Maltz Online

The internet is an astounding place. Not only does it permit rapid communication
across the face of the Earth, but apparently through time as well. How else to
account for the two inclusions below? These explanations from Marc Okrand have
appeared in various electronic mailing lists and bulletin boards. We reprint them here
with Okrand's kind permission. -LMS

All four words asked about (tul hope, Qub think, Sov know, and SIv
wonder) can be used in the construction S 'e' V, where S is a sentence, 'e' is
the pronoun that which refers to a previous topic (in this case S), and V is
one of the verbs listed above (as well as some others).

If the sentence (S) is tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh you speak Klingon (tlhIngan
Klingon language, Dajatlh you speak it), it's OK to say:

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vItul
I hope that you speak Klingon
(vItul I hope it)

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vIQub
I think that you speak Klingon
(vIQub I think it)

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vISov
I know that you speak Klingon
(vISov I know it)

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vISIv
I wonder if you speak Klingon
(vISIv I wonder it)

The fourth example is weird from an English translation point of view,
but it falls right in line in Klingon. If the English translation matched the
pattern of the other three sentences, it would be "I wonder that you speak
Klingon." In English, this means something like "I'm surprised that you
speak Klingon" or "I don't understand how it can be that you speak
Klingon," but this is not what the Klingon sentence means. The Klingon
sentence means something more like "I am curious about whether you speak
Klingon." The clumsiness here is the English, not the Klingon.

One other verb that can be used in the V slot in such sentences is Hon

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 'e' vIHon I doubt that you speak Klingon
(vIHon I doubt it)

I'll return on another occasion to the question of whether the sentence
preceding the 'e' in such sentences can be a question. This is a more general
issue than whether you can do it with SIv "wonder" and I need some clear
guidance from Maltz.


The Klingon word for "fork" is puq chonnaQ.

As is well known, Klingons prefer to get food into their mouths without
the aid of implements (except for such things as the bowl containing soup or
the goblet containing bloodwine). Nevertheless, they have become
acquainted with the eating habits of other cultures and have become aware
of such things as forks. On occasion, they'll even use the implements, most
commonly when partaking of a non-Klingon meal (whether on a Klingon
planet or elsewhere) but sometimes when eating Klingon food, as if to add
an exotic touch to the meal experience. (Not all Klingons are skilled in using
forks, however, and some simply refuse to deal with them. Those who do
not use them seem to be not at all troubled by eating "foreign" food using
Klingon means --- that is, hands.)

The term puq chonnaQ is, at least in origin, somewhat derisive. It
literally means "child's hunting spear," suggesting that the eating
implement is small and not very effective (though the actual child's spear, as
opposed to the "fork," is useful for training in the art of hunting).

The Klingon word for "spoon" is baghneQ. Even though spoons were
never typically used when eating, the word appears to have been in the
language for a long time, suggesting that it may once have meant something
else. One theory is that it comes from nagh beQ "flat stone, flat rock" and
that the initial sounds of the two words, n and b, were, for some reason,
transposed. This is, however, just speculation.