The Little Prince

TheLittlePrince Cover.jpg
The Little Prince – Klingon title ta'puq mach – is a story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, first published in English and French in 1943. Although it seems to written for children, its philosophical contents are loved by adults as well. This led to a great success worldwide. The book has been translated to over 300 languages and therefore is (after the Bible) the most translated book of the world.

In October 2018 the Klingon translation by Lieven L. Litaer has been published. (1) Marc Okrand has provided several new words for the creation of this translation. (2)

"The Little Prince in Klingon" has been awarded with the German literature prize "Deutscher Phantastik Preis" 2019.


As it's an unwritten habit with other Klingon translations, this book is built in a way that it has the German text on one side, Klingon on the other. The special situation here is that the German translation is not the already existing known version, but it is a direct back-translation from Klingon. This make it easier for the readers to compare what is written in Klingon.


HIbelmoH... DI'raq yIwev.
"Please... Draw me a sheep." (chapter II)

leghchu' tIq neH. potlh leghlaHbe' mIn.
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." (chapter XXI)

reH Doch'e' Datlhay'moHbogh DaSaHnISqu'.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." (chapter XXI)

reH noHmey tagh Holmey.
"Language is the source of misunderstandings." (chapter XXI)


TheLittlePrince video.jpg
Screenshot from the video
The translator of the work Lieven L. Litaer has created a short movie based on chapter II with his seven year old daughter, spoken entirely in Klingon. The video can be found on YouTube and has subtitles in seven languages, including Klingon.

See The Little Prince - in Klingon   .

New words

Klingon Type Translation Notes
bewbeb n. Baobab (tree) loanword
Daqrab n. well "source" is not part of the definition. A Daqrab is constructed and/or dug
DISjaj n. anniversary
DI'raq n. sheep a fluffy, woolly, shaggy Klingon animal
Hovtej n. astronomer
HovQeD n. astronomy
Hov tut n. telescope layman's term – maybe even slang
moQbID n. dome literally: half sphere
pu' n. horn
qargh v. be bulky, thick [like a book]
qeSHoS n. fox-like animal Klingon animal
quntej n. historian
qunQeD n. history i.e. the science
ro'Sa' n. rose (Terran flower) loanword
SaHa'ra' n. Sahara (desert on Earth) loanword
Su'wan ghew n. Butterfly-like animal a flying insect with largish wings
tom v. tilt like movement of the head; intransitive
tlhegh jIrmoHwI' n. windlass literally: rope twister / rotator
wev v. sketch, doodle a quick drawing, not a careful one
yItlh v. be strict, severe, firm, stern, authoritarian
yItlhHa' v. be indulgent
yuQtej n. geographer
yuQQeD n. geography The meaning of yuQ must have changed over the years. Maybe it originally meant something like place/location where we live
'ughDuq ghargh n. caterpillar not used to prepare Gagh

The title - ta'puq

The word used in the title - ta'puq for prince - is NOT a new word approved my Marc Okrand.

In the beginning of the translation progress, the idea was to name the main person ta'Hom mach, but that was rejected by the translator as the diminutive suffixe -Hom had a negative connotation. So he decided to use the word for prince which had been used in Hamlet.

When Maltz was asked, he noted that there are many different meanings of the term prince (such as "son of the king", but also "governor" in general) so it was not clear how to translate. Instead of finding a new word for this, Marc Okrand suggested to just take whatever term, as it was not relevant to the story. (3)


Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Translator Lieven L. Litaer
Date 15 October 2018
Publisher Verlag In Farbe Und Bunt
ISBN-10 395936122X
ISBN-13 978-3959361224
Pages 160
Size 125 x 190 mm
Weight 166 g

See also


1 : (de) ta'puq mach - Der kleine Prinz: Ein Kinderbuchklassiker auf Klingonisch on, retrieved on August 09, 2018

2 : (de) So haben Sie den Kinderbuchklassiker noch nie erlebt! - publisher's website, retrieved on August 08, 2018

3 : ta'puq mach - Der Kleine Prinz auf Klingonisch, p. 153


Category: Translation    Latest edit: 08 Jul 2020, by WikiAdmin    Created: 09 Aug 2018 by KlingonTeacher
History: r11 < r10 < r9 < r8 - View wiki text
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