matlh juppu' mu'mey

Marc Okrand

At the qep'a' javDIch Alan
Anderson, Will Martin, Mark
Shoulson, d'Armond Speers, and
Rich Yampell were honored for their
continuing service to the mission
and goals of the KLI. Each received
the title matlh jupna'. And, as a
friend, each was given the
opportunity to ask Maltz (via an
intermediary) for a single word.
Maltz's reply (again, via intermdiary)
went beyond providing simply
Klingon glosses for the specific
English words, and often included
additional terms and examples.

1. top and bottom

The word for "top" is yor. This
refers to the top side or top face of
an object, such as the top of a box or
the top of a table or even the top of
one's head. It is not the word used
for "lid" or "cover" or "cap" (as in
"lid of a jar") or removable (and
reusable) top of a box. The word for
this kind of "top" or "lid" or "cover"
is yuvtlhe'.

Similarly, yor is not the word
for the inside of the top of
something. If one were sitting under
a table, the (presumably) flat surface
above one is termed the 'aqroS.

There are two special terms for
the top of a room, or "ceiling."
rav'eq refers to the ceiling of any
room (though, more narrowly, it
refers to the ceiling of a room that
has a room above it, as in a
multistory structure); pa' beb refers
specifically to the ceiling of a room
which is on the top (or only) story
of a structure. It is possible to use
'aqroS to refer to a ceiling, though
the other two terms are more

The word for "bottom," the
counterpart of yor, is pIrmuS. This
word refers to the underside of
something, not the interior bottom
(such as the bottom of a well or the
bottom of a bowl where a few drops
of milk remain after eating cereal).
The word for the interior bottom of
something is bIS'ub. If an item is
located in the bottom of a box, it is
located in the box's bIS'ub. If
something is found underneath a
box, it is found beneath the box's

2. too much

The adverbial tlhoy means
overly, to an excessive degree. It is used
in such sentences as:

tlhoy jISop
I eat too much / I eat excessively

tlhoy bIQong
you sleep too much /
you sleep excessively

When tlhoy is used, it denotes
that the action expressed by the verb
(Sop eat, Qong sleep) is what is being
overly done or done too much.
Thus, the sentence:

tlhoy qagh vISop
I eat too much gagh /
I eat gagh excessively /
I overeat gagh

expresses the notion that the eating
is excessive, not that the amount of
gagh is. (Note that although it is
possible to say this, it is not
something anybody would be likely
to ever say). Similarly,

tlhoy yIHmey vIlegh
I see too many tribbles

means I overly see tribbles (perhaps
this could be used if one meant
something like "I see tribbles far too
frequently and in far too many
places"). To express the idea of "too
much gagh" or "too many tribbles,"
the verb 'Iq be too many, be too much
is used adjectivally. For example:

yIHmey 'Iq vIlegh
I see too many tribbles

qagh 'Iq vISop
I eat too much gagh

Sometimes, the word law'qu' be
very many (formed from law' be
many plus -qu', the emphatic suffix)
is translated "be too many." If the
context is clear, this is acceptable,
but if it is important to stress the
idea of "overly many, overly much,
more than there ought to be," tlhoy
or 'Iq is usually employed.

3. ago / from now

Klingon has special words to
refer to units of time (such as "day"
and "year") preceding or following
the current time. Words of this type
which are already well-known are:

days ago

days from now

years ago

years from now

These words are used with
numbers to indicate the number of
time units ago (days ago, years ago)
or time units from now (days from
now, years from now).

Thus wa'Hu' is yesterday (one
day before now, one day ago),
cha'Hu' is day before yesterday (two
days before now, two days ago),
wejnem is three years from now, and
so on. Another pair of words of this
type refers to months:

months ago

months from now

Thus, loSwen is four months ago
and wa'waQ is next month (one
month from now). As far as is
known, there are no other terms
associated with specific units of time
(in the way Hu' and leS are
associated with jaj day).

For other units of time (seconds,
minutes, hours weeks), two more
general words are used:

time period ago

time period from now

(One might say that these are
associated with the word poH period
of time.). These words follow the
more specific time units. For
example, two minutes ago is cha' tup
, literally "two minute time-
period-ago." Two minutes from now is
cha' tup pIq. (It is also possible,
though not necessary, to use the
plural suffixes with the time units if
there is more than one of them: cha'
tupmey ret
, cha' tupmey pIq.)

The words ret and pIq could
also be used with days, months, and
years (e.g., wej jaj ret three days ago,
rather than wejHu'), but utterances
of this type are not particularly
common, sound a bit archaic, and
are usually restricted to rather
formal settings.

With longer time periods, such
as a century (vatlh DIS poH),
millennium (SaD DIS poH), or a
period of 10,000 years ("myriad,"
perhaps) (netlh DIS poH), the words
ret or pIq may be used in place of
poH, e.g., cha' vatlh DIS poH two
centuries, but cha' vatlh DIS ret two
centuries ago. The phrase cha' vatlh
would mean "200 years ago."
The choice of construction depends
on what is being emphasized: in this
case, the total number of centuries
(two) or the total number of years

4. jealousy

The verb ghal means be jealous
(of), envy. It is used in such sentences

I am jealous

you envy me /
you are jealous of me

torgh vIghal
I am jealous of Torg

There is also an idiomatic
phrase which conveys the idea of
jealousy: SuD veqlargh mInDu'.
Literally, this means Fek'lhr's eyes are
yellow/green, but it is used to express
the idea that somebody is jealous. It
would be used in an exchange such

A: loSmaH romuluSngan
SuvwI'pu' HoHta' qeng.

B: SuD veqlargh mInDu'.

A: Kang killed 40 Romulan
B: Somebody is jealous!
(Fek'lhr's eyes are

Speaker "B" is saying that
speaker "A" is jealous of Kang.

5. then

The adverbial ghIq means then
in the sense of and then, after that, by
then, subsequently and the like. It is
used as in the following examples:

Soppu'. ghIq tlhutlhpu'.
He/she ate.
Then (after that) he/she drank.

wam chaH. ghIq Soj luvut.
They hunt.
Then (after that) they prepare food.

wa'leS maghob. ghIq malop.
Tomorrow we will do battle.
Then (after that) we'll celebrate.

It is possible to join the
sentences with a conjunction such
as 'ej and or 'ach but:

wam chaH 'ej ghIq Soj luvut.
They hunt and then
they prepare food.

tlhoy Sop 'ach ghIq Qongchu'.
He/she eats too much,
but then he/she sleeps soundly.

A final note: Maltz was honored
by the fact that he now has official
Friends and endeavored to provide
the information that they were
looking for. If, however, there was a
misinterpretation of any of their
requests such that they didn't get
quite what they wanted, blame not
Maltz or his Friends, but the