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Alternative transcriptions (just for fun and clarification)


I just started the course, but since there is no audio in the course at the time of writing, it's hard to grasp how the words are pronounced. As I understand, Klingon is written phonetically, so the spelling reflects pronounciation to the letter.

However, I must say that the way the transcription is designed is pretty poor, not using any diacritical markings that could simplify the spelling. I know, this is the common way people write Klingon and I don't blame the creators of the course. I just wanted to see if there's a way for me to make it easier to understand for me by transcribing it into something more familiar...

Turns out that Czech, one of the other languages I'm learning, contains almost all the sounds I need for a close estimation (though it's not precise). The only sounds that Czech lacks are the explicit sounds for Q, w [1] and a distinction between gh and H. For this, I've used different characters that were still free. Here's the list of characters I replaced in this transcription

ch = č; D = d; gh = ch; H = g [2]; I = i; j = ď; n = ň; Q = ǧ [3]; q = k; S = š; tlh = ť; y = j;

Now let's see if it helps, or maybe you can come up with your own alternative transcriptions. Even just making one helps you to understand the pronounciation better, even when it's not precise.

[1] w can be used in Czech, but it doesn't occur "naturally", only in names;

[2] g itself is also not used in the way Czech use this letter, but rather how the Dutch use it (which is actually my native tounge);

[3] ǧ does not occur in Czech, but I needed something to emphasise. This seemed like a logical choice

March 15, 2018

1 Comment


A little off topic, but this guy's video is pretty good for learning the sounds if you aren't familiar with them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjROGAY19pU

I've seen a number of alternative transcription systems over the years, but none were as simple to use as the current one. The fact that it uses simple ASCII characters means that anyone can type it without having to install extra keyboards or learn new key-combos. :)

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