You may find Learning Klingon difficult due to the alien nature of the language. When Okrand developed tlhIngan Hol, he specifically designed it to violate typical human language rules; Klingon uses a word order rarely found among human languages, and combines sounds in atypical ways. Beginners may have more luck familiarizing themselves with basic words and phrases to get the phonetic pronunciation, than trying to memorize pronunciation rules.
Klingon cursing ranks among the most difficult linguistic activity; the most offensive words and phrases in tlhIngan Hol utilize difficult to produce sounds such as tlh or Q, as well as difficult sequences of phonemes such as toDSaH. Mastering Klingon cursing gives practical experience with pronunciation and sound formation.
Qapla'[edit | edit source]
The Klingon word for success. For many Star Trek fans this is the only word they know. Hopefully, you'll be able to construct whole sentences by the end of this course!
Q[edit | edit source]
The word Qapla' present difficulty at first due to the tlhIngan Hol Q sound; you pronounce this sound somewhat like the q but harder and louder, and the difference may not be clear at first. To form the Q sound, put the back of your tongue as far back into your mouth as you can; then force the air up as if you're trying to cough something up. Pronounce the Q forcefully. You may find this similar to producing a strong English 'k' sound, but with the back of your tongue pressed to your uvula (the. another way to think of it is a Klingon q followed by a Klingon H
petaQ[edit | edit source]
The word petaQ (pronounced) serves well as an introductory Klingon word; this word functions as an epithet, similar to "bastard" or "asshole" in context. This will undoubtedly provide an enriching addition to your skeletal Klingon vocabulary.
HIja' or HISlaH[edit | edit source]
HIja' or HISlaH both mean yes (in answer to a yes/no question)
ghobe'[edit | edit source]
And ghobe' means no (again, in answer to a yes/no question)
jIyajbe'[edit | edit source]
And finally a whole sentence:
What? you ask. How can a whole sentence be encoded in one word?
Next lesson we'll enter the exciting world of Klingon grammar and analyse this sentence. For now, all you need to know is that jIyajbe' means 'I don't understand' (hopefully, you'll never have to use this phrase!)