Note: This topic describes Klingon names used by real humans. Maybe you like to see a list of canon Klingon names.

Klingon names

Many people on the email discussion forum use a klingon name instead of their real name. Some use it being part of a fictive klingon character they have created for roleplaying or just to remain anonymous, while most people just use it as a second name, or an internet pseudonym. It might sometimes happen that people are known better with their Klingon name than with their real name, like for instance Captain Krankor.

How do I choose a klingon name?

(1) A name is a name. It's what you want to call yourself. From what we've seen in Klingon, names do not necessarily mean anything on the surface, they're just sounds. Just what you'd like to be called. Some people like to make up a name that's an epithet, that has a meaning. So Will Martin calls himself charghwI' conqueror , based on his first name and a reference to William the Conqueror. Alan Anderson calls himself ghunchu'wI' perfect programmer. Some people like to transliterate their real names into Klingon orthography, hopefully careful not to break Klingon phonology. Some people like to pick just some random string of sounds they like the sound of. I use Seqram, which is based on my name, Mark S., spelled backwards, but it doesn't mean anything. It's what YOU want to be called. Have a blast.

(2) A name should probably be a single word, rather than several. A name may have a meaning, though it is at LEAST as valid to make one up which has no meaning at all. The major danger here is, of course, that Okrand might later define such a name to mean something you might not like.

It should preferably be made of "legal" Klingon syllables. By that, I mean:

The character combinations ch , gh , ng , and tlh are each considered to be a single consonant, since they are effectively letters of the Klingon alphabet. Also the apostrophe (glottal stop) is considered to be a consonant as is the y . Most Klingon syllables consist of a single consonant followed by a single vowel followed by another consonant. Some syllables lack the final consonant. Some syllables have two consonants after the vowel, but that is only true for the combinations rgh , y' , and w' . Some names here do not follow these conventions. One presumes these persons were named during some other Emperor's occupation, or from some area dominated by another dialect.

It is strongly preferred that your name be unique. So far, that has not been a problem here. I got mine as a derivative of my Human name. William had no direct translation, but William, the Conqueror fit well into charghwI' . Krankor (Qanqor), so far as I know, just made his name up. Holtej chose his name from his profession (like Qel). It is a personal decision. You should probably spend a little time thinking about it until you find the sound that you will be satisfied to be called by for a long time.

That is, after all, the most important part of the decision.

How do I translate "Bubba" (or any name) into Klingon?

(3) I may have more to say on this thread later, but just think about it a second. How do I say "Mark Shoulson" in Japanese? What does that question mean? Does it mean how would a Japanese speaker pronounce my name to fit the language (maruku shyurusan or something)? Or translate the old, nearly forgotten meanings? Or what? In what sense can you ever say a proper name in a foreign language? What is Binyamin Netanyahu's name in English? Binyamin Netanyahu? Benjamin? "Son-of-the-right-hand God-has-given"?

Languages aren't some simple process you can apply to all spoken items to get one appropriate for each language. A name, usually, is just a name.

See also


1 : by Mark Shoulson, Tue, 10 September 1996, imported from the Mailing list's FAQ, with kind permission of its compiler d'Armond Speers

2 : by William Martin, Sat, 6 May 1995, imported from the Mailing list's FAQ, with kind permission of its compiler d'Armond Speers

3 : by Mark Shoulson, Mon, 8 July 1996, imported from the Mailing list's FAQ, with kind permission of its compiler d'Armond Speers

Category: General    Latest edit: 10 Jul 2020, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 11 Mar 2014 by KlingonTeacher
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