Since we know nothing about klingon writing(1), we also do not know about punctuation. As a fact, Marc Okrand has never written anything about punctuation, but he usually uses it when he writes Klingon.

Canon appearance

with punctuation

  • The Klingon Way uses punctuation everywhere: periods, commas (p. 67), semicolons (p. 19), question marks (p. 131) and exclamation marks (p. 153).
  • Klingon for The Galactic Traveler does use punctuation as well, (p. 20, 118, 194, 195 e.a.) even including question marks (p. 34).
  • The Klingon Monopoly uses commas, semicolons, and periods on all of the playing cards.

without punctuation

  • The Klingon Dictionary does not use any punctuation, not in the main text, nor in the list of expressions.
  • paq'batlh does not use punctuation, but it seems this has been chosen intentionally as an artistic way
  • The TalkNow software does not use punctuation, but the English phrases don't do either.

Klingonists convention

Since we have several canon examples using punctuation, Klingonists have agreed that using commas is a very useful thing to make phrases clear. Over time, Klingonists have generally settled on these practices on the mailing list and other online places, not as a matter of policy, but as a convention.
Curly braces {tlhIngan Hol} Klingon words in English text
Angled brackets <<quote>> Quoting spoken words in Klingon text
Asterisks *mu'qoq* indicates Klingon spelling of a non-canon word
Asterisks *English* English words in Klingon text
Single Asterisk *pong indicates a Klingon name that's not canon

An earlier version of this FAQ (of 1994, but still online) showed quotes to be used for English words in Klingon texts. Experience over the years has shown that these could be mistaken as Apostrophes, so the recommendation is to use asterisks also for English words.

Non-canon Examples

HoD Duj, Sa' targh je vIlegh
I see the general's targ and the captain's ship
instead of "I see the general, a targ, a captain and a ship"

See also


1 : The Klingon Dictionary

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 28 Aug 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 12 Oct 2015 by KlingonTeacher

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* The first edition of The Klingon Dictionary was published
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