Private Language Lessons (tag: COS Shock)

Posted Nov. 24, 2023, 10:42 a.m. by Lieutenant Shock (Chief of Security) (Richard A)

Posted by Civilian Marishka (Lounge Host) in Private Language Lessons (tag: COS Shock)

Posted by Lieutenant Shock (Chief of Security) in Private Language Lessons (tag: COS Shock)

Posted by Civilian Marishka (Lounge Host) in Private Language Lessons (tag: COS Shock)
Posted by… suppressed (12) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Marishka had agreed on private language lessons with shock because she appreciated his respectful attitude towards learning the Klingon language and just about everything else he had done in life so far that she had been able to observe. They had set the time for 2100 because they were both very busy people and that seemed to be most appropriate for the next few days. It also seemed that her quarters would be the most private for such matters. She had gotten home a bit early and created the proper environment. The room was quiet and the furnishings minimal. Acoustics had been reset and she had even decided to change the environmental controls in order to minimize her pheromones as much as possible. That wasn’t easy because her Klingon and Orion endocrine system maximized their potential. Stepping out of the shower she took one last look around and was satisfied with the results. Flipping a bit of long dark hair back over her shoulder she was even satisfied with her outfit. A leather black mini skirt held together by several silver buckles and sheer gold and red strapless top held together by several smaller buckles in the front. Her opal necklace was worn on a strand of red beads that matched The hourglass naval piercing she hadn’t taken off since Julian gave it to her of those many many moons ago. She doubted the communication function worked anymore but it had just become a part of her.

  • Marishka

It surprised Shock that Marishka had offered to host him for some private Klingon language lessons. He wasn’t sure what to expect – he had never had one-to-one language tutoring before. Of course, when he was a child, he learnt languages by holographic interaction and so on. That is how he can speak Federation Standard with the same accent as a native Anglophone from Earth. But his Klingon had a distinct Vulcan flavour to it. He didn’t mind that, he just enjoyed learning the language for the sake of the challenge itself. Moreover, he found that it anchored him in his identity in a way. The rescue of the Klingon family on his last ship had made a profound impact on Shock’s psyche, one that which allowed him to actually feel things and trust his emotions and not purge them without recognizing them.

He often wondered what had happened to that family…

He had decided to bring a gift. He replicated a Klingon book from 2023 which depicted the first contact and subsequent Klingon–Vulcan interactions. He was pleased with the result. The language was archaic and difficult to understand for him, but he thought that perhaps Marishka would understand the gesture as a symbol of their friendship and interaction.

He chimed her door and waited to come in, carrying the book in the palm of his hand, stuck together with his PADD that he would use in his studies with her.

– Shock

“Yl’ev!” Marishka called out.

Dancing around at our quarters one last time she was pleased with the results. Walking to the replicator she replicated several small trays and put them on a side table. She hoped this lesson would go well but truthfully had no idea what the outcome would be.

  • Marishka

As Shock entered, he understood the universal translator had been turned off. How else did the command to enter register in Klingon. He had not considered if they actually shared another language – had they, perchance, communicated only via universal translator?

“It is agreeable to see you again, Marishka,” he said in Federation Standard. “Your offer of lessons honours me. I do not know the Klingon or Orion customs, but in many cultures it is customary to bring a gift the first time one visits the home of another. I have thus brought you this gift,” he said, handing over the book to his host.

– Shock

Marishka crossed the room in several long strides and took the book from his hand. Flipping through the pages she noticed it was a fine quality, even if it was replicated.

“Klingons and Orion’s have varying traditions regarding gifts. I don’t really follow either. I prefer to do things my own way and the suits me. Thank you very much. Please feel free to help yourself to anything in the replicator, but I would avoid anything considered dairy products. It doesn’t really matter what species or if it’s replicated or not it seems to not be good for the throat.”

  • Marishka

“Thank you,” he replied.

Marishka’s advice was fine, Shock tended to avoid most dairy except for special occasion. Klingon was a guttural language, so something soothing for the throat. He thought of tea, but decided on plomeek soup. He walked to the replicator.

“Plomeek soup, thin, hot, in a cup,” he ordered to the computer. Seconds later, he had it.

Turning back to Marishka, he asked “How shall we do this lesson?”

– Student Shock

Marishka’s quarters were sparsely furnished but did offer an array of seating options. There was a small couch that could fit two reasonably sized people and several comfortable chairs. She took a seat on the small couch and indicated shock could sit wherever he pleased.

Shock brought his soup with him and sat down on one of the comfortable chairs close to the couch where Marishka had sat down.

“Normally we would start with the basics of pronunciation. Since you seem to know a bit of the language already, I would like to hear you speak it a bit just so I can gauge where we should begin. It doesn’t really matter what you say at the moment. If I need more detail I will guide you. Please begin.”

  • Marishka

Shock nodded. “I regret that I cannot find the words to simply say something, so I shall recite a poem:

HurghtaHvIS jIwam, [I hunt in darkness]
muDev Hovmey. [The stars my guide]
bomDI’ ‘IwwIj qaqaw. [The memory of you sings in my blood]
cha’nob vISuq, [I seize the gift]
QongDaqlIjDaq vIqeng [Carry it to your bower]
‘ej qamDU’lIjDaq jaghwI’ tIqDu’ vIlan.” [And lay at your feet the hearts of my enemies.]

As he spoke, the consonants and vowels were pronounced as perfect as possible – accounting, of course, for the anatomical differences in the speech-producing organs of the throat, mouth and lips between Vulcans and Klingons. What Shock struggled with was intonation – there was something off about it, but nothing out of what would be expected for a foreign learner of the language. The accent was markedly Vulcan but the words and sentences fully comprehensible. Moreover, Shock’s recital lacked the emotion that was usually required for a dignified reading of such an emotional poem. But he was Vulcan after all…

After finishing the recitation, he thought of the meaning of the poem. Why had he chosen that particular one? It was a love poem, though its themes and imagery were deeply anchored in Klingon culture and lore. He decided that he needed to include this in his meditation later tonight, once returning to quarters after this lesson. But how would Marishka take it?

– Student Shock

Marishka sat for a few seconds listening to Shock’s recitation of what was essentially a thing on love poem. Why had he chosen that? It was something that she would perhaps think about, perhaps not. Slowly she got up and began to walk around the room listening as he spoke from different points of the room. Silently she stepped up behind him and slowly placed her fingertips on his throat. She wanted to feel the vibrations his voice box made and understand how it worked for him. Leaning down her long dark hair brushed his cheek and shoulder.

“You are quite proficient. I understand that you are not an emotional man, but Klingon is a very emotional language.” she whispered softly in his ear.

It was slightly uncomfortable for Shock when Marishka stood behind him, touching his throat and whispered in his ear. He decided not to make any notice of it, he did not wish to interrupt Marishka’s instruction. There was surely a plan behind what she did.

“In that sense, Vulcan and Klingon are each other’s antitheses,” he replied. “That is, and will remain, for me, a struggle.”

Stepping away she returned to sit in front of him. As the poem finished she nodded and smiled slightly.

“Yes, I think we can definitely work with this. I believe you will notice a definite difference in the way the language is spoken from a sitting and standing position. Tell me, where did you hear that poem first?”

  • Marishka

Marishka was probably right. Next time, he would stand when speaking to see how it affected the way he articulated the language.

“I find that poetry is a reflection of the culture in which the poem was written, or the poet’s culture. It is more introspective than prose or academic language, as it often demasks the outer appearance and rules of society, but goes more inwardly to the psychology of the poet – and thus – the speaker of the language. From this poem, emotions are clearly important to the poet, as are the themes of battle, blood, enemies, retribution or compensation – as well as relationships, trust, and love. Perhaps it is stereotypical of me – though I think when learning a culture – for learning a language is learning a culture – we have to begin with stereotypy. Grammar is after all what is standardized by most speakers, pronunciation and enunciation by most speakers, and so on. Poetry helps in that venture. Was the poem new to you?”

– Student Shock

“Truthfully, I really couldn’t say whether this poem is new to me or not. I have heard or come across quite a few Klingon and other poems in my time. It is quite beautiful though. I can tell you this, grammar was never my forte when learning a new language. I seem to learn languages by some type of instinct that has always vexed people attempting to teach it to me. On the other hand, it has been the thing that has made me good teacher. It doesn’t make sense to me but it has always worked for me.”

Marishka’s assessment of the poem confirmed Shock’s interpretation of why the poem was good. It did not appear novel or strange to Marishka, but rather familiar and beautiful. As such, it was an adequate representation of Klingon literary canon.

Marisska got up and picked up something from a tray. She approached Shock and looked down on him from a standing position.

“Would you please repeat the poem from a standing position. After that we can move on to a lesson of some sort.”

  • Marishka

“Certainly,” Shock replied and immediately rose.

Taking a minute to gather his thoughts, he recited it this time without looking at the text. As he recited the poem standing, his voice became a bit louder, as if he were speaking to a bigger audience, and he felt that he enunciated more, put emphasis on the verbs and nouns with emotional flavour, such as hunt, darkness, sing, blood, carry, hearts, and enemies. To Shock, the recital seemed more natural now, more “Klingon”. Even his forehead muscles moved in line with the meter of the poem, and with the emphasis of the key words. It was almost as if he had ridges himself…

– Shock the Student

Mariska Rose at the same time shock did and made her way around the room as she had done the first time. By the time he was finished with his second recitation she was standing in front of him.

“Bravo as our human companions would say. I would never expect you to be able to pronounce and enunciate with the same type of passion as a Klingon, most Klingons would not even expect me to do that because of my Orion heritage but little do they know how many hours I spent taking oratory classes. You are doing quite an excellent job. I don’t believe in standard lessons, conversation is the best way to do such things. I think our next lesson will be a scenario where we must have conversation not just something out of a book. Do you have any ideas? Since you are the student I take you into consideration.”

“Thank you, ghojmoHwI’pu’

Mariska knew that her teaching methods would be incredibly unorthodox, she was actually counting on that. Necessity was boring she felt. Innovation often made things happen in unique ways and that was the best way to learn she felt. She had been speaking to him in galactic standard with no aid of the universal translator all this time. Her voice unencumbered by such things was a mixture of Orion and Klingon accent that seemed very natural in a way that most people wouldn’t have expected.

Shock grasped Marishka’s unorthodoxy. Indeed, he embraced it. It was new, invigorating, and challenged him. He found value and meaningfulness in this. If he listened to the feelings deep in his gut, he would sense “fun”, but he was much too good of a Vulcan to admit that, even to himself.

“I have a little homework before you leave. But first, any scenario ideas?”

“I suppose childhood makes sense, as I am on a child’s level of vocabulary, grammar and confidence. What do you think?”

  • Marishka

– Student Shock

“Please elaborate so that I can form a better opinion. I have a few ideas, but I’m still not quite understanding you.”

“A conversation about childhood. Have I perhaps misinterpreted your question?”

Marishka walked to a side table and set a tray of instruments she had brought out for manual manipulation aside, they weren’t actually necessary but probably would be later. Instead she picked up a tray with tea and cups and brought them to a small table where they had been sitting.

“Would you like some black tea? It’s from that region of Earth that produces it so well, I thought it might be good for your voice after such deliberate recitation.”

  • Marishka

“Thank you, that is appreciated. I accept.” He certainly looked forward to hydrating his throat, and perhaps getting to know his teacher more.

– Student Shock

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