Annual meeting of the Klingon Language Institute (qep'a')
Registration is now open for the Klingon Language Institute's qep'a' cha'maH SochDIch (twenty-seventh Great Meeting) taking place July 23-25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The information page links to the conference registration and hotel reservation pages. I hope you can join the other learners and speakers and take advantage of this opportunity to speak Klingon with others even if it's just some of the basic sentences.
HISlaH and HIja' are perfect synonyms with no difference in meaning or usage. Outside of this course, many speakers prefer to use HIja', but this course decided to only teach one and teach only HISlaH. Eventually students of the language will be exposed to and learn the alternative version.
Just to add an additional thought on this, I've come to prefer HISlaH over HIja' because HIja' is a homonym in Klingon, as so many words/phrases are, and also means "Tell me". HISlaH is also a homonym, which can mean something like "It can be compressed", but since "Tell me." will probably occur in common conversation much more commonly, I like avoiding the more common homonym cross up.
There are beginner lessons every morning and lots of chances to get one-on-one support and practice tailored to your level. So this is a great oportunity for beginners. The fact that you are just starting is even more reason to go. But I certainly understand that there are many things that could interfere in that desire and I certainly don't blame anyone for putting the needs of real life over this hobby. Maybe you'll be able to join us next year.