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  5. "Dajatlh'a'"


Translation:Do you speak it

February 24, 2020



DIvI' Hol, Dajatlh'a'!?


I may be wrong, but I don't think this gets a comma in Klingon, because the sentence does not translate to "English, do you speak it?" but to "Do you speak English?" The sentence structure is simply different in Klingon.


Punctuation in Klingon does not have strict rules and is used more for the convenience of the reader. English can use a trick of placing the object at the front for emphasis and then referring back to it, as in, "English, do you speak it?". But since the object is already at the front in Klingon, it doesn't have as strong an impact. In speaking, you can imitate it a little, by giving a longer pause, but I'm not sure a comma conveys that well. I might suggest an ellipsis instead.
DIvI' Hol... Dajatlh'a'?

But if I remember correctly, in the movie that famously used the line, there's actually an epithet in between, which might work even better:
DIvI' Hol, petaQ, Dajatlh'a'?


Why is "Did you say it?" not acceptable?


"Speak" is the standard definition of jatlh, but "say" is fine too. We had failed to enter that alternate translation of jatlh on this sentence, but I have added it now.

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