The Sleeping Targh...

Note: This post uses words like object, subject, verb, noun, noun phrase, etc. Check out this site if you need a refresher on these terms.

I got a question from a member of a Klingon forum asking how to translate "the sleeping targ" so I thought I'd write up a little guide to translating these kinds of ideas.

In the Klingon grammar guide these kinds of phrases are called "relative clauses" and are created using the -bogh suffix. Here's a couple of examples:

qetbogh loD the running man (qet to run, loD man)
Qongbogh targh the sleeping targ (Qong to sleep)
Sopbogh tlhIngan the eating Klingon (Sop to eat)

As you can see, these phrases follow a very simple formula:

verb-ing noun = verb-bogh noun

You simply replace the verb and the noun with the correct two words.

Once you have the phrase you use it in a sentence as if it was a single noun:

Qongbogh targh vIlegh I see the sleeping targ (vI- I/it, legh to see)
SojDaj chagh Sopbogh tlhIngan The eating Klingon drops his food (Soj food, -Daj his, chagh drop)

Now that we have the basics, we can build up on them. Let's look at these phrases:

qagh Sopbogh tlhIngan'e' The Klingon that eats the serpent worms (qagh serpent worms)
qagh'e' Sopbogh tlhIngan The serpent worms that are eaten by the Klingon

In these phrases we added another word, qagh, to show what the Klingon is actually eating. We also added -'e' to the phrases. -'e' is normally used to mark the main concept of a sentence, as seen here:

qagh Sop ghaH'e' As for HIM, HE eats the serpent worms (ghaH he/she)

qagh'e' Sop ghaH As for the serpent worms, he eats them.

In phrases with -bogh in them, -'e' marks the "head noun". The "head noun" is the one that we most concerned about in the phrase. So in the two phrases above we see the follow:

qagh Sopbogh tlhIngan'e' This phrase is concerned about the Klingon that is doing the eating
qagh'e' Sopbogh tlhIngan This phrase is concerned about the serpent worms that the Klingon is eating

If we use them in a sentance, the difference becomes more obvious:

qagh Sopbogh tlhIngan'e' vIlegh I see the Klingon that eats serpent worms
qagh'e' Sopbogh tlhIngan vIlegh I see the serpent worms the Klingon eats.

As we can see, the -'e' makes a lot of difference and allows us to talk about very specfic ideas. In the above sentances it lets us refer to the Klingon doing the eating or the food that's being eaten. This usage doesn't have a nice formula like the simple -bogh sentences, but here's a couple of meta-sentences that may help:

a noun1 that is verb-ing a noun2 = noun2 verb-bogh noun1-'e'
a noun2 that is being verb-ed by noun1 = noun2-'e' verb-bogh noun1

There is only one concept left to talk about and that's when we want to talk about nouns that are having something done to them, but we don't know who the doer is. For example:

qagh Sopbogh The serpent worms that are eaten

This phrase is very similar to the previous ones except that we don't know, and probably don't care, who is doing the actual eating. Let's put this one in a sentence too:

qagh Sopbogh vIlegh I see the serpent worms that are eaten

The formula for these types of sentences could be:

The noun that is being verb-ed = noun verb-bogh

Well that's it for -bogh. Please ask if you have any questions. I'll end this guide with a few examples to practice translating:

puq HoHbogh HeSwI''e' vIqoppu'
Qongbogh targh vemmoH nIjbogh bIQ
ghab'e' pe'bogh tlhIngan nIH mI'bogh tera'ngan