Ring N/X: 10/11: Klingon

Philip Newton
[ Relay 11 | Ring E | Ring N/X | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Klingon | Smooth English | Interlinear | From Sslass | Orthography | Grammar | Vocabulary | Remarks ]

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Klingon

  1. Ha'DIbaH chabmey vutmeH

  2. tlhagh, naghHommey na', tIr taplu'pu'bogh je tIDuDchu'.
  3. nIm yIchel.
  4. Sor Hap HabDaq Soj yIlan.
  5. Ha'DIbaH yIpe'. 'ay'mey tIn yIchenmoH.
  6. 'ay'mey, naHmey tlhorgh, naghHommey na' je tIDuDchu'.
  7. Soj yI'uy.
  8. moQmey pI' yIchenmoH. Hoch moQ tIn law'nIS, naHlet tIn rap.
  9. loQ tInchoHbe'taHvIS moQmey pI', tI'uytaH.
  10. Hoch moQ botlhDaq Ha'DIbaH 'ay'mey tIlan.
  11. cha' patlhmey DachenmoHmeH Hoch moQ yI'uyqa'.
  12. Doqbe'taHvIS chabmey tImIQ.

Smooth Translation

  1. Recipe for cooking meat dumplings

  2. Completely mix fat, salt, and ground grain.
  3. Add milk.
  4. Place the food onto flat wood.
  5. Cut meat into large pieces.
  6. Completely mix the meat with herbs and salt.
  7. Knead the mixture.
  8. Make fat spheres. Each sphere needs to be as big as a nut.
  9. Continue kneading the spheres until they have become a little bigger.
  10. Place pieces of meat in the middle of each sphere.
  11. Press the spheres again in order to make two layers.
  12. Fry the dumplings until they are orange-yellow.

Interlinear

Ha'DIbaH chabmey vutmeH
Ha'DIbaH chab-mey vut-meH
n n vt
Recipe for cooking meat dumplings

tlhagh, naghHommey na', tIr taplu'pu'bogh je tIDuDchu'.
tlhagh, nagh-Hom-mey na', tIr tap-lu'-pu'-bogh je tI-DuD-chu'.
n n vi n vt conj vt
Completely mix fat, salt, and ground grain.

nIm yIchel.
nIm yI-chel.
n vt
Add milk.

Sor Hap HabDaq Soj yIlan.
Sor Hap Hab-Daq Soj yI-lan.
n n vi n vt
Place the food onto flat wood.

Ha'DIbaH yIpe'. 'ay'mey tIn yIchenmoH.
Ha'DIbaH yI-pe'. 'ay'-mey tIn yI-chen-moH.
n vt n vi vi-(t)
Cut meat into large pieces.

'ay'mey, naHmey tlhorgh, naghHommey na' je tIDuDchu'.
'ay'-mey, naH-mey tlhorgh, nagh-Hom-mey na' je tI-DuD-chu'.
n n vi n vi conj vt
Completely mix the meat with herbs and salt.

Soj yI'uy.
Soj yI-'uy.
n vt
Knead the mixture.

moQmey pI' yIchenmoH. Hoch moQ tIn law'nIS, naHlet tIn rap.
moQ-mey pI' yI-chen-moH. Hoch moQ tIn law'-nIS, naHlet tIn rap.
n vi vi-(t) * n vi vi n vi vi
Make fat spheres. Each sphere needs to be as big as a nut.

loQ tInchoHbe'taHvIS moQmey pI', tI'uytaH.
loQ tIn-choH-be'-taH-vIS moQ-mey pI', tI-'uy-taH.
adv vi n vi vt
Continue kneading the spheres until they have become a little bigger.

Hoch moQ botlhDaq Ha'DIbaH 'ay'mey tIlan.
Hoch moQ botlh-Daq Ha'DIbaH 'ay'-mey tI-lan.
* n n n n vt
Place pieces of meat in the middle of each sphere.

cha' patlhmey DachenmoHmeH Hoch moQ yI'uyqa'.
cha' patlh-mey Da-chen-moH-meH Hoch moQ yI-'uy-qa'.
num n vi-(t) * n vt
Press the spheres again in order to make two layers.

Doqbe'taHvIS chabmey tImIQ.
Doq-be'-taH-vIS chab-mey tI-mIQ.
vi n vt
Fry the dumplings until they are orange-yellow.

This gives only the parts of speech and marks affixes. The root of each word is marked with the part of speech beneath it; things before this are prefixes (only on verbs) and things after this are suffixes (on verbs and nouns). I recommend a fixed-width font for this interlinear.

Symbols used: n = noun, vi = intransitive verb, vt = transitive verb, conj = conjunction, adv = adverb, num = number.

A special case is verbs with the suffix -moH, which turns an intransitive verb into a transitive one (see the glossary under '-moH'); such verbs are marked with 'vi' under the stem and '(t)' under the suffix.

Another special case is 'Hoch', which is considered a noun by Klingon grammarians but when put before another noun it doesn't act like other noun-noun combinations; I'm marking it '*'. Again, see the glossary entry.


Translation from Sslass

  1. Prey food tasting of meat

  2. Mix thoroughly oil and bitter white stone and tasteless white powder
  3. and add blood of life as needed/if necessary.
  4. Put uncooked prey food to flat wood legs.
  5. Cut boiled meat large pieces.
  6. Mix thoroughly pieces and plants of healing to taste(?) and few tiny bits of bitter white stones and bitter white plant.
  7. Press uncooked prey food stones.
  8. Make/form form/object round-fat-stone big like big-nut.
  9. Go press-ing until round-fat-stone somewhat high(er).
  10. Put small pieces of meat in-each middles of stones.
  11. Fold each stones in-two pieces.
  12. Cook in hearth until shining-like-the-sun.

Orthography

Note that capitalisation matters in Klingon; 'q' is not the same sounds as 'Q'. If a word beginning with a lower-case letter comes at the beginning of a sentence, the word is nevertheless written with that letter in lower-case. Beware also of the letters 'l' (lower-case ell) and 'I' (upper-case eye), which look similar in some fonts; you may wish to use a font that distinguishes them in order to read this.

Grammar

The basic sentence structure is O-V-S. Adverbials typically occur at the beginning of a sentence; this includes phrases describing the location (noun with {-Daq}) of an action. It may be easiest to identify the main verb in a sentence first, then any adverbials that may be present; the remainder, in a simple sentence, will be object (before the verb) and/or subject (after the verb). Note that an intransitive verb following a noun is probably an adjective, as described below, since a subject must come after its verb.

Verbs are marked with a prefix indicating both the subject and the object (a special case is the null prefix, which indicates 3rd person subject and 3rd person object or no object, except for the combination plural subject and singular object). Note that due to this marking, the subject and/or object can be omitted; for example, compare {QImmey tISop} "eat the eggs!" and {tISop} "eat them!" (QIm, egg), where the second has the prefix indicating a plural object, even though no object is mentioned in the sentence; similarly, the subject may be omitted in sentences such as {Soj Sop} "he/she/it eats the food" (Soj, food; Sop, eat).

Verbs are not marked for tense (present, past, future); however, there are aspect markers such as {-pu'} which marks the perfective aspect (indicating a completed action, though the completion may be in the past, present, or future) or {-taH} which marks a continuing or ongoing action.

An intransitive verb coming after a noun acts as an adjective (e.g. {puq} "child" and {mach} "be small" give {mach puq} "the child is small" and {puq mach} "(a/the) small child"). In such a noun-verb combination, the locative suffix -Daq is placed on the adjective-verb, not the noun.

Nouns can modify one another in the sequence possessor-possessed (e.g. {puq} = child; {juH} = home; {puq juH} = the child's home / a child's home / a home of the child / the home of a child); any of the nouns in such a noun-noun construction may also be followed by adjectives or suffixes. There are no definite or indefinite articles.

The suffix {-lu'} marks an indefinite or unknown subject; a sentence such as {Soj Soplu'} (Soj, food; Sop, eat) means "someone eats the food; one eats the food" and could also be translated into a passive sentence: "the food is eaten". Such a sentence may not have an overt subject in Klingon.

Sentences are transformed into relative clauses by adding {-bogh} to the verb; the head noun of this clause can be either the subject or the object of the original sentence. In combination with the {-lu'} suffix, the head noun must be the object of the verb, since there is no overt subject, so the meaning is "(the) X which someone Y's/Y'ed" or "the Y'ed X".

Locative phrases deserve a bit of explanation: instead of prepositions, Klingon uses noun-noun constructions with the {-Daq} locative suffix on the secound noun. For example, from {raS} "table", {yor} "exterior top", and {Dung} "area above", we get {raS yorDaq} "at the table's exterior top = on top of the table" and {raS DungDaq} "at the table's area-above = over the table, above the table". If there is no second locative noun, {-Daq} has a generic locative meaning, "in, at, on, by".

Special note on {law'} and {rap}: the Klingon construction {A Q law', B Q rap} (with A, B nouns and Q "adjective") means "A is as Q as B". (Literally, "A's Q is many; B's Q is the same".)

{-vIS} always occurs together with {-taH} (i.e. nearly always as {-taHvIS}) and means "while". Such a clause can come before or after the main clause, e.g. {SIStaHvIS jIbom} "While it raings, I sing" or {jIbom SIStaHvIS} "I sing while it rains". Special hint on its interaction with {-be'}: English has a special word for "while not..."; consider a sentence such as "I pour water into a glass while it is not full" -- what word would you use to represent both "while" and "not" in a sentence such as "I pour water into a glass ____ it is full"?

A little extra challenge: line 12 has two separate clauses, each with its own verb; the noun in the middle could belong to either of them, since no comma is placed :) If it belongs to the first clause, what argument of the clause's main verb is it? If it belongs to the second clause, what argument of that clause's main verb is it? Does this make a difference to the translation?


Vocabulary

Nouns

botlh center, middle
chab pie, tart, dumpling
Ha'DIbaH animal, mammal, meat
Hap matter (see also under "Sor")
moQ sphere
nagh rock, stone, ceramic material
naH fruit, vegetable, salad
naHlet nut
nIm milk
patlh rank, level, layer
Soj food
Sor tree
Sor Hap wood
tIr grain
tlhagh fat
'ay' section, part, component, piece

Noun Suffixes

-Daq locative; see grammar notes.
-Hom diminutive
-mey plural (for inanimate nouns)

Verbs

chel (vt) add
chen (vi) build up, take form
chenmoH (vt) form, make, create
Doq (vi) be orange, red, yellow
DuD (vt) mix
Hab (vi) be smooth
lan (vt) place
law' (vi) be many, be numerous. See grammar notes.
mIQ (vt) free, deep-fry
na' (vi) be salty, be brackish
pe' (vt) cut
pI' (vi) be fat
rap (vi) be the same. See grammar notes.
tap (vt) mash, squash
tIn (vi) be big
tlhorgh (vi) be pungent (referring to food)
vut (vt) prepare (food), make (a beverage), cook
'uy (vt) press down

Verb Prefixes

Da- subject = you (singular); object = him/her/it/them
tI- subject = you (singular or plural; imperative); object = them
yI-
subject = you (singular; imperative);
object = (none)/him/her/it -OR-
subject = you (plural; imperative);
object = him/her/it
(none)
subject = he/she/it; object = (none)/him/her/it/them -OR-
subject = they; object = (none)/them

Verb Suffixes

-be' not (see also the grammar notes for its interaction with {-taHvIS})
-bogh relative-clause marker: which, that. See grammar notes.
-choH change in state, change in direction; become; start to (be/do)
-chu' clearly, perfectly, completely
-Daq (see noun suffixes and grammar notes)
-lu' indefinite subject: indicates that the subject is unknown, indefinite, and/or general. The verb cannot have a subject. Sentences using -lu' are often translated into English passive voice. See grammar notes.
-meH purpose-clause marker: for, for the purpose of, in order to. The purpose clause always precedes the noun or verb whose purpose it is describing. (In titles, such a purpose clause sometimes stands alone, indicating that the document describes how to do X.)
-moH causative; turns an intransitive verb "X does Y" into a transitive verb meaning "A causes X to Y" (the subject of the intransitive verb becomes the object of the transitive verb)
-nIS need; must
-pu' perfective
-qa' do again, resume; indicates that an action stopped, then began again
-taH continuous; indicates that an action is ongoing
-vIS (always together with -taH) subordinate-clause marker: while. See grammar notes.

Others

cha' (num) two
Hoch (n)
(followed by singular noun:) every, each;
(followed by plural noun:) all;
(alone:) everyone, everything
je (conj) and: {A B C je} = "A and B and C"
loQ (adv) slightly, a little bit

Remarks

There were a couple of concepts that had no words and where I couldn't "talk around them" easily, so I neologised a little; you may have to use a little bit of imagination when interpreting one or two words. If they seem like weird descriptions of familiar Earth concepts, they probably are intended to be :)

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June 14th, 2005
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