The apostrophe is considered a single letter with its own right in Klingon. It is called qaghwI', literally "one who does interrupt" (1). It is the last letter in the Alphabet used by Okrand in TKD (2).


The apostrophe in Klingon is a glottal stop, or a brief interruption in the flow of air in the glottis. Although it sounds complicated, the glottal stop is common in English, being the break in the middle of "uh-oh", or in the pronunciation of "button" as "but-n". The apostrophe is a Klingon consonant which must not be used improperly, as very different meanings can result: bISub (you are heroic) bIS'ub (bottom)

Writing the letter

There are several ways to type the letter and many people are not sure which key to use on their keyboard.

Looking better: The real Apostrophe

Depending on the font you use, the choice of this makes the Apostrophe look better. It should be the little mark looking like a small nine, which you can create holding your Alt-Key and then type 0146. The HTML code is ’ .This produces ’. That is too much work when writing emails, so it's maybe better to use the typewrite apostrophe shown below.
bortaS bIr jablu’DI’ reH QaQqu’ nay’.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Easy use: Typewriter apostrophe

Most English speakers (and writers) have no problem to write this, becaue they are used to type words with apostrophes like it's and don't

bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Don't use: the accent

Many writers who do not use apostrophes very often, might confuse it with the accent, which is easier to find and use on the keyboard, because for instance a german keyboard requires to hit the shift key to get the apostrophe. Using the french accent may make klingon text more difficult to read, and it does not look nice at all:
bortaS bIr jablu´DI´ reH QaQqu´ nay´.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

The auto-format problem

When writing Klingon on a computer, it is important to deactivate auto-correct, especially the function which replaces apostrophes with back and forth tilting apostrophes. If not, it might look like the following:
bortaS bIr jablu‘DI’ reH QaQqu‘ nay’.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

See also


1 : qep'a' 2009 ?

2 : The Klingon Dictionary, p. 77

External links

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 07 Jul 2015, by WikiAdmin    Created: 21 Mar 2014 by KlingonTeacher
History: r14 < r13 < r12 < r11 - View wiki text

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