Numbers

Like many other languages, Klingon knows numbers going from 0-9, i.e. it uses a decimal system. In older times a ternary system (i.e. base 3) was used, but after prolonged contact with other cultures the more widely used decimal system was adopted(1).

General

Number Name
0 pagh
1 wa'
2 cha'
3 wej
4 loS
5 vagh
6 jav
7 Soch
8 chorgh
9 Hut

Positioning

  • When numbers are used to count things, they preceed them: wej Duj "three ships".
  • When numbers are used to label things, they follow the noun: Duj wej "ship number three"

Number forming elements

There are special words that work like suffixes for powers of ten. They are never used alone, however, but only in combination with other numbers 1-9. In paq'batlh, SaD law' was used to say "thousands". You can not say SaDmey or vatlhmey etc. (2)

Power Number word
101 10 -maH
102 100 -vatlh
103 1 000 -SaD / -SanID
104 10 000 -netlh
105 100 000 -bIp
106 1 000 000 -'uy'
107 10 000 000 -maH'uy' / -vatlhbIp
108 100 000 000 -vatlh'uy' / -SaDbIp / -SanIDbIp(3)
109 1 000 000 000 -Saghan(4)
1010 10 000 000 000 -maHSaghan / -netlh'uy'
1011 100 000 000 000 -vatlhSaghan / -bIp'uy'
1012 1 000 000 000 000 -SaDSaghan / -SanIDSaghan

For some unknown reason there are two words for 1,000, both are used equally(5).

Special numbers

When talking about numbers, an "odd number" is mI' mob and an "even number" is mI' mobHa'. In appropriate contexts, the mI' could be left out.(6)

The word for "infinity" is 'ejyaH. It is used like any number word. (7)

Punctuation

The word vI' (decimal mark) is used when spelling out decimal numbers. In much of the English-speaking world this is written as a period (.) while the rest of the world uses a comma (,). We do not know how this is written in native Klingon script.

There is another word used for separating coordinates, usually translated as "mark", DoD. It was used in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

He pagh pagh pagh DoD cha' yInab
Set a course to zero zero zero mark two

Examples

Number Translation
10 wa'maH
23 cha'maH wej
100 wa'vatlh
500 401 vaghbIp loSvatlh wa'
3.14159 wej vI' wa' loS wa' vagh Hut

Negative numbers

Use Dop to create negative numbers. wej Dop "minus three" or "negative three". Compare this to 'u' Dop "mirror universe". (8)

Random numbers

For random numbers, as when throwing dice, use the verb 'al "float" instead of Haw. mI' 'al "(a) random number"; 'al mI' "the number is random". There is also a slang expression Du'Hom mI' "random number" (literally "garden number"). (9)

Background information

The reason for having two words for the number 1,000 is that the scene in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was filmed in English first and dubbed in Klingon in post production. (10)

See also

References

1 : The Klingon Dictionary 5.2. p. 52

2 : qepHom 2019

3 : qep'a' 2020

4 : qep'a' 2019

5 : The Klingon Dictionary 5.2. p. 53

6 : qepHom 2017

7 : qep'a' 2021

8 , 9 : qep'a' 2019

10 : qep'a' 2021 Q&A session

Category: Vocabulary    Latest edit: 22 Aug 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 01 May 2014 by RejutkaLupex
History: r12 < r11 < r10 < r9 - View wiki text
 
The Klingon Language Wiki is a private fan project to promote the Klingon language. See Copyright notice for details.