Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

Dances with Klingons July 20, 2015

Klingon from Affliction (Star Trek Enterprise)At a recent contradance, my day was made when someone jokingly wondered how to say “thank you for the dance” in Klingon* – and someone else actually knew. Daniel Morse, who translates Chinese texts for a living, turns out to also be fluent in Klingon. Without batting an eyelash or pulling out a device, he explained the following.

Ma mi/t mo/ qatlho/  = Thank you for the dance

Ma = we together, Mi/t = dance, mo/= due to, or because of that, qatlho/ = I, to you, thank.  Note his knowledge about grammatical structure differences between Klingon and English too.

I was pretty surprised by the idea that Klingons dance, so even though I trust my friend, I did do a bit of Internet research for confirmation and maybe a scandalous video showing their moves. Indeed, many of these same words appear when calling upon Saint Google.

Another juicy tidbit also arose: several scholars pointed out that while qatlho/ (I, to you, thank) is a Klingon word,  it is not one used by Klingons. So what would Klingons say? “I’m sorry I didn’t stomp hard enough on your foot”?


Klingon in the News

You know how interesting things often occur en masse? Around the same time I was delighting in this, applied Klingon language appeared in the news. An UFO was sighted in Wales, and a magnificently nerdy government spokesperson responded.

From the BBC:

Welsh government responds in Klingon to UFO airport query

“Klingon was the chosen language for the Welsh government in its response to queries about UFO sightings at Cardiff Airport.

While English and Welsh are the usual forms of communications in the Senedd, it opted for the native tongue of the enemies of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk.

Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar had asked for details of UFOs sightings and asked if research would be funded. A Welsh government spokesman responded with: “jang vIDa je due luq.” The Welsh government statement continued: “‘ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS.” In full it said it translated as: “The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter.”

It is believed to be the first time the Welsh government has chosen to communicate in Klingon.

Mr Millar, shadow health minister and AM for Clwyd West, submitted three questions to economy, science and transport minister Edwina Hart about UFO reports around the airport and across the rest of Wales.

“Responding to the government’s unusual diversion into trilingualism, Mr Millar said: “I’ve always suspected that Labour ministers came from another planet. This response confirms it.””

Click here to read the full account.  See, I didn’t make this up.


The crazy late night search for Klingon dancing terms gave me another moment of linguistic delight before going to bed: there is actually a site dedicated to informing people how to say the vital phrase, “My hovercraft is full of eels!” in multiple languages, from Afrikaans to Zulu.

As if this homage to the bad Hungarian phrasebook in Monty Python’s Flying Circus weren’t enough, as a bonus, the wizards at Omniglot include the phrase in several invented languages – yes, including Klingon.

Klingon:  lupDujHomwIj lubuy’moH gharghmey  (Click here to hear it spoken)

For those of you who may need distraction from insomnia or deadlines, or those with really cool travel plans, here’s how to say it in Quenya, the language of J.R.R. Tolkien’s high elves:

Quenya:  Venenya vilyanirwanen ná quanta as angolingwi

Really, Klingon and Quenya seem no weirder than Welsh or Yiddish:

Welsh: Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod

Yiddish: מײַן פּראָם (שוועבשיף) איז פֿול מיט ווענגערס     (Mayn prom (shveb-shif) iz ful mit vengers)

…I suppose they’re also no weirder than a search for how to say this phrase in the first place. Or to praise your dance partner in Klingon. Ah well. Thanks for reading.

Qapla’! (Success! Good-bye!)


* For the non-nerdly among our readers, “Klingon” refers to a fictional alien (planetary alien) people and language from TV’s Star Trek.


11 Responses to “Dances with Klingons”

  1. RedChef Says:

    You just made my day, too, Tina — that was great! Sent it on, too…

  2. Daniel Morse (facebook link) Says:

    choquvmo’ qatlho’. I thank you for honoring me.

  3. Daniel Morse (facebook link) Says:

    There are now words for Star Trek fiction in Chinese. The word for Klingon is 克令干。

  4. Daniel Morse (facebook link) Says:

    And just how do we say “Thank you for the dance” in Klingon? Here goes: mamI’chuqmo’ qatlho’.

    I’m sorry I didn’t stomp hard enough on your foot. Okay: qamlIjDaq vIgho’taHvIS pe’vIlHa’ ‘oHmo’ wanI’e’ jIQoS.

  5. Daniel Morse (facebook link) Says:

    Ask Christina Geck about Klingons at contra dances.

  6. Tavi Merrill (facebook link) Says:

    Tina you are super weird and wonderful. Also my hovercraft just filled up with eels.

  7. Jim Marcolina (facebook link) Says:


  8. JGavin Bergstrom Says:

    Consciousness and the dance that never ends. Thank you evolution for the ability to analyze the manifestation of a language created for entertainment. What a marvel of being and in some cases a distraction for insomnia. Strangely, not unlike the symbiotic dance of the Nematode or the unrelenting dance of our senses. We are after all living beings that are dependent upon these connections. For instance, I had an American Quarter Horse I called Chicapea. When I mounted the connection was immediate and the appendage solidified as this magnificent, powerful and fully conscious animal merged with me. A symbiosis I remain unable to communicate effectively in English or Klingon. However, the experience continues to animate an intuitive response within my interactions.

    The power and strength that symbiosis produced continues to frame my awareness. It was not long ago that I lost my partner and was left in a place that wasn’t welcoming. So, I left and at the time disconnected. Angry, sullen, desperate, confused, violated and beyond all else I felt victimized. It was the worse set of experiences I could ever imagine. Once again left with the entanglements of strangers and their perceptive, misguided notions/ideas. I was numb all over and maybe I should have translated this to Klingon? Certainly it would have distracted me, busied my mind or given action of some kind to all that had transpired. Instead I internalized it, suppressed the overwhelming knowledge that I was alone again in the world. Our connection was greater than the symbiosis I had with Chicapea and remains actuated within my experience. Allowing new interactions with others now has been transformed in a negative way.

    A metamorphosis of sorts that has left me unwilling beyond the wild life that surrounds me. Although, I keep trying somehow, reaching for a hand from some I recognize as having an awareness that is beyond the reality others impose. For instance, I had an experience with a Hawk. I bought a property on a fresh water marsh of sorts regulated by an upriver Dam. In the beginning I spent a great deal of time planning changes in the yard. During meditation I noticed the Hawk watching from it’s perch atop an aged cypress across the Marsh. I remember smiling at this realization; It was amazing. Not soon after the Hawk appeared on my Dock in the afternoons bringing me squirrels and fish remnants. Shortly after this the Hawk appeared overhead while I was taking my daily walks, perching on telephone lines and trees seemingly waiting for me. I was able to get pictures during these interactions and when I shared my experience with the Hawk I was called deluded. As though I were suffering some kind of mental instability for describing this beautiful relationship, whatever one might call it, with this Hawk. While this is but an example of the misguided interactions I’ve had it is telling. They wanted to put me on Seroquel and medicate me. I said no.

  9. JGavin Bergstrom Says:

    Why isn’t it ok to be Human? I ask this secondary to the idea that it is not ok to say “No thank you.” anymore. As if the N and the O were difficult to comprehend. These days some would apply the covert application of hermetically sealed Neuro Stimulators to achieve an altered perception in others. Imagine, a device that can be implanted by a dentist during tooth repair or routine extraction in 20 minutes. Different in function than an electric dog collar (barbaric, offensive device!) it instead creates a resonance that is heard only by the individual with the implant (barbaric and offensive device). The resonance is then translated or heard like the noise of a radio frequency that is loud and confusing to the senses. While the device is proximate to the Trigeminal nerve the resonance also causes irritation leading to a neuralgia that is complex in it’s etiology, add to that medications like Neurontin that facilitate the use of the device by masking the symptoms and reducing the inflammation, your left with a confused, anxious and at times gnarley Human Being. Anyone for Mad Dog therapy? This device can be seen by googleing ‘ hermetically sealed neuro stimulator ‘ here you will see the patent and photographs of the device and it’s placement parameters. Star Trek and it’s creators weren’t so off base with the idea of the Borg. In fact we may be closer than we think.

    For those of us fighting to remain connected to Nature instead of the deluded Society we live in. Borg like Neuro Stimulators with innumerable applications for the dishonest and cruel among us; Do exist and in fact are in use out there. It is a frightening time without awareness.

    I am Gay and have lived through so much pain already; Those who would convert me, those who hate my identity and those who would hurt me for what our misguided society refuses to acknowledge. My Consciousness, Individual Being, Soul, Self, ID or whatever label may be correct for the contextual value; Can’t move beyond these very real hostilities that are a constant part of my daily life. In the end I am just disgusted and I Meditate when I am able even though I can’t purge it.

    I still my mind and it’s processes and allow the life around me in, yet the mind bending noise in my left ear continues, when I am able I transcend and my Consciousness is freed. In this State of Being I travel the Universe and while some may argue it is a State of “perceived” Being; All I can say is for me it is a beautiful reality with unlimited potential. A place where the symbiotic life processes within the soil beneath our feet expands and the reality of coexistence is clear. A place where my experiences collate from the past and mingle with an image of what is to come.

    Thank you Tina for this site and reminding me that I am not alone in my “rant” or thoughts. I don’t fear the complexity of these issues, as much as I dislike the experience and emotions they provoke. Some tell me to ignore my intuition and let it all go; While others simply snark and give me pills. Am I the Nematode, predator of the soil? Or, are we all Nematodes that have lost the ability to be symbiotic? Dulling our collective senses via Chemicals, Technology and deluded manifestations of our Consciousness. Some speak to the delusion as a matter of transitional time. For me it’s a matter of relativity and given Einsteins theory it may be that sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be. Or maybe they are? Melville’s manifest Whale was chased and tortured, Orwell’s manifest ‘Big Brother’ tortured a Zombified Humanity and now there is Neuro Stimulation to alter our experience/perception.Who decides? Certainly not the Whale or the Zombified.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s