I just received this by e-mail:

Klingon Santa and his bird OF sleigh

Can anyone fluent in Klingon translate what this Klingon Santa is saying?

  • 21
    Ah, that's the original Santa Clause, not the human rip-off. Good stuff!
    – bitmask
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 18:32
  • 6
    Is that an elf hanging off the back of the "sleigh" or a Vulcan?
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 1:47
  • @bitmask: Correct! Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 11:48

2 Answers 2


"May y'all enjoy Christmas and may y'all enjoy the new year."

QISmaS = Not a canonical tlhIngan Hol word, but a phonetic approximation of "Christmas".

bo- = Pronomial prefix; indicates that the subject of the verb is second-person plural and the object is third-person. "Y'all do something to him/her/it/them"
tIv = enjoy (verb)
-jaj = Verb suffix; indicates a wish on the speaker's part (similar to the jussive mood). "May it be so."

'ej = and (joining sentences)

DIS = year

chu' = be new

Edit: Also, the pIqaD text on his sleigh appears to say Sannta. That consonant cluster in the middle isn't really allowed in traditional tlhIngan Hol, but I think the Empire will forgive the artist; after all, it is QISmaS ;)

Indeed, big kudos to the artist for doing their research; most people take a lot of shortcuts when writing "Klingon", and that's quite understandable, but whenever somebody does get it right, it's a real treat for those of us in the Klingon-speaking community :)

  • 1
    bIpaw 'e' laj staqxchg tuq
    – n00b
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 20:51
  • maj! Daqvam vItu'pu'mo' jIbel!
    – loghaD
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 11:38
  • Wait... a Klingon Santa from the deep south?
    – user11521
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 19:58

According to omniglot.com it means:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • botlvjaj appear 2 times in the bubble, should end it be "Merry Christmas and Merry New Year." or "Happy Christmas and Happy New Year." ?
    – DavRob60
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 18:00
  • 18
    Well, that's how a rather literal-minded machine would translate it. A good translator would take the surrounding culture of the target language into account, hence the different and culturally expected wording.
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 18:03
  • 4
    And in this case it is even more difficult to translate, because I doubt that Klingons have a word for "merry".
    – Till B
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 18:42
  • 1
    Indeed, Klingons are not known to be merry men
    – ghoppe
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 1:38

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