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Rising tones for questions in Klingon?

Does anybody know if Klingon uses a rising tone to finish questions as we do in English? Or perhaps the tone is unnecessary with the addition of question-marking words ('a', for example).

March 29, 2018



The tone is unnecessary, but common among Klingon speakers. Just make sure never to use tone alone. In other words don't make a declarative sentence into a question by just raising the tone. Make sure to use the interrogative marker or a question word.


Great job on this course. It is really fun to learn. thanks for taking the time. will it ever be available through the phone app?


Most courses are eventually made available on mobile apps -- I believe one criterion is the number of reports which has to sink beneath a certain threshold before a course is made available on mobile.

Speaking only for myself, I hope the course will not be available on the phone app, or at least not until tips and notes are prominently available there.

Unfortunately, even on the web version, tips and notes have been made less prominent (who knows that a light bulb contains information that's nearly indispensable to understanding how Klingon works differently from English?).


"who knows that a light bulb contains information that's nearly indispensable to understanding how Klingon works differently from English?"

This made me laugh so hard, especially since the only reason I discovered the "notes" there is I cannot see a button without checking what it means, but when I first got switched to Crowns I was freaking out over the lack of notes in all my languages. Definitely not intuitive! But the notes you guys made for the first lesson, at least - so well-done, thank you!


We don't know. If you want to use English-speaking actors as data points, Captain Klaa in Star Trek V asks qIpmeH Qatlh'a' Difficult to hit? with a rising tone. In the language tapes, Okrand tends to use a rising tone for -'a' questions. But, like English, questions that aren't yes/no questions don't rise that way.

But this is not a topic Okrand has ever discussed. I'm sure every canonical source of Klingon, where the actors or speakers actually knew what their words meant, has allowed Klingon to be spoken with English tonal sensibilities.


I think the actors in Star Trek did raise the last syllable, like how you'd typically say "nuqneH?", but I don't know if it's necessary.

[deactivated user]

    On Conversational Klingon, Okrand definitely says "nuqneH" without a rising tone.


    Great replies all, thanks for answering!

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