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"What is your name?"

Translation:nuq 'oH ponglIj'e'?

March 15, 2018



When dealing with an interrogative, how do you know when to use 'a' instead of 'e'?


-'e' does not mark a question. -'a' turns a statement into a yes or no question asking if the statement it is tagged onto is true. -'a' is not used with question words, like nuq. The presence of nuq in these questions is what makes them questions.


'oH wasn't given as an option


Nor was /pong'e'/, which made me think it was looking for the short /nuq ponglIj/ or /ponglIj nuq/ answers. The “default” or “preferred” answer shouldn’t use words that aren’t in the list presented to choose from.


There are three default/preferred answers for this exercise, and the system will pick one at random in a tapping exercise.


What kind of exercise was it?


translating "What is your name?", which should be "ponglIj 'oH nuq'e?", but this option isn't given


Accepted translations for "What is your name?" are:

  • ponglIj nuq?
  • ponglIj 'oH nuq'e'?
  • nuq 'oH ponglIj'e'?

nuq can act not only like a noun (as in nuq 'oH ponglIj'e'?) but also like a pronoun, i.e. in a verb-like way.

Thus much as you can say torgh jIH "I am Torg" (where jIH is translated not simply "I" but "I am") you can say ponglIj nuq? "What is your name?" with nuq acting as a verby pronoun "what is".


Why is /nuq ponglIj/ not accepted? It follows the pattern of /nuq mI'lIj, tera'ngan/ from the audiotape dialog of checking in at a hotel.


Surely that's some sort of exception. A fossilized idiom of some type or an outright error on the tape. If nuq is not acting like a pronoun as verb and subject in that sentence, then there is no verb. I think it would be a mistake to generalize that weird form.


Same problem. The segment nuq is available but no 'e or nuq'e there.


Also have the same problem, and have had it in other languages as well. The big problem is you cannot complete the segment successfully until you get it all right and you can't get it right if the words are not there. This problem has appeared with the pin up words. I imagine they will get it ironed out.


I had this problem too. The answer required {nuq 'oH ponglIj'e'} but no {'e'} was available in the answer. I was able to complete the segment by clicking "Use Keyboard" and typing it out.


I may be jumping the gun here, but can I deduce that "-lIj" means "your"?


Only when attached to the end of a noun which is not a being or not capable of language.


You shouldn’t need to deduce it. Isn’t that information in the tips and notes?


Only later in the course, presumably. This section only teaches some stock phrases to start us off with. But now I'm impatient, you see. :-)


What I'm confused about is why the translation isn't listed as one of the choices? I understand there are other answers that work, but is that intentional or a bug? "ponglIj 'oH nuq'e'?"


Some of these translations have multiple "best" translations and depending on the exercise, it's possible that the software picked other variations than the one you expected. ponglIj 'oH nuq'e'?, nuq 'oH ponglIj'e', and ponglIj nuq have such subtle differences in use and meaning that they basically all mean the same thing.


As I understand the 'e' is for emphasis. So should "nuq 'oH ponglIj?" be an acceptable answer?


The suffix -'e' serves a number of similar functions that all have to do with focus or topicalization. It's not actually used for emphasis per se, but if you use it to draw focus to something where it's not grammatically required, then it does have the effect of emphasizing it.

In this case, it is grammatically required. The pronoun ('oH) is acting as both the subject and verb, so the noun phrase marked with -'e' is serving as an extra, duplicate subject and must be marked with the -'e' suffix.

The phrase nuq 'oH ponglIj without the -'e' suffix looks like just three nouns in a row which would theoretically mean something like "your name of what's it". It's pretty nonsensical and most klingons would immediately recognize what you intended, but it comes off sounding a bit like saying, "What you name?" in English.

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