pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

In Klingon, there’s an animal toqvIr lung translated as “Tokvirian skink”.

I thought that was a made-up word, but apparently, there really are animals called “skinks”. Huh!

(And they’re lizards, which makes sense, given that lung “loong” is described as a lizard-like animal. I presume the name was influenced by the Chinese word 龍 lóng for a dragon.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So I’m using Anki to practise Klingon vocabulary (among other decks): I entered my Klingon word database into it, tagged with (among others) the source of the words.

That let me practise the words necessary for level 1 of the proficiency test first; I had seen all of them at least once by the time I went to the qepHom in November.

Then I started on the remaining words from The Klingon Dictionary, and I saw the last of those for the first time this morning.

So now I’ve seen all TKD words at least once in Anki—both ways, even (en–tlh and tlh–en)! From now on, it’s just review, review, review so that they’ll stick in my memory.

I still have a bunch of words hiding, though, and now I’m considering when to add them to my workload and in what order. I think I’ll pause on adding new words right now to consolidate the TKD ones a bit, but then the question is whether to enable all of the remaining ones at once (20 new words per day, in random order) or whether to continue sorting by priority (which would put words from Klingon for the Galactic Traveler first, then other words).

…though looking at my data, I guess I made that decision months ago :) I’ve been learning words in the order added, and did the randomising when I added them. So I guess I’ll keep that order, which will give KGT words in random order followed by newer words in random order. So the only remaining question is how long to pause before I’ll let them in.

Still, an accomplishment!

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Fun when languages interfere… while I was practising Klingon flashcards, the word 'IrneH (maternal uncle—mother’s brother) came up, and my initial instinct was to read it [ɪɴnɛχ]: interpreting the sequence rn as in Inuktitut! (Where the r here stands for a uvular nasal.)

For what it’s worth, I think that in Greenlandic rn is [ɴː]: it may be the only case where the first consonant did not assimilate completely to the second one, but instead the uvular-ness of the /ʁ/ “survived” and was carried over onto the nasal.

The confusion was aided, no doubt, by my knowledge of the Inuktitut word irniq “son”, which starts very similarly to the Klingon word. (Greenlandic spelling would be erneq.)


In other Inuktitut-related news, it’s always fun to see a bit of Greenlandic and understand it based on the bit of Inuktitut I know so far: recognising the cognates and undoing the sound changes.

Latest example: the Greenland Language Secretariat Oqaasileriffik, which I understood as Uqausilirivik (uqausilirivvik, uqausiliribvik, depending on dialect): uqaq- “speak” + -siq (something like “abstract quality of; -ness”, I think) = “speech” + -liri (something like “to deal with something professionally”, I think) = “linguistics”(?) + -(b/v)vik “place where something is done”—so something along the lines of “linguistics institute”?

Hm, looking it up on Uqailaut, I see that it’s probably -usiq “custom, way, habit” in the middle, not just -siq. And uqausiq is indeed “speech” or “language”.

Anyway, the Greenlandic derives from this straightforwardly by converting the diphthong au into the long vowel aa, spelling u and i as o and e, respectively, before the uvular consonants q and r, and turning geminative (voiced) fricatives into voiceless geminates, which in the case of *vv --> ff is marked in the spelling. (I suppose because the letter f happened to there in the Latin alphabet.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

StarTrek.com posted an interview with Marc Okrand, the creator of the Klingon language in two parts (the second part is here).

I just got around to reading the interview new, and one thing I particularly enjoyed was that I could hear Marc speaking; having had the privilege to meet him at qepHom wa'maHDIch in Saarbrücken a couple of weeks ago, I could hear his style of speaking out of the words in the interview. That was a really nice touch.

And I learned some new things about how Klingon got created!

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I’m amused that the Klingon word for predecessor, nubwI', looks like the word for “suspect; suspicious person” (nub be suspect, -wI' -er; one who does, thing which is).

I imagine that’s not a coincidence… and I wonder what that says about their thought processes, or about how they consider the people who come before them in, say, political offices :)

(On the other hand, to precede is apparently unrelated: nung.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The other day, while reviewing Klingon vocabulary in Anki, I had the two successive words tuv and SID... that is, "be patient (verb)" and "patient (noun)"! Not related semantically at all, but the fact that their English translation happens to contain the same word amused me much :)

Then this morning, while reviewing my "pIqaD syllables" deck (where I converted all the words in my Klingon dictionary to pIqaD in order to practise reading the script), I had two successive words 'ey and way. The only thing more amusing would have been if I had had 'em in the middle... it would have spelled A M Y :)

(The pIqaD syllables deck is strictly orthography-to-transliteration, regardless of the part of speech of the word or possible polysemy; those three words happen to have these possible translations: cut for possible trigger )

.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Whenever Annette Schavan is on the news (she's the German Minister of Education and Research, so it happens occasionally), I have to think of the Klingon word Savan, pronounced roughly the same: "I salute y'all".

(Similarly with Gawron fences and Gowron (in Klingon: ghawran).)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I’d like to (pre-)order Klingon Monopoly; however, they only ship to US addresses.

Could I use one of your addresses to send it to and you'd forward it to me? I’d reimburse you for postage, of course. (For example, by PayPal or by buying you an Amazon.com gift certificate.)

Contact me with your address by email (my username at livejournal dot com) if you would be willing to play reshipper for me.

Thank you! Satlho'!

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

While practising Klingon vocabulary with Anki just now, I got nIb and pIm one right after the other!

(The first is "be identical" and the second one is "be different".)

This amused me :)


(Incidentally, the first word is half of yet another pair of synonyms: nIb "be identical" and rap "be the same". What's the difference?)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The other idea, the idea came to me that Devanagari as used for Hindi is not that bad a match for Klingon—it has letters for explicitly-aspirated stops and for the retroflex place of articulation.

So here’s my attempt at a mapping (vowels also demonstrated along with फ p):

KlingonDevanagari
aआ, फा
b
ch
D
eए, फे
gh
H
Iइ, फि
j
l
m
n
ng
oओ, फो
p
q
Qक़्ख़
r
S
t
tlhथ्ळ
uउ, फु
vभ़
w
y
'ॽ, अ
rghर्ग़
w'व्ॽ, व्अ
y'य्ॽ, य्अ

Some notes:

  • Given that p and t are aspirated, I would have expected q to be so as well, but the description only mentions a “slight puff of air”, compared to p’s “strong puff or pop” and t’s “puff of air” (ambiguous, but preceded by “like p”). So the use of क़, based on the character for the unaspirated voiceless stop क, seems reasonable.
  • I’m not completely enamoured by the choice of क़्ख़ for Q, especially given that both क़ and ख़ are also in use (for q and H, respectively). However, given the fact that क़्ख़ is a ligure will help, I imagine. Also, I’m not sure whether ambiguity could arise in practice; I suppose बाक़्ख़ाअ baQa' (a general invective curse) could be confused with बाक़ख़ाअ baqHa' “he mis-terminates it”, but eh. I suppose much the same is true for the spoken forms.
  • Likewise, I’m not too fond of थ्ळ for tlh, if only because it’s a digraph; it makes me wonder whether simply ळ (or some other letter) might not be enough. I also considered using त्ळ to increase the visual distinction between थ t and त्ळ tlh, but that seemed inappropriate given the warning that “The sound is produced with a great deal of friction, and the warning given in the description of Klingon p might be aptly repeated here”; given that p is a stop, I presume this may mean that the initial stop portion of this affricate is strongly aspirated.
  • I’m not sure what to do with v and w, given that Hindi व is—as far as I know—/ʋ/, or more or less in between the two. I decided to go with nukta’d bh भ़ for v (no precomposed letter for that, unfortunately) and व for w. (I suppose I could have gone with un-nukta’d bh भ given that it can’t contrast with anything, but this follows the lead of ग़ ख़ क़.)
  • I’m not too sure what to take for the glottal stop '. There is a Devanagari glottal stop, ॽ, but I’m not sure how well-supported it is by fonts. Also, it might look a bit odd; but the main reason is that I’m not sure how well combining vowels would go with it. ॽाॽ ॽेॽ ॽिॽ ॽोॽ ॽुॽ -'a' 'e' 'I' 'o' 'u'? अाअ अेअ अिअ अोअ अुअ? आअ अेअ अिअ ओअ अुअ?
  • Speaking of vowels, I think I’d like to make this an alphabet. Since no Klingon syllable can start with a vowel, no independent vowel letters are needed, so I thought I’d just use combining forms for vowels.

    So then (influenced, I suppose, by आ and ओ, which look like अा and अो—i.e. अ + combining ा and ो, respectively), I thought I might use अ for glottal stop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t combine/ligature well with w or y (but then, neither does ॽ); and I think it would look odd with explicit vowel marks: अा अे अि अो अु a e I o u.

    (Oddly enough, in Semagic preview, as well as in the composer window, it’s अे अि अु that look reasonable: just the ones where the combination doesn’t look like an existing character! Perhaps the other two particular ones could use precombined आ and ओ.)

    I suppose I could go the fully-alphabet route and always use independent vowels. That would be even less Hindi-like.

leave, depart

Friday, 5 August 2011 13:04
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So I’m having much too much fun with Anki right now: some shared decks, a couple I made myself, a couple of ideas for decks to make in the future.

One of my decks is a big humungous Klingon deck that I made out of my database. (5417 cards right now!)

And while practising today, I noticed that we have tlheD “depart” (from TKD) and mej “leave, depart” (from TKDa). What’s the difference? And why can’t they both have the same keywords? Meh.

qepHom X

Monday, 25 July 2011 20:26
pne: "Philip Newton" in Teeline shorthand (teeline philip newton)

I'm considering attending qepHom X.

I didn't attend the last couple of qepHommey, and didn't completely enjoy the last one or two I did attend (mostly because they didn't live up to the first one I had attended in terms of how much time was dedicated to learning and using Klingon; my last one had chunks of unstructured time, which I found hard to make good use of).

But this one is a nice round number, plus Marc Okrand and Agnieszka Solska have already indicated they will be there. In fact, quite a few people have already signed up; 18 as of this writing, and that's not even counting those two, as far as I can see.

When I mentioned this to Stella, she seemed to have given her OK, so I can make more definite plans.

Now the two main points to figure out are when to arrive, and how to get there.

The main conference will start on Thursday "after lunch", but the page explicitly says that those who arrive on the previous day will be able to use the lobby for studying (and, presumably, talking) - and when signing up, you have the option of specifying arriving on Wednesday. So that's attractive. And also because getting there by train takes about seven hours; up to nine on some connections. So I'd have to get up pretty early to get there by noon on Thursday.

This is also a consideration for leaving on Sunday. The conference as such will finish sometime after lunch; the page leaves it a bit vague and says that the end is "in the afternoon". So having to leave very early in order to get home the same day would also be a bit annoying.

An option would be to take an overnight train; but on the way there, I'd have to get off the train at 5:20 in the morning, and on the way back, I'd have to get on at 00:58. Both of those times are not all that fun. (Though in fairness, the train's times are geared towards Paris, not Saarbrücken.)

What I might try is going first class: if I book far enough in advance, I might be able to get there for under €100 return, which is even cheaper than a 50% reduced full-price ticket (at €125), and might be more comfortable on such a long trip.

Then there's the option of flying: a lot quicker for the raw travel (1:15 instead of 7:30), but then you have to add in the times travelling to and from the airport, plus time from checking in to boarding and the time for retrieving your luggage, which makes flying less competitive at shorter distances but probably still gives it an edge for this distance.

Right now, I can get a flight at pretty good times (9:00-10:15 Thursday, back on Sunday at 18:45-20:00) for €118, which is excellent.

But then you have to get to the youth hostel. The bus connections on Thursday aren't that bad, except that you have to either cut the connection fairly fine at the main station or walk several minutes with a big suitcase, but on Sunday, the bus doesn't go terribly often, so a taxi starts looking like a good option (especially with the suitcase), but that adds to the price again.

Plus you have the usual problems associated with flying: luggage limits and asinine security restrictions such as how much liquid you can take, and would you prefer the enhanced patdown or the naked scanner?

So, I don't know. Tentatively leaning towards taking an early train on Thursday (and getting there around 13:24, which is perhaps a bit late for "lunch", though) and then going back at 16:47 or something like that. The availability of discount first class seats may well influence my choice of trains, but I won't be able to see that until 90 days beforehand, so 15 August.

qepHom'a'

Thursday, 18 November 2010 10:39
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I read that the Klingon language enthusiasts’ meeting in Germany this year has 25 confirmed attendees—more than the main meeting in the US this year, apparently!

Now I’m really sorry I won’t be able to make it this year, either.

And calling it a qepHom (minor meeting) really is getting increasingly inaccurate.

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