I was looking for a Klingon word for "curiosity" but I was unable to find one. In the dictionary, there are words for scientist (tej), science (QeD), research (Qul), analysis (poj), smart ('ong/vai), interesting (Daj), etc. But nothing reproducing exactly "curiosity".

I haven't checked the Star Trek: Discovery subtitles in Klingon yet.

  • Surely there must be a better forum for this kind of question. Also, maybe something like "hungry for information" – ThePopMachine Sep 25 '18 at 17:25
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    Although this is broadly on-topic here, you might consider re-asking it on ConLang:SE, a stack aimed at speakers of constructed languages. – Valorum Sep 25 '18 at 17:30
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    @ThePopMachine - it's on topic here, but, Angelo, there's also a Constructed Languages site, where this might get a better reception. I'm not entirely sure why this has gotten downvotes, though. – Mithrandir Sep 25 '18 at 17:31
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    @Mithrandir: I didn't suggest it as off-topic. I merely said this can't be the best place to get an answer. – ThePopMachine Sep 26 '18 at 3:15
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I agree that the question belongs to the Constructed Languages site. Thank you for your comments, anyway :) – Angelo Steffenel Sep 27 '18 at 7:23

For the most part, Klingon doesn't often use nouns to speak of moods, states or behaviors; it is more likely to use verbs.

For example, rather than saying "She is renowned for her cunning.", you would be more likely to see a sentence like 'ongmo' noy. ("Because she/he is cunning, she/he is well-known."), using the verbs 'ong ("be cunning, be sly") and noy ("be famous, be well-known").

There are certainly exceptions to this, with words for things like courage (toDuj), pride (le'yo') and QeH ("anger"), but they are relatively rare.

It is also possible to nominalize verbs, but it's not really all that common, and often leads to unnatural-sounding sentences.

So, is there a known word for "be curious"? As it turns out, there is not. We are left trying to explain the state of being curious through the use of existing terminology.

ghojqang - she/he/they is/are willing to learn - formed from ghoj ("learn") and the volitional suffix -qang ("willing")

ghojqangqu' - she/he/they is/are really willing to learn - like ghojqang, but with the willingness

poymar paQ 'e' tIv - she/he enjoys contemplating mysteries

yaj 'e' nIDqu' - she/he really tries to understand

pIj vuQlu' - she/he is frequently fascinated

reH yabDaj je' neH - she/he always wants to feed her/his mind - There is a Klingon saying: yab wIje'meH maSuv. ("We fight to enrich the spirit."). Perhaps a studious person would rather say qa' wIje'meH maHaD. ("We study to enrich the mind.")

ghung yabDaj - her/his mind is hungry - I don't know if this would be common expression among Klingons, but I suspect it would get the message across.

If you really need a noun, you could try nominalizing one of them (i.e. ghojqangghach - "a willingness to learn") or using a relative clause (i.e. DI'on'e' chIwbogh yab ghung - "the characteristic embodied by a hungry mind").

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    This is an awesome answer, thanks for this. But I'm guessing this answer got downvoted because it doesn't cite any sources? – Kevin Workman Sep 27 '18 at 2:22
  • Thanks :) And, yes, that's probably the reason. I'll see about adding some sources later, but it's quite time-consuming to indicate sources for translations, since it's not something you can look up, save by looking up the individual words and grammar rules. – loghaD Sep 27 '18 at 4:41

Some composites that fit the definition:

Sov'neh (lit. knowledge-hungry), or

Sov'nej (lit. knowledge-seeking)

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    I'm afraid both of these are grammatically incorrect; Klingon doesn't have (regular) noun-verb or verb-verb compounds. Also, v'n is a forbidden consonant cluster. You can, however, use Sov as the object of neH or nej: Sov neH. = "She/He wants knowledge."; Sov nej. = "She/He seeks knowledge." – loghaD Sep 26 '18 at 22:34
  • If you follow the universal rules of linguistic lenition, if you don't want the second of two consonants to change, you need to introduce a pause. If I'm not mistaken you can do that in Klingon with either a space of a " ' ". – Codosaur Oct 1 '18 at 16:52
  • Nope; the apostrophe is considered a letter in romanized tlhIngan Hol (corresponding to a glottal stop), and so adding it to a word is considered a spelling error, akin to writing "laptop" as "laphtop".Many words are – loghaD Oct 1 '18 at 18:34
  • Many words are only differentiatd by the presence of a glottal stop, i.e. maymo' ("because it is fair") vs. may'mo' ("because of a battle"). – loghaD Oct 1 '18 at 18:46

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