This page is about calculating methods. For the usage of numbers, see the main page ➞ numbers.

Klingon Mathematics

Klingon Mathematics work a bit different than what terrans are used to. Maltz explained how to talk about simple arithmetic functions, specifically addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. There are several ways of talking about such things, but the most common involves using the verbs boq "ally with, form an alliance with" and chen "take form".(1)

Examples should make the usage of these words clear.


"4 + 3 = 7" would be wej boq loS; chen Soch, literally, "four allies with three; seven forms". It is also possible to reverse the two numbers being added: loS boq wej; chen Soch.

Note that in these mathematical constructions, the numbers, even those higher than "one," are considered singular from a grammatical point of view. One says wa' boq cha'; chen wej "2 + 1 = 3" (two allies with one, three forms"), not wa' luboq cha'... That is, the prefix lu-, indicating a third person plural subject and third person singular object, is not used. The subject ("two" in the example) is considered singular.


For subtraction, the suffix -Ha' "undo" is attached to boq producing boqHa', literally "dis-ally" or "dissociate from." Thus "4 - 3 = 1" would be loS boqHa' wej; chen wa', literally, "three dissociates from four, one forms".

When subtracting, the subject and object cannot be reversed without changing the equation. wej boqHa' loS would be "3 - 4" and the answer would be a negative number. (see below)


In Klingon, multiplication involves a number allying with itself. Thus, the suffix -'egh "oneself" is used: boq'egh "ally with oneself." It is the necessary to specify how many times this alliance occurs.

For example, "2 x 3 = 6" would be cha'logh boq'egh wej; chen jav, literally "twice, three allies with itself, six forms". The multiplier and multiplicand may be reversed: wejlogh boq'egh cha' ("3 x 2," "three times, two allies with itself").


The noun for "exponent" is qovDa'. Though there is a noun, the idea of raising a number to the power of something is generally expressed by using the verb Sep. (2)

23 = 8 ➞ wejlogh Sep'egh cha' chen chorgh.
literally: 2 breeds itself 3 times; 8 takes form.


Paralleling multiplication, division in Klingon involves a number dissociating from itself a specific number of times. The verb used is boqHa''egh "dis-ally from oneself, dissociate from oneself," containing both -Ha' "undo" and -'egh "oneself".

For example, "6 / 3 = 2" is wejlogh boqHa''egh jav; chen cha', "three times, six dissociates from itself, two forms". Reversing the dividend and the divisor changes the equation. javlogh boqHa''egh wej would be "3 / 6" and the answer would be a fraction (another topic Maltz didn't want to get into).


Use the verb loch "be a fraction of, make up a portion of, constitute part of":
wej loch cha' "2/3"; vagh loch wej "3/5"; loS loch jav "6/4". In theory, if appropriate in a mathematical discussion, one could say wa' loch wej "three one-ths". (Though perhaps a little grammatically aberrant, this would not be wa' luloch wej.))


The word for "decimal point" is vI', obviously related to the word vatlhvI' "percent". The decimal point is read where it appears in the number: HutmaH vI' jav wa' = 90.61 Do not use DoD, which is used as a separator in coordinates.

From the canon examples for the Bird of Prey poster, we can see that decimal numbers are always read separately, not as a unit. Don't say "zero point twenty-five", say "zero point two five". In case of the zero, it is possible to skip it and say just vI' loS for "0.4".


"Superimpose A and B" is A B je tIrmoHchu'. One way to say "superimpose A on(to) B" is B-Daq A lanchu'. (3)

See also


1 : matlh jup mu'mey, September 2000, HolQeD 9:3, p. 8-10

2 : qep'a' 2021

3 : qep'a' 2019

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