Beginner's Lesson – Basic Klingon Syntax

The scientist studies the sky


Beginners, welcome!

Today's Klingon lesson will focus on the basic structure of the Klingon language:


Let's look directly at one sentence to see how it works:

chal HaD tej = the scientist studies the sky

Here we can break it down into 3 words:

   tej = scientist (noun)
   HaD = to study (verb)
   chal = the sky (noun)

Contrary to English, where the normal sentence structure is Subject-Verb-Object, Klingon word order is reversed.

Thus, here the Subject (the one who carries out the action) is at the end of the sentence and the Object (thing which receives the action) is at the beginning.

Compare with the sentence:

yuQ HaD tej = the scientist studies the planet (yuQ = planet)

You can see that only the first word has changed in Klingon, and that this word corresponds to the object (recipient of the action), that is to say, the planet.

In short, we have the structure:

[X] HaD tej = the scientist studies [X]

where [X] can be replaced with anything that the scientist is studying.

Similarly, if the scientist is doing something other than studying, we can modify the verb in the middle of the sentence:

chal legh tej = the scientist sees the sky (legh = see)

Or we can change the subject (doer of the action):

chal legh be' = the woman sees the sky (be' = woman)

Now you should begin to have a grasp of how this works, so it's time to try making your own sentences.

Try combining Klingon words to form sentences, and post them on the Learn Klingon group along with their English translation!

Here are a few words to get you started:

chal = sky HaD = to study tej = scientist
yuQ = planet legh = to see be' = woman
maS = moon Del = to describe yaS = officer

Feel free to also browse the Klingon Dictionary and use any word you like!


Prepared by Aurélie Demonchaux (ghItlhjaj)