The most common way to talk about mathematical operations is using the verbs boq "ally with, for an alliance with" and chen "take form." (1)


"4 + 3 = 7" would be wej boq loS; chen Soch (literally, "four allies with three; seven forms"). It is also possible to reverse the two numbers being added: loS boq wej; chen Soch.

Note that in these mathematical constructions, all numbers are considered singular from a grammatical point of view. One says wa' boq cha' "2 + 1" not wa' luboq cha'. That is, the prefix lu-, indicating a third person plural subject and third person singular object, is not used. The subject ("two" in the example) is considered singular.


For subtraction, the suffix -Ha' "undo" is attached to boq producing boqHa', literally "dis-ally" or "dissociate from." Thus "4 - 3 = 1" would be loS boqHa' wej; chen wa' (literally, "three dissociates from four, one forms").

When subtracting, the subject and object cannot be reversed without changing the equation. wej boqHa' loS would be "3 - 4" and the answer would be a negative number.


In Klingon, multiplication involves a number allying with itself. Thus, the type 1 suffix -'egh "oneself" is used: boq'egh "ally with oneself." It is necessary to specify how many times this alliance occurs.

For example, "2 x 3 = 6" would be cha'logh boq'egh wej; chen jav ("twice, three allies with itself, six forms"). AS in mathematics, the multiplier and multiplicand may be reversed: wejlogh boq'egh cha' ("3 x 2," "three times, two allies with itself").


Paralleling multiplication, division in Klingon involves a number dissociating from itself a specific number of times. The verb used is boqHa''egh "dis-ally from oneself, dissociate from oneself," containing both -Ha' "undo" and -'egh "oneself."

For example, "6 / 3 = 2" is wejlogh boqHa''egh jav; chen cha' ("three times, six dissociates from itself, two forms"). Reversing the dividend and the divisor changes the equation. javlogh boqHa''egh wej would be "3 / 6" and the answer would be a fraction


Maltz did not want to talk about fractions nor about negative numbers.(2)

See also


1 , 2 : matlh jup mu'mey, September 2000, HolQeD 9:3, p. 8-10

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 01 Jul 2016, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 30 Jun 2016 by KlingonTeacher

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