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Revelations of new rules inside paq'batlh

The paq'batlh, translated by Marc Okrand in 2010 for the opera 'u' and released at qepHom Saarbrόcken in 2011, contains a handful of new rules and interesting constructions. Thanks to Agnieszka Solska ('ISqu') for collecting this information.

Marc Okrand mentioned that he didn't write some of the footnotes nor did he translate the chapter titles. He was flipping through the book when he stopped at a page and pointed at a footnote and said something along the lines of he hadn't seen that before or didn't remember seeing it before. One of this was the explanation of petaQ on p. 70. He then said that some of the non-Klingon parts of the text were not written by him, or were changed from his draft. The gist of it was that outside of the main body of the text, we can't assume that everything was written by Okrand.

Note: Punctuation has been added for easier reading. There in no punctuation in the Klingon text of paq'batlh.

New words and expressions

For an entire list of new vocabulary released in paq'batlh, see new words released at qep'a' 18.

QBV or qeylIS bov nubwI' – before the era of Kahless (p. xiv)

QIch lut – narrator style (a type of literary style) (p. xvii)

jachwI'na' – "true screamer", Master of the Scream, the traditional narrator role in Klingon opera (p. xvii)

may' ghe'naQ – battle opera (a type of Klingon opera (p. xix)

QB or qeylIS bov – the era of Kahless (p. xxi)

New uses of known words

ghal – n. envoy (p. 40) One could assume that Okrand mistook the verb ghal, which means "to envy", for the similar-looking noun "envoy". Okrand has confirmed it's an error.

De'vID asked Okrand about this at the 10th qepHom'a' in 2011. He said that he didn't remember supplying the Dramatis Personae (so it might have been compiled by someone else after the main text was finished), but he took responsibility for not catching the error during final proofreading. (So if someone is worried that ghal might be canonised as a noun meaning "envoy", you can relax; Okrand has said it's an error.)

'opleS – n. one day

qeylIS loDnI' 'opleS chovan.
One day, brother Kahless, You will bow for me.
(pp 58-59)

wa'DIch – num. first, used as a time stamp
(pp 103, 149, 182; also revealed by Okrand at qep'a' 17)

wa'DIch Hegh moratlh
First, Morath fell
(pp 148-149)

This makes the controversial fragment in the anthem taHjaj wo' perfectly legitimate:
'ach Heghmaj yIpIHQo' ghaytan wa'DIch jagh'e' wIHeghmoHmo'

bI'reS – n. first, used as a time stamp

bI'reS qeylIS vaq molor.
First, Molor taunts Kahless.
(pp 140-141)

je – possibly meaning "even" unless this is merely how MO chose to phrase the corresponding line in English.

chalqachDaq bIQaDbe' je.
Even in a tower you are not safe.
(pp 158-159)
mI' number (of), quantity

tlhInganpu' Hem mI' nIb
an equal number of proud Klingons (p. 119)

unobvious words and phrases

yeqchuqchu'taHghach – n. unity (pp 138-139)

maS loQ So'be'bogh QIb – n. crescent moon (pp 138-139)

nuH'e' qengbogh mangghomvam
luDel 'e' ra' molor
lujang maS'e' loQ So'be'bogh QIb lurur
Molor asks them
What weapons this army carries,
They reply, shaped as the crescent moon.

SaD law' – thousands (pp 170-171)

quqtaHvIS wanI'vam – at the same time (pp 139-140)

bIHeghqu' – You will die well (pp 142-143)

ghu' Dachupbogh – (your) proposal (pp 144-145)

Verb used as nouns?

puj – n. weakness

nItebHa' molor HI''a' SuvvIpghach puj je HarghmeH yeq chaH
United to do battle together! Against fear and against weakness!
(pp 118-119)

note by De'vID: I read puj as an adjective here when I first read it SuvvIpghach puj "weak fear of fighting", and read the je as connecting that and molor HI''a'. It's not an impossible reading, though SuvvIpghach puj is a very confusing term. You're probably right that puj is a noun here.

The sections of the book are called paq'yav, paq'raD, and paq'QIH. yav and QIH exist as nouns, but raD is a verb only (AFAIK). But perhaps book or chapter titles do not follow normal grammatical rules. The incorrect use of the apostrophe in those book names show that these are an old klingon spelling.


'Ip pab – keep a promise (pp 59-60)
puq qeng – carry a child (of a pregnant woman) (pp 184-185)
X San chenmoH – decide the fate of somebody/something (pp 166-167)
ghu' chup – make a proposal (pp 144-145)

Seemingly illegal structures

1. N-suffix 5 N

The rule spelled out in TKD 3.4. is: "When the noun-noun construction is used, only the second noun can take syntactic suffixes (Type 5)".

In "paq'batlh" I found two fragments that go against this rule:
qamchIyDaq 'uQ'a'
The Feast at Qam-Chee
(pp 126-127)

SaqSubDaq chegh
Return to the Saq'sub
(pp 118-119, 202-203)

Assuming that here chegh does function as a noun. Both of these are chapter headings and were not translated by Okrand.

2. Verb-suffix 7 + jaj

The rule spelled out in TKD 3.4. is: "When it (i.e. -jaj) is used, there is never a Type 7 aspect suffix.".

We've seen many examples that go against this rule. paq'batlh contains (at least) two more:

Hochlogh Dat joqtaHjaj
May it beat forever, anywhere.
(pp 102-103)

reH batlh SuvtaHjaj ghaH
Let endless battle and honor await him!
(pp 186-187)

3. vegh in the sense of "traverse"

According to HolQeD 6:3, pp. 5-8, the word only means to go through an opening of some sort, such as an open door or a tunnel, and it explicitly does not mean "to traverse" so, for instance, it cannot be used to translate such sentences as "A woman goes through a forest."

In "paq'batlh" there is a sentence that does not follow this rule, unless we agree that the river flowing through Gre'thor may be perceived as some kind of passageway:

ghe'tor vegh Duj
The barge went through Gre'thor
(pp 190-191)

Comparing adverbs

There is a line in the book possibly indicating how to compare adverbs:

nom leng Hun nom lengqu' lut
Stories travel faster than a khrun
(pp 130-131)

Unless the line in English is merely a loose, poetic interpretation of the Klingon text, we should at last be able to express such ideas as:

nom leng DujlIj, nom lengqu' DujwIj.
My ship is faster than yours._

QIt tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh, QIt tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhqu'.
I speak Klingon more slowly than you._

batlh bIvang, batlh vangqu' HoDlI'.
Your captain acts more honorably than you._

pIj mon romuluSnganpu', pIj monqu' tera'nganpu'.
Terrans smile more often than Romulans.


batlh naDev SuDab - Welcome to this place (pp 104-105)

Perhaps depending on the context the English expression "Welcome" could be translated as batlh naDev bIpaw, batlh naDev SuSuch, etc.

So should you

(...) vaj choDanIS – (I've done something) and so should you

I have kept my word of honor, And so should you, jIlay'ta' 'ej batlh jIpabta' vaj choDanIS (pp 150-151, 186-187)

I wonder if we can use Da to express the English "So do you/So does he/etc." constructions:

I eat meat and so does he. ??Ha'DIbaH vISop vaj/(?'ej) muDa.

Speak to someone about something

How do you make of the following line?

quv HIja'chuqQo'
Don't speak to me of honor
(pp 156-157)

See also

Category: Canon    Latest edit: 08 Jul 2020, by WikiAdmin    Created: 24 Aug 2014 by KlingonTeacher
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