1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "Qong beylana."

"Qong beylana."

Translation:B'Elanna sleeps.

March 16, 2018



This name's transliteration is an utterly foolish one to require. Unless Federation Standard has acquired some lexical glottal stop that English does not have, then the apostrophe is thrown in there just to make the name look exotic. It is from the same irritating school of transliteration as DC's Martian Manhunter, whose name is simply pronounced John Jones, but which is transliterated J'onn J'onzz for no very good reason.


I agree with the idea you are stating here. None-the-less it is important for students of this course to understand the relationship of names in the show to names in proper tlhIngan Hol.


But in this case the extra apostrophe causes a bug when tile matching the name breaks into two tokens. [B] and ['Elanna]. There is not an option to report this appropriately, though I chose "Audio sounds wrong" over "Klingon sentence unnatural" and "Hovertips are missing or wrong" as I suspect most likely to be directed to DuoLingo technical staff.

I have a screen capture if there is a alternate bug reporting mechanism.


For reporting such bugs as this tokenising one, have a look here: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-

All the reporting options behind the flag (wrong audio, unnatural sentence, hover tips wrong, my sentence should be accepted) end up visible to us couse contributors in the backend. I do not know whether they are made available, even as aggregate statistics, to developers.

Please don't use "wrong audio" -- there is no audio at the moment so it can't be wrong, and it just creates a report which we have to waste time deleting.

I would recommend not using "sentence unnatural" (neither for English nor for Klingon), as it's no longer possible to add a free-text explanation, so we may have no idea what you think is wrong with it unless it's a really glaring mistake. (And even then, we might overlook it as eyes have a tendency to see what should be there rather than what is there.)#

Much better, in my opinion, to post in a sentence discussion saying exactly which sentence you are commenting about (which may be obvious to you since you have it on the screen, but with dozens of alternative translations available for many sentences, it may not be obvious to us which one you saw), what you think is the problem, and what correction you would make.


You Klingon guys are the first moderators I have seen explain this whole process. You have clearly been thinking about this for a long time. Bravi.


For me personally, a group of course contributors I look up to a lot is those of the Welsh course, for their quick responses to both reports and to comments on sentence discussions.

Ideally, we would come close to that, but it will depend on how much free time we have to dedicate to this -- we are only three people so far.

But I like to think that our response time is still fairly reasonable.

Whether we can keep this up depends on how quickly the number of users grows :)

(And also on how good their English is and how serious they are about learning Klingon -- it can be tough sifting through reports with lots of errors trying to figure out whether that's still acceptable English or not.)


The Norwegian Moderators are spectacular, too. Very quick to respond - and provide thorough explanations. They are continually updating the course to include new sentences.
Kudos to the Klingon Mods as well! Thank you for all your hard work!


I agree with you that the Welsh team are the gold standard, though when that program came out, I remembered their Tips and Notes falling off rather quickly. Now, the Welsh 2.0 is really quite good, but the Klingon course is doing just as well, as far as I have gotten (not very). Actually, the Valyrian course was brief (I think it was rushed to coincide with the TV season), but they responded quickly and their Tips and Notes were quite good. They had the advantage of sending users' questions off to David Peterson, though, so they could get a canon answer with probably not too much research.


I thank you. qatlho'. Bug report filed.


Absolutely. It just grates to have to memorize a name that looks neither like English nor Klingon.


Whoops, I posted my comment on this issue one B'Elanna sentence too early. :-) Before I began to study Klingon, at least, I was always under the impression that the apostrophe in B'Elanna was meant to denote some kind of aspiration of the initial "b" - that, of course, being secondary to its primary purpose, that being the intention of its original inventor making the name look alien and exotic. It is disappointing to learn that it has nothing to do with the actual Klingon letter qaghwI'. Especially since one could theoretically place a glottal stop between the initial B and the E when pronouncing it in Klingon.

It sort of makes one wonder who was actually responsible for coming up with the "official" Klingon spellings of these names, because some of them don't sound much like they did when spoken in the ST series in which the characters originally appeared. wo'rIv doesn't sound much like Worf, for example, and the retroflex/fricative nature of the Klingon letter "S" was usually completely left out of names containing the letter s in their English spelling, such as Kahless/qeylIS and Duras/DuraS, in favor of a regular English s. Does anyone know who was tasked with coming up with the Klingon equivalents of these names? Is there some kind of official Star Trek/thlIngan Hol "Team" who are responsible for the general gatekeeping of the official language over time, so to speak?


The movies usually brought in Dr. Okrand to make sure everything was consistent, but the TV shows usually had smaller budgets and tighter time constraints, so seldom consulted him and many words were made up by writers or producers on the show. A couple times it is clear that someone at least consulted the dictionary, but did not put in full effort to making sure they were using the correct definitions, parts of speech, and grammar. Many of these names and words, Dr. Okrand has tried to retrofit into the language in various ways. He has indicated that Klingons seem to like to use non-Klingon names and usually pronounce them properly for the language they come from, but have to alter the spelling to work with the Klingon letters. Thus we get Worf pronounced perfectly by almost all the Klingons, but spelled funky because Klingon spelling can't do an f (so replaced it with a v) and can't do an r and a v in a consonant cluster, so add an I between them.


And of course, just like with other Earth languages, we rarely pronounce (or spell) names the same way as they are pronounced in their native languages when speaking them in English. We Anglicize them ... it's sort of the same thing here, really. "Worf" can be seen an Anglicization, the same way "Peking" and "Beijing" are. The original Chinese pronunciation hasn't changed much, but the two spellings were transliterated using two different Romanization methods a few centuries apart from each other. Neither one is really wrong. Languages change over time, and so does our perception of it as foreigners.

Now that I am learning some Klingon, I'll never listen to it in the various ST shows the same way again - and I'm excited about that! A couple of weeks ago, I actually understood a couple of words Worf said in a TNG ep for the first time EVER. (Well, besides standards like batleth, Qapla' and petaQ, of course.) It was exhilarating!


For Discovery, and I expect all the other shows, the writers come up with the original Klingon names, leaving the translators to (a) guess how the actors will pronounce them in English and (b) try to concoct a reasonable tlhIngan Hol equivalent. Generally we don't consider a transliteration official until Marc has done it, but for Discovery, I am the one who made the transcriptions on the show's posters. It was pre-realease and I was under NDA while Marc wasn't, so I couldn't consult him, although we have talked about some of the principles.

I am so with the OP on not requiring students to learn the DIvI' Hol spellings of the Klingon names, but I have huge respect for the course creators and the tremendous amount of work and thought they have put in, so I respect their decision.

Think of it as the way the DIvI' Hol speakers who first met these Klingons heard and transcribed their names. Kind of like how poorly Peking, Bombay. Moscow, and Japan match the way those places are pronounced by their native inhabitants.


Absolutely, although if they were transliterated P'eking, B'ombay, M'oscow, and J'apan, I would expect that the apostrophe represented some sound after the first consonant (or a variation of that consonant), that did not exist in the transliterator's language. Those also are much closer to the versions of those place names that were heard when the place was first written about in English.


There's an argument to be had about the value of us teaching Klingon names and the spellings in the two languages. But the English spellings mostly come from the producers of Star Trek and you'll have to ask them about why they sprinkle in random apostrophes that seen to have no meaning or pronunciation.


What would "B'Elanna is asleep." Be written as?


I would say that as QongtaH beylana (the same as "B'Elanna is sleeping").

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.