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screenshot from Season 1 trailer

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close up with Klingon letters

Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated comedy series based on Star Trek, created by the makers of "Rick and Morty". The frist season premiered on August 6, 2020, on CBS All Access (now Paramount+) and consists of 10 episodes. The second season started in August 2021 with 10 more episodes. (1)

Klingon language

There has been no public announcement about the Klingon language used in the show. There is no Klingon expert mentioned in the credits, but David Mack was listed as "consultant" once. He turned out to be responsible for the research of some Klingon words (see below). Marc Okrand was mentioned in the credits as "dialect coach" and "translator" for episode 2.03 and 2.09. It is unsure who made the other appearances of Klingon.

1.01 - Second Contact

Only one Klingon word appeared in this episode, when Mariner tells Boimler that he'd be her cha'DIch.

1.02 - Envoys

A huge gate carrying the Klingon trefoil also had some Klingon letters: qoznoshom read as Qo'noSHom, which means (from a grammatical literal interpretation) "lesser Kronos" or "minor Kronos" or as these types of areas are often named in English, "Little Kronos".

Shop signs

At a bazar, several stores show their signs using pIqaD:
  • kag transcribed as qagh, meaning "Gagh".
  • The word nuHmey ("Weapons") was seen as a sign of a weapons store, also written in pIqaD. Compare nuhmey.
  • A small sign has the letters suy, i.e. Suy merchant
  • A pottery store has the letters fevwiz, i.e. ngevwI' seller
  • A nearly invisible barrel bears the letters ganvel ghanvel, which has no known meaning. These letters are not written using the pIqaD font, but seem like handwritten.

At the first encounter with General K'orin, Boimler welcomes him with the common greeting nuqneH. He pronounces it as nuHneH.

After a short mock battle with Mariner, the Klingon says "Starfleet has made you soft, Mariner!" and she replies with "Not as soft as your ngech, K'orin!" The Klingon word is pronounced incorrectly as ne-geH, i.e. with a hard G. The subtitles show the word ngech, literally "valley", which can be used as a slang term for "cleavage."

Shuttle song

While flying in the shuttle, the main character Mariner gets drunk with a Klingon and sings a song with him. As the subtitles just say "both singing in Klingon", it is hard to know what they sing. What they sing sounds somewhat like yIH naHchu', jaj DIteq 'ej najHomvam machuch, which does not make any sense. Fixing the common pronunciation errors, a possible meaning of the phrase turns out to:

ghIq nachDu'chaj DIteq 'ej nach Homvo' matlhutlh
"We tear off their heads and drink from the skulls."

Further research turns out that it was Star Trek Author David Mack who had secretly contacted members of the "Learn Klingon" group on Facebook in 2019 asking for an adequate translation, knowing "not to trust online translation engines". Several versions were provided, the used phrase is the one suggested by André Müller.(2)

Grammatical note on the song:
  • some people argue that the usage of the suffix -vo' is appropriate here.
  • The word for "skull" – DughrI' – was revealed at qepHom 2019, about six months after this request. Maltz explained that nach Hom is also okay to use.

2.03 - We'll Always Have Tom Paris

STLD klingonacid.jpg
a pile of music devices
In this episode, Mariner and Tendi talk about Klingon music, especially "Acid Punk". At the end of the episode, she shows Mariner some rock songs. These were all labeled in Klingon letters. The song "Gre'thor Paradise" by Gik'tal (Klingon spelling ghIqtal) was written by Chris Westlake, with the lyrics translated by Marc Okrand. (3)

See and hear the scene with the music here on YouTube .

Klingon acid

Shortly after the episode, the Star Trek store officially released stickers with the images of the music labels. (4) Just like any other images, these are all ™ & © CBS and are depicted here for linguistic research only.

Label 1
Label 2
Label 3
Label 4
Label 5
Label 6

Label 1: pezvll muzkadmey
This sign says pe'vIl mu'qaDmey, literally "forcefully curses". This is part from a sentence from The Klingon Way, pe'vIl mu'qaDmey tIbach "Shoot curses forcefully". There is a small (but common) typo in the first word, where the upper case I is written as lower case l.

Label 2: zacjajtahkek
The meaning of the phrase 'achjajtaHqeq is obscure. The different parts of this is 'ach, jaj and taHqeq, which is an insult.

Label 3: jagylbustah
The title of this phrase lacks one spaces, but it says jagh yIbuStaH. This phrase is a replacement proverb literally meaing "Focus on the enemy!" Again, here is a typo where the upper case I is written as lower case l.

Label 4: kumizgom
At first sight, the word qumI'ghom has no meaning. It could be a retraction of the phrase qul mI'wI' ghom "group of fire dancers".

Label 5: greztho rklztu
When transliterated directly, this reads ghre'tHorql'tu. They did the mistake of writing English words, and – again – type lower case l for I: "Gre'thor qI'tu". The correct Klingon spelling for this should be ghe'tor QI'tu', in Klingon letters: geztor qiztuz

Label 6: zocmey tisoq nozmat
This reads as 'ochmey tISoq no'mat. The first part surely is a typo for SoQ, so it 'ochmey tISoQ means "close the tunnels", although it misses a finally suffix -moH (should be tISoQmoH). The word no'mat could be a name.

2.08 - wej Duj

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ep. 2.08 title screen

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close up with Klingon letters
The title of this episode is wej Duj and translates literally as "three ships". The title was displayed using Klingon letters, using a so far unknown Klingon font type: wej duj

There are several Klingons in this episode, but no Klingon is spoken. A few Klingon words appeared:
  • The name of the Klingon Bird of Prey is che'ta'. It is not translated during the episode, and it's not clear if it has a meaning. When trying to translate literally it is "has finished reigning".
  • 07:17 - "That is what we will do to enemy petaQs."
  • 07:25 - "[...] at the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt"
  • 10:49 - This scene shows a burping Klingon. This fortifies a big misconception that Klingons enjoy belching. They actually did not do that very often on screen.
  • 13:49 - "It is troubling to see a proud caste of warriors lose their lurDech." This final word means "tradition" and it was pronounced almost correctly, more like lurDeS.
  • 21:49 - "The council can decide what to do with this bIHnuch." Pronounced not so correctly as beyH-noH. The word bIHnuch is known among Klingonists and Star Trek authors, but it is not a vetted canon word.

The end credits of this episode mention Marc Okrand as "dialect coach" and "translator". It is not clear if he actively worked on this episode, or if he is just mentioned because they used Klingon words.

3.02 - The Least Dangerous Game

Bat'leths & BiHnuchs
In this episode, they played a game named "Bat'leths & BiHnuchs". The label of that game showed the same words plus the Klingon letters betlehmey bihnucmey je. When converted, this reads as betleHmey bIHnuchmey je. It should be mentioned that bIHnuch is not a canon word, the word for coward is nuch. bIHnuch was used in this form in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The authors of that episode probably made an error. It is possible that this incorrect word was used to keep the rhythm of the game's name, which is based on a real game named "Dungeons & Dragons". On the other hand it might be a coincidence, since bIHnuch was used earlier already.

The word bIHnuch is using an incorrect suffix -mey, plural for things, where one should expect -pu', plural for beings. According to TKD, when -mey is used on a noun referring to beings capable of using language that it adds the meaning of "scattered all about". bIHnuchmey thus means "bIHnuchs scattered all about".

Later in that episode, they used the word toDuj. [citation needed]


1 : Star Trek: Lower Decks on Wikipedia

2 :

3 : Twitter post of August 28, 2021 by "BradinLA": "I can guarantee the lyrics were vetted and translated by a very patient Marc Okrand."

4 : Star Trek Shop — Star Trek: Lower Decks Acid Rock Album Cover 3 Die Cut Sticker, retrieved October 22, 2021

External links

Category: StarTrek    Latest edit: 27 Sep 2022, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 12 Jul 2020 by KlingonTeacher
History: r19 < r18 < r17 < r16 - View wiki text
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