I just received my copy of Vernor Vinge's novel A Deepness in the Sky, which I had preordered from Amazon. I can't wait to read it.
There's an "Author's Note" at the beginning, which says, "...for what it's worth, the initial sound in 'Qeng Ho' is the same as the initial sound in the English word 'checker.'"
That was interesting, but I found myself wondering about his choice of the word "checker" to exemplify the "ch" sound. I immediately thought of Larry Niven's short story "Rammer", which was made into his novel A World out of Time. In that story, the "checker" is the representative of the all-powerful government State. Maybe Vinge's use of the word was a subtle tip of the hat to Niven, who wrote many stories about interstellar civilizations which relied on sublight travel.