the phrase "Jag hoppas att ni kan sätta upp med mig").
  • Dung = the area above, the area overhead - For example, quS DungDaq paq vIlan means "I place the book above the chair".
  • tlhej = he/she/it/they accompany him/her/it/them - There's no real Klingon word for "with", so the translator picked this word.
    Quote from: Note on "with"
    The matter of how to say "with" in Klingon is a bit complicated. For instance, to say "I drink tea with my friend", you say "My friend accompaneis me when I drink tea". Marc Okrand - creator of the Klingon language - explains here.
    • jIH = I/I'm
So, how should we put this?
We can follow a procedure similar to the one we used two sentences ago; we first translate "You can put up with me", and then we add 'e' vItul ("I hope that") to the end.

As I mentioned, "You can put up with me" is an idiomatic expression, so we shouldn't translate it directly. Instead, we will translate "You tolerate me", which is very simple: tuchergh.
tu- is a verb prefix meaning that the subject is second-person plural ("you"/"y'all") and that the object is first-person singular ("me"). In other words, it signifies "y'all do something to me".
chergh means "to tolerate", so tuchergh means "y'all tolerate me".
You can also add a -laH to the end to make it "y'all can tolerate me" (tucherghlaH), but I personally feel that's not necessary.

So, the whole sentence becomes tuchergh 'e' vItul - I hope you'll tolerate me.


...and that concludes this lesson! I hope you've learned something, and I hope that I haven't scared you away Smiley
Some of this may seem overwhelming right now, but you'll get the hang of it in time.

If you have any questions about what I've written here, just ask.
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« Reply #3 on: 02 09, 2012, 05:13: AM »

Haha, okay my first attempt was terrible. I'll try again when I've learned the basics. Thanks so much from the help Smiley I think I'll stick to English for a while but I'll be back eventually.
Klingon formerly Known as Fraek
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In order to succeed, you must enjoy eating poison!

« Reply #4 on: 02 09, 2012, 11:41: PM »

Haha, okay my first attempt was terrible. I'll try again when I've learned the basics. Thanks so much from the help Smiley I think I'll stick to English for a while but I'll be back eventually.
Righty-o; I'll be looking forward to seeing more of you in the future, then Smiley

If you have Twitter, go ahead and follow @kwotd if you'd like a Klingon Word of the Day (it's a public feed, so you can also just bookmark it if you're not on Twitter).
I can also recommend Lawrence M. Schoen's podcast DaHjaj Hol (used to be a daily podcast, but not anymore, but there are still over 365 episodes, so you can learn quite a bit from it).

First episode: http://www.lawrencemschoen.com/podcasts/dahjaj-hol-110101/
Archive: http://www.lawrencemschoen.com/2011/01/page/6/
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« Reply #5 on: 03 04, 2012, 02:07: AM »

nIDqa' jatlh tlhIngan Hol vIcheghpu'. majqu' wej jIH. tuQaH Dub vItul.
Klingon formerly Known as Fraek
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Posts: 397

In order to succeed, you must enjoy eating poison!

« Reply #6 on: 03 04, 2012, 02:18: PM »

nIDqa' jatlh tlhIngan Hol vIcheghpu'. majqu' wej jIH. tuQaH Dub vItul.
Huge improvement from last time Smiley

That being said, quite a few errors:

*nIDqa' jatlh tlhIngan Hol vIcheghpu'.*

Guessing you meant "I've returned to trying to speak Klingon."
For this, I recommend tlhIngan Hol vIjatlh 'e' vInIDqa'. - "Klingon language (I-it)-speak that (I-it)-try-resume."

[Here, 'e' means something like "that", or "the previous utterance". It can only ever be used as the object of a verb. Another example would be
lI' 'e' vISov. = "I know that it's useful." ; lI' 'e' vIHon. = "I doubt that it's useful."]

Note that chegh means to go back to a physical location; it does not mean "return" in the sense of "let's return to the matter at hand".
Besides, your use of nIDqa' makes this redundant, anyway.

*majqu' wej jIH.*

maj is an expression of satisfaction, not a verb. As such, you can't affix -qu' to it (at least not as far as we know).
QaQ means "to be good" in the sense of "it's of high quality". However, I think what you want is po' - "to be skilled".

Adverbs like wej go at the beginning of a sentence:
wej jIpo'qu'. = "I am not yet very skilled."

Another alternative is wej tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaHchu'. = "I can not yet speak Klingon perfectly."

Last but not least: Using a pronoun like jIH is not really necessary here, but even if you do, you must still use an appropriate pronomial prefix:
wej jIpo'qu' jIH.
Many klingonists would argue that adding the pronoun at the end adds emphasis to you, the subject: "I am not yet very skilled." Since I suspect this is not what you want, I suggest leaving it out.

*tuQaH Dub vItul.*

I recommend laHwIj vIDubmeH tuQaH 'e' vItul. = "I hope that you help me improve my skill."

  • laHwIj vIDubmeH = in order that I improve my skill
  • tuQaH = you (plural) help me
  • 'e' vItul = I hope that

laHlIj DaDubbejta'. wej pup 'ach bInIDqa'taHchugh bIpo'choHbejtaH.
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