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  5. "tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh?"

"tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh?"

Translation:Does Torg speak Klingon?

March 15, 2018

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Somer-S

"Did he speak Klingon, Torg?" or "does Torg speak Klingon?" ?

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, either of those -- though the first one would be clearer if punctuated tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a', torgh? with a comma before torgh.

jatlh'a' on its own can mean "does he speak (it)? did he speak (it)? will he speak (it)?" (and similarly for "she" or "it").

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ed.Lawrence

Surely Does Torg speak Klingonese is a valid as Klingonese always refers to the language whilst Klingon can have different uses?

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Klingonese is generally considered to refer to a Klingonaase which was a Klingon language referred to by one of the authors of the novels. He presented bits of the language and it clearly is a different language than what we call tlhIngan Hol. But perhaps that's too specific a distinction and we should accept it as a word that people might use to refer to tlhIngan Hol. As mizinamo says, he has already added it in as an option.

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I've added "Does Torg speak Klingonese?" as an alternative now.

In practice, I've usually heard the language called simply "Klingon", as context (e.g. the lack of an article before the language name) generally makes it clear what is meant, and that is the translation that is most likely to be accepted.

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TARDISToni

In my experience, it is common mostly for non-native English speakers to refer to it as "Klingonese." Most native English speakers will call it simply "Klingon." I personally thought that it was referred to as "Klingonese" only early on in TOS, and that changed to simply "Klingon" starting from TNG onwards. So, while it would probably be a good idea to write up an explanation at some point of the distinction between "Klingon" and "Klingonese" - in an FAQ section, maybe, and not somewhere that's not embedded in a discussion page like the above - I agree that it's best for now to make both of them acceptable as a translation for early learning purposes.

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonMcCla6

I guessed: Do you speak Klingon, Torg? What should be changed or added for that?

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

You would need to have the proper prefix. Without a prefix (we sometimes call it the "null prefix") the verb must be in the third person (i.e. "he speaks it"). Theoretically "tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a', torgh?" could mean, "Does he speak Klingon, Torg?" and context would probably make that pretty clear. But the most likely interpretation of Torg's name being in the subject position is that he is, in fact, the subject of the sentence: tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh? "Does Torg speak Klingon?"

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

To actually ask Torg if he speaks Klingon, you would need to add the prefix that indicates that the person you are speaking to is the subject. In this case that would be Da-:

tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a', torgh? "Do you speak Klingon, Torg?"

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

jatlh'e' should be jatlh'a' both times.

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eddie0809

I had "Does the Torg speak Klingon" and it said that it's without "the". Are there set rules, when I should and shouldn't use articles?

EDIT: Ignore the first sentence, just noticed that it's a name -.-

the question still stands tho

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

In English? The course doesn't try to teach English grammar. As you have noticed, names don't usually take articles in English (unless you are referring to one out of a group of people with that name). As for other nouns, I think the general rule is that if you have referred to the noun before you use "the", but if it's the first time you are referring to that noun you use "a". Since I teach Klingon and not English, I haven't really looked up more specific details on how to teach that.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eddie0809

no i meant if I can see in the klingon sentence, that an article is necessary. E.g. in swedish you have "kvinna", "Woman", and "kvinnan", "The woman". Is there such thing in klingon?

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

No. Like Japanese and a number of other languages there are no articles at all in Klingon. However, English does use articles, so the English translations will often require them. {paq} means book and can be used in Klingon without alteration in the same ways that English uses "the book", "a book", or even "books".

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rachkoi

It wants "Does Torg speak Klingon languages?" if you end the sentence "--Klingon language". Am I missing something or is it a bug?

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The best translation is "Does Torg speak Klingon?"

You can also say, "Does Torg speak the Klingon language?"

But "Does Torg speak Klingon language?" does not sound like good English to me.

Language names are usually proper nouns (e.g. "English, French, German, Spanish; Klingon"), or act like adjectives modifying "language", e.g. "the English language, the French language; the Klingon language".

There is only one English language, hence we use "the" because the speaker will know which language we mean (it's old information). Similarly with "the Klingon language".

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ivory77

I guessed 'Do you speak Klingon Standard Torg? but it corrected me to 'Do they speak Klingon Languages, Torg', which having read the comments below seems even further from the actual translation than my attempt!

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

In my opinion, the best translation is "Does Torg speak Klingon?".

I'm not sure whether accepting the torgh (not preceded by a comma) as a vocative ("Torg!") and translating the rest (tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a'?) as "Do they speak Klingon languages?" is particularly helpful.

I'll discuss this with the others.

It would probably be clearer if vocatives were always separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I think I would have to agree. We were trying to be too clever in allowing all possible similar sentences in. If there were a way to tell Duolingo to never use one of our alternatives as an example, it might work better. But since it's showing them all this "or maybe it could be" stuff, we should probably stick closer to the more direct translation.

March 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ivory77

Thanks for the help! And for putting the effort into running this course!

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TARDISToni

Do there even exist distinct separate "Klingon languages," thus making Klingon a language family rather than a single language? Or different Klingon dialects, for that matter? I had assumed there was only one standard Klingon language.

If there are multiple Klingon languages, then the plural form of "Hol" would need to be used in order to get the corrected translation Ivory77 got (I'm not far enough along yet to have learned about plural forms). If there is only one Klingon language, though, then the question is moot.

Either way, getting a correction by Duolingo of 'Do they speak Klingon Languages, Torg?' for this sentence seems odd.

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Do there even exist distinct separate "Klingon languages," thus making Klingon a language family rather than a single language? Or different Klingon dialects, for that matter? I had assumed there was only one standard Klingon language.

There are definitely different dialects spoken in different places.

The book Klingon for the Galactic Traveler gives a little glimpse into the variety of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar found in the Klingon language.

What this course teaches is ta' tlhIngan Hol "the Emperor's Klingon", the standard language.

Caveat: it has historically been the case that when the emperor changes, the new emperor comes from a different region. When this happens, his dialect will become the new standard.

So you might need to relearn if the political situation on Kronos changes in the future and you want to keep speaking the standard :)


If there are multiple Klingon languages, then the plural form of "Hol" would need to be used in order to get the corrected translation Ivory77 got (I'm not far enough along yet to have learned about plural forms). If there is only one Klingon language, though, then the question is moot.

The plural ending is always optional in Klingon.

So tlhIngan can mean not only "a Klingon" or "the Klingon" but also "Klingons" or "the Klingons", and Hol can mean "languages" as well.


Either way, getting a correction by Duolingo of 'Do they speak Klingon Languages, Torg?' for this sentence seems odd.

It does, especially since there's no comma marking "Torg" as a vocative.

We plan to go through the course eventually and use commas with all vocatives, and stop accepting vocative translations for sentences without a comma in the appropriate place.

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilchymis

How would you say, "Does Torg NOT speak Klingon?"

May 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

tlhIngan Hol jatlhbe''a' torgh?

May 3, 2018
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