There is no straight translation for the word with in Klingon. Instead, one should use a verb to express the action. In English, we use the word "with" in many different situation. When translating, it depends on what exactly the word "with" means in the original phrase. See the following examples to clarify.

doing it together

A non-canon but obvious solution to say that you do something with someone else is saying that you both do it. For instance, if I argue with you, that means that we argue:

maghoH jIH qoH je.
I argue with a fool.

accompanied by

'Iw HIq vItlhutlh. mutlhej ghaH.
He/she drinks bloodwine with me, literally I drink bloodwine. He/she accompanies me. (1)

QotDI' gheD tlhejbe' wamwI'.
The hunter does not lie down with the prey. (TKW p. 161)
literally: When the prey lays down, the hunter does not accompany it.

bIQontaHvIS nItlhejchugh targhmey, bIvemDI' nItlhej ghewmey.
If you sleep with targs, you'll wake up with glob flies. (TKW p. 173)

Come with me. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

having something

butlh ghajbogh nuv'e' yIHo'.
Admire the person with dirt under his fingernails. (TKW, p. 143)

using something

In a HolQeD interview, Marc Okrand confirmed that using lo' is a good solution to say "do... with". (2)

To express an idea like
"I killed the Ferengi with the phaser."
you can rephrase to
"In order to kill the Ferengi, I used the phaser."

This solution follows the pattern
B Verb-meH C lo' A = "A uses C in order to V B."


chay' Dochvam vIlo'?
What do I do with this? (3)

Soj vISopmeH ghopDu'wIj vIlo'.
I eat the food with my hands.

tlhIngan Hol vIghojmeH Duolingo vIlo'.
I learn Klingon with duolingo.

nebeylI' 'elrupchoHmeH Hoch lom ghopDu'wIj vIlo'.
I will prepare each of the slain for entombment with my own hands. (4)

Theoretically, that purpose clause phrase does not include the success of the action, only the intention. In the phrase torgh HoHmeH nISwI' HIch lo'pu' Qugh. Kruge used a disruptor pistol to kill Torg. it is not clear if Torg survives or not. A solution to this might be to state two seperate clear phrases: torgh HoHpu' Qugh; nISwI' HIch lo'pu'. Kruge killed Torg; he used a disruptor pistol.

Second, one can do something "with" a thing without doing it on purpose, like "He bothers me with his humming." If this is not done on purpose, the suffix -meH should not be used here. This can be expressed directly: "He bothers me because he is humming." HuytaHmo' munuQ. or using a noun instead of the verb, e.g. His humming bothers me. munuQ HuytaHghach, although one should avoid using the suffix -ghach only to make a noun of this kind if it works with a verb as well.

Ed Bailey recently did it this way in translating the song "Killing Me Softly," which begins "Strumming my pain with his fingers": 'oy'wIj luyachtaH nItlhDu'Daj, literally "His fingers were strumming my pain."

including verbs

There are several words that already include the word "with" in their definition.
Klingon Definition
batlh with honor, honorably
bon share with
bop be concerned with, be about
boq ally with
DIgh undertake, deal with
Do' lucky, with luck
mey interlock with, mesh with, interlace with
moq beat with an implement
ngagh mate with
ngeQ collide with
pID coat food with herbed mixture
qat accompany (a song) with music
tlhaw' beat instrument with fist
vev attach with a pin
ve' travel with a purpose
weq hit instrument with palm


Basically, the word "without" causes the same question as the word "with", and therefore gives the same answer. The following examples cooperate with the previous examples and show the same system, recasting the with-phrases using different words:

quv Hutlh HoHbogh tlhIngan 'ach qabDaj 'angbe'bogh.
The Klingon who kills without showing his face has no honor. (TKW, p. 59)

'ang'eghQo' quv Hutlhbogh jagh neH ghobtaHvIS ghaH.
Only an enemy without honor refuses to show himself in battle. (TKW, p. 61)

bImejDI' reH betleHlIj yItlhap.
Never leave without your bat'telh. (TKW, p. 79)

leghlaHbe'chugh mIn lo'laHbe' taj jej. A sharp knife is nothing without a sharp eye. (TKW, p. 169)

See also


1 : Re: ghew qab, message of 1999 to the Usenet group

2 : HolQeD, vol. 4 issue 2, June 1995

3 : TKD

4 : Klingon dialogue of Star Trek: Discovery episode Battle At the Binary Stars

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 06 Oct 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 06 May 2019 by KlingonTeacher
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