Klingon Assistant – boQwI'

boQwI screenshot bortaS.png
Screenshot of boQwI'
boQwI' (pronunciation: S), also called "Klingon Assistant", is an Android and iOS app containing a lexicon dictionary for the Klingon language and a tool for analysing the grammar of Klingon words and sentences. To display different types of words, it's using a suggested color scheme described on the page coloring words.

Main app

The app was initiated in September 2012(1) by David Yonge-Mallo. Besides of the English database, the app is translated entirely into German by Lieven L. Litaer, into Portuguese by Thiago Matos and into Finnish by Iikka Hauhio. It also includes incomplete Swedish translations by Klingonska Akademien. A big advantage of the boQwI' app is the fact that it is being kept up to date regularly and usually contains new vocabulary immediately after it is published.

As of April 2018 boQwI' is also available for iOS. The iOS port does not yet support all of the features of the original Android version, but does include the full database in both English and German, and the main analysis functionality.

Text to speech engine

In 2016, a text-to-speech engine was added, which adds the ability of reading each word and phrase in the database. The heard voice is the one of the app's developer. This plug-in must be installed seperately.

New Words

In order to extend the Klingon-language user interface of the app, Maltz has offered some comments on it and revealed some useful expressions. The app programmer published those words to the mailing list split up in several messages. (2)

entries in a dictionary/database

For purposes of boQwI', "definition" would be jIyweS "translation, gloss." It's not a definition like in an English-only (or any-language-only) dictionary (that explains/describes a word's meaning); it's a quick tag to give you an idea of what the word means.

For "entry," Maltz suggests ghu'lIS "item in a list."

pong is okay for "name" in the sense you're using it here.

pab buv is good for "part of speech".

filtering, sources

To "filter" (in this sense) is yughmoH "include (that is, cause to be included)." So X neH yughmoH "filter for X only, include X only."

Neither Hal nor mung would be "source" in the literary sense (which I take to mean where a particular entry in boQwI' comes from). This would be nompuq "authority, evidence, attestation, reference, citation."

accounts and signing up

For signing up, and logging in and out of an account.
For the Netflix stuff connected with "Discovery," the word mab "agreement, treaty, contract" was used for "account," so I'd stick with that.

It follows that "register for" or "sign up for" (an account) would be qI' "sign [a treaty]." So "register for an account" is mab qI'.

Maltz says "sign/log in" is ngaQHa'moH (and "sign out" is ngaQmoH). People say mab ngaQmoH and so on, but this is a special formation, special argot, frozen form. Maltz said he thinks this may have been shortened from an earlier way to say it, something like mab Hung lojmIt ngaQmoH.

To "sign up" for an event is something else. That would be jeS 'e' Sap "volunteer to participate" (even if the signing up isn't all that voluntary). You'd say the same thing for signing up for something in advance and for deciding on the spot to participate in an event that's ongoing or about to start.

For an "[account, etc.] already exists" message:

For an account, you can use the account terminology: mab(vam) qI'lu'ta'.

some software terminology

A "bug" is a Qagh (not a ghew).


Depending on how it's used, "version" could be, as you suggest, nIqHom mI' or else qa'meH mI' "replacement number." nIqHom mI' might be limited to major updates (2.0 to 3.0) and qa'meH mI' for less drastic ones (2.0 to 2.1). (3)


The "bold" and "italics" refer not to Klingon, but to how definitions are displayed in Latin script (Klingon in bold, English translation in italics, like in TKD).

"Writing system" in general (pIqaD is just one of many in the world/galaxy) is ghItlhmeH Ho'DoS "system for writing." (Ho'DoS is "system, method, manner, technique." pat is "system" in the physical [or physical-like] sense, as in "computer system" [hardware or hardware and software together] or "transporter system" or "propulsion system." Ho'DoS is not that.)

For "font" or "typeface," you can use ngutlh tu'qom "written character appearance/form/shape."

For "bold," Maltz suggested pI' "fat." For "Italics," he said chongHa' "un-vertical."


Upper case and lower case is important when writing Klingon. Read more on ➞ case.
As you say, "case," "lower case," and "upper case" are not Klingon things, so there's no traditional Klingon jargon for this. Maltz said to just use "big" and "small": ngutlh tIn, ngutlh mach. For "ignore case," perhaps ngutlh Sar buSHa' "ignore written-character variety" or potlhbe' ngutlh Sar "written-character variety isn't important." (4)

lesson, tutorial

A "lesson" (like in a textbook – Lesson 1, Lesson 2, etc.) is ghojmeH mIw. (This is not "lesson" as in "Let this be a lesson to you!" That's ghuH.)

A "tutorial" could be X ghojmeH mIwmey "X lessons" (where X is the thing the tutorial is about – algebra, Roman history, a software program, whatever).


The traditional/old Klingon way of keeping score involves cutting oneself (pe''egh), and this is the term still in use.

A "tally" or "(total) score" follows the same tradition. They say mIvwa'mey, literally "scars" (even though, in traditional scorekeeping, the cuts turn to scabs and eventually go away). This term is also used for "census" or "headcount."

"Out of" is awkward. loSlogh pe''egh; vaghlogh nID "cut oneself four times; tried five times." This is the construction even if the person stopped after four and didn't really attempt the fifth.

Maltz wasn't sure how "statistics" would be distinguished from "tally" in this context, but maybe mIvwa'mey poj "tally analysis" or mI' poj "number analysis" would work.


This is in references to the "preferences" or "settings" page found in software.

Maltz thought that SeHlaw could work if it's referring to the whole page, not individual settings.

An individual "option" or "preference" is DuH. A "category" is buv "classification."


TKD glosses QIch as "speech (vocal sounds)." The notation "(vocal sounds)" is intended to denote that "speech" here means the phenomenon of speech as opposed to an address or oration – that's SoQ. So QIch doesn't refer to individual speech sounds or speech sounds collectively. An individual speech sound is QIch wab and speech sounds collectively are QIch wabmey.

"Pronunciation" could be QIch wab Ho'DoS, more literally (but awkwardly) "speech-sound manner, speech-sound technique."

mode, theme

I still don't understand why, but several people have asked for boQwI' to have a DIvI' tu'qom.

For "mode," use lo' "use" (noun). "Night mode" would be ram lo' "night use, night usage." "Search mode" could be SammeH lo'. (nejmeH lo' also works; depends on how confident you are in your search engine apparently.) "Lesson mode" could be ghojmeH mIw lo'.

For "theme," tu'qom "appearance, configuration" should work.

Not so new words

The following contains information on existing words and how they should or could be applied to translating compter terms:(5)

To my suggestion that the "random" button (which brings up a random entry) might be labeled SuD.
Yes. Use SuD.

One of the features in boQwI' is Chris Lipscombe's Klingon Word Of The Day, which schedules a download daily from the KAG server when the app is online. This led to the following three comments:

For "feature," is there any reason not to use laH "ability"?
(I agreed with Maltz that laH expresses what I wanted with "feature", which is why I thought it's okay to release it even though what he wrote was phrased as a question.)

When a computer (computer system) is "online," it's said to be "sharing," so make use of lIn. ("Offline," then, would make use of lInHa'.)

"Schedule" in this sense is the same as "plan," so make use of nab.

See also


1 : Commits on Sep 13, 2012 on GitHub

2 : announcement in the mailing list by David Yonge-Mallo, of February 17, 2018

3 : message to the mailing list by David Yonge-Mallo, of February 16, 2018

4 : announcement in the mailing list by David Yonge-Mallo, of February 25, 2018

5 : message to the mailing list by David Yonge-Mallo, of February 25, 2018

External links

Category: Software    Latest edit: 12 Nov 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 10 Apr 2014 by KlingonTeacher
History: r26 < r25 < r24 < r23 - View wiki text
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