From: "Marc Okrand" [email protected]
Date: 29 Jun 1997
Subject: Re: Tonight, this morning, etc.

Will Martin [email protected] wrote in article

How would you suggest we convey the terms "tonight", "this morning", etc.
I was personally drawn toward sticking to time-centric terms rather than
spacial-centric grammar and say DaHjaj ram and DaHjaj po rather than
ramvam and povam, both because they didn't mix concepts of time and
space and because it would naturally be extendable in the form of wa'leS
or wejHu' po, while the use of -vam does not have that property.
Meanwhile, in HeghmeH QaQ jajvam, you clearly showed that -vam works
with time related terms.

So, I'm open. What's your preference?


Regarding "tonight" and so forth, I'd go along with your suggestion:

DaHjaj ram "tonight" (literally "today night" or "today's night")

DaHjaj po "this morning" (literally "today morning" or "today's morning")

DaHjaj pov "this afternoon" (literally "today afternoon" or "today's

DaHjaj DungluQ "this noon" (literally "today noon" or "today's noon")

DaHjaj ramjep "this midnight" (literally "today midnight" or "today's

DaHjaj pemjep "this midday" (literally "today midday" or "today's midday")

(The phrases "this noon," "this midnight," and "this midday" are a little
awkward in English -- we'd probably say "today at noon," "tonight at
midnight," "today in the middle of the day" or something -- but in Klingon,
they fall right into place.)

In Klingon, you could even say DaHjaj pem "today's daytime," which would
probably be typically contrasted with DaHjaj ram "today's night" (or

wa'leS po "tomorrow morning," cha'leS po "the morning of the day after
tomorrow" (literally "two-days-from-now morning"), and so on work quite

Adding -vam "this" to most words designating fixed periods of time seems to
be the only way to indicate "current." Thus the current year or "this
year" is DISvam (referring, of course, to a Klingon year, or DIS), the
current month or "this month" is jarvam (jar " month"), and the
current week or "this week" is Hoghvam (Hogh " week"). There
don't seem to be special words for "the current year" and so forth
comparable to DaHjaj "the current day" or "today." DaHjaj seems to be
formed of the adverbial DaH "now" plus the noun jaj "day," a unique type of
formation as far as I know. It is perhaps by analogy to DISvam, jarvam,
etc. -- all formed by simply adding a noun suffix to a noun -- that
Klingons also refer to the current day as jajvam "this day" (jaj "day,
period from dawn to dawn").

Though they both can be translated "today," DaHjaj and jajvam are not quite
interchangeable. As the time element in a sentence, DaHjaj (and not
jajvam) is used:

DaHjaj romuluSngan vIHoHpu' "today I killed a Romulan"
(DaHjaj "today," romuluSngan "Romulan," vIHoHpu' "I have killed

As the subject of a sentence, on the other hand, jajvam is more typically

nI' jajvam "this day is long"
(nI' " is long , jajvam "this day")

though DaHjaj is not impossible:

nI' DaHjaj "today is long"
(nI' " is long , DaHjaj "today")

DaHjaj also behaves as a noun (as opposed to an adverbial element) in such
noun-noun constructions as DaHjaj gheD "today prey" or "today's prey," a
term often heard in Klingon restaurants with a meaning comparable to "catch
of the day."

Phrases such as jajvam po "this day morning" or "this morning" are not
common, but they're not ungrammatical either.