qepHom 2019 Interview

Some of the new words of qepHom 2019 created questions by the Klingonists around the world. During the qepHom, Lieven L. Litaer talked to Marc Okrand to find answers. Here is the transcript of the interview.


  • In addition to the general term De'lor, a stalactite is always called pa' beb De'lor, not rav'eq De'lor.
  • DoylI' can have as many wheels as you wish.
  • raywal is a small house. The word is not used for a voting booth or so.
  • raywal "booth" is usually used for people, while a HuDyar is used for storage, but the meanings seem to overlap as they are both similar structures.
  • 'an "be petrified" maybe used in the meaning "be fossilized", if a plant turns into stone in that process.
  • 'an is only used for people it they are literally "turned into stone".
  • If loq can be used for a volcano remains unanswered.


LL: You said that SIntlher is not a scientific term?

MO: Neither is "dinosaur".

LL: If it's not a scientific term, what is it?

MO: Thats on the next list.

LL: Stalagtite is defined as pa' beb De'lor, what if there is a cave above? Is it called rav'eq De'lor?

MO: No, it's the same word, that's just what it's called. Once a word gets set, it's set - even if the meaning is not quite accurate in all situations. If someone said the other, people would understand, but it's an unusual way to say it. Plus: if it did vary each time, how would you know which word to use until you did full exploration?

LL: DoylI' is defined as a "pulled or pushed cart with two wheels" - can it have four wheels?

MO: It can have ten wheels. They typically have two, because they are typically small, but the number of wheels is not a defining or a limiting feature.

LL: raywal is translated "booth". What is a booth, in this case?

MO: Well, a little house, like this. [shows the shape of a house with his hands]

LL: Also phone booth?

MO: Yes, but it could be bigger. A phone booth is little, but a booth is bigger. Like downtown, for Christmas, they set up those little houses, you can use that word for that.

LL: What if the booth is inside the building and has only two walls, like a voting booth? If I have a room and I put two walls to separate an area, ist that called a booth?

MO: No.

LL: And if it has four walls?

MO: Well, it may be a booth in English, but in Klingon, it's a different word. Now you're gonna ask me what that word is, right?

LL: Of course I will.

MO: [laughs loudly]

LL: But for that voting booth, could I say like lapmeH raywal?

MO: If it's a little house, like a phone booth is...

LL: So if it stands inside a building?

MO: You can have a booth inside a building. That's not a problem. But if it's just a temporary little enclosure, that's not a booth. In English it might be.

LL: But the things at the Christmas market are also temporary?

MO: Yes, but they are structures, they're booths. [i.e. with walls and a roof]

LL: So if I put the same thing inside here, it's also that kind of booth, the raywal?

MO: Yes. Maybe we are thinking of voting booth in different ways.

LL: So what is a voting booth?

MO: It might be a wall like this, and then the same wall over there, and that's it. No ceiling, the wall doesn't go all the way to the top. That's a voting booth.

LL: So the basic requirements of a raywal is that all the walls are closed and it has a roof on top?

MO: Yes, it's a structure. Even if it didn't have a roof on top, it probably would be okay, but it normally has a roof.

LL: So does it include the little building I have in my backyard, where I store my lawn mower?

MO: Yes, but... Hm... No, that would be a shed, a HuDyar.

LL: So what's the difference then?

MO: A shed is for storage, a booth is a place you come up to... hm... [probably: for people]

LL: What about the place people wait in for the bus, which has only three walls and is open on one side?

MO: That's a shelter, in English, not a shed. A shed is closed and has a door. Where you put your lawn mower, that's a HuDyar, a shed.

[addition: It seems like while a shed is for storage, the booth is a place where people can gather or work or even live]

LL: Let's move to the next word, which is 'an "to be petrified". Can it be used for "be fossilized"? When things are petrified, they turn into a fossil.

MO: So what the difference?

LL: Is it maybe used poetic?

MO: Anything can be used poetic! (laughs)

LL: I think that not everything that is petrified turns into a fossil.

MO: "to be petrified" means turn to stone, change from whatever organic matter it somehow changed to stone. If a fossil did that, it's the same word. I'm not sure about the scientific process, but if it's the case that anything that became a fossil was organic matter that became a stone, then yes.

LL: Can "petrified" be used for people?

MO: In English, "petrified" means that I was really scared. The Klingon word can not be used in that sense. It is only used literally, "turn to stone", even if it's done by a magician or a superhero like you see in the movies. When somebody is turned to stone, and when you hit him, he cracks and breaks.

LL: loq has been used for be extinct animals. Can it be used for volcanoes? In The Little Prince, I used verbs like "sleeping" volcano...

MO: That's dormant. It means it hasn't done anything for a long time, but it might.

LL: ...and I've used Heghpu'bogh, a volcano that has "died".

MO: I like that better.

LL: But "died" is anthropomorphizing it.

MO: So is "extinct".

LL: But literally, a fire extinguisher also extinguishes a fire, so the fire is extinct.

MO: That's a very good question. I have to check on that first.
Category: Vocabulary    Latest edit: 08 Jul 2020, by WikiAdmin    Created: 18 Nov 2019 by KlingonTeacher
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