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Rambling about sloppy English and good Klingon - Nite Mirror [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Rambling about sloppy English and good Klingon [Dec. 11th, 2001|03:08 pm]
Nite Mirror
I've noticed I'm starting to be a little sloppy with my written English. No, I'm no English teacher and I know even at my best I'm sure there are mistakes to be found in what I write. After all I've been practicing my butchery of the English language for most of my life, so I should have mastered how to make mistakes in it by now. Lately I've noticed that the first drafts of anything I type have a good deal of missing suffixes.

At first I thought it was just carelessness, but now I'm wondering. It seems the main suffixes I drop are verb past tenses (-ed ), and adverbial suffixes (-ly). I've been learning the conlang tlhIngan Hol and the thought has crossed my mind that it might be some kind of cross contamination.

The Klingon language doesn't have verb tenses (it has verb aspects instead). It also doesn't have adverbs at all (it has special verbs that fill the function of adverbs, but they are *verbs* and treated as such). Could this be why I've become sloppy with my English as I become more proficient in tlhIngan Hol?

I originally started learning tlhIngan Hol because I wanted to learn a major constructed language and improve my skill with conlangs. With the Star Trek angle I thought Klingon might have more interesting people and more resources to learn it than, ... say, Esperanto or lojban. Although the scientific aspect of lojban and it's history (having been created as the result of a schism) does fascinate me. Plus to my surprise I'm discovering what seems to be a large number of Klingon speakers also speak lojban, but I'm digressing as usual.

Anyway, now I'm finding that I'm impressed with tlhIngan Hol as a language itself. In general it is much more concise than English. Granted theoretically a tlhIngan Hol verb could have a prefix and up to 10 suffixes making a heck of a *long* word, but that one word could pack an entire English sentence into it.

Examples:
I'm certainly not willing to talk to you.
qajatlhqangbe'bej

Apparently you are mistaken.
bImujlaw'

Of course there are a few things that English does better. Comparisons and absolutes are ugly and awkward constructions in tlhIngan Hol (to the point of even having a special grammatical construction not used elsewhere in the Klingon language).

Vanilla tastes better than Strawberry.
[Vanilla] 'ey law' [Strawberry] 'ey puS

But chocolate is the most delicious.
'ach yuch 'ey law' Hoch 'ey puS

(no Klingon word for vanilla or Strawberry, but there is a word for chocolate!)
Klingons really enjoy chocolate!
yuch tIvqu' tlhInganpu'!

Oh, and one last thing that has struck me about this language, the computer shareware resources available for it are very Mac friendly. Which seems to be ahead of the curve for most computer resources.

Now if I could just get someone to port LangMaker over to the Mac platform I'd be ecstatic.
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