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  5. "torgh 'oH pongwIj'e'."

"torgh 'oH pongwIj'e'."

Translation:My name is Torg.

March 16, 2018



'oH is a pronoun referring to a single thing which is not generally considered a being and/or not generally considered to be capable of speech. It is usually translated as "it".

In Klingon there is no verb "to be". Verbs that look like adjectives (often called "verbs of quality" or "stative verbs") already include "to be" in them. But to say that two nouns (or noun phrases) are equivalent, you have to use a pronoun as if it was both the subject and verb of the sentence:

paq 'oH "It is a book."

pong 'oH "It is a name."

pongwIj 'oH "It is my name."

torgh 'oH "It is Torg". (Which might be taken as an insult if you are talking about the person and not about the name.)

If you also want to state what "it" is and equate two actual things, then you need to add in an explicit subject. However, the pronoun is already acting as both subject and verb, so you can't really add in the subject. Except that there is a very special and unique bit of Klingon grammar which allows you to use the "focus/topic" suffix -'e' to add in a duplicate subject for this kind of sentence only.

Thus, "My name is Torg," is torgh 'oH pongwIj'e'




[torɣ ʔox poŋwɪʤʔɛʔ]


I'm a little familiar with Klingon already, but I am a little confused with the -'e' verb suffix. Is it supposed to emphasis "wIj".

i.e. MY name is Torg?

[deactivated user]

    'e' is a compulsory suffix for stating the subject in a "A is B" sentence using a pronoun for "is". You have to stick it on the end of the noun playing the role of A, which in this case is "pongwIj" which becomes "pongwIj'e'".


    So in this case is 'oH supposed to be the verb? and what exactly are the pieces of pongwIg'e'. I get the 'e' as a suffix.


    In Klingon, all verbs and suffixes have several different suffixes that can come at the end of them. Each suffix exists in a group/category, and a word can (potentially) have a suffix of each category. You'll learn more about suffixes as the course continues, but for now:

    the root word {pong} means "name", {- wIj} is a noun suffix 4 meaning "my" and {-'e'} is a noun suffix 5 which are used as syntatic markers.


    I don't know much about linquistics in general, but what are syntatic markers?


    Broadly speaking, there are essentially two types of word-bits: the bits that hold concrete meaning and the bits that are there for grammar reasons. In general, syntactic markers are a category of the fiddly grammar bits.


    I feel like it should also accept "Torg's my name" with the apostrophe. Also, why is it "Torg" and not "Torgh" in English?


    Some contractions are accepted automatically, but not ones including nouns such as "Torg's my name" or "My name's Torg".

    I've added those two by hand now.

    In general, though, it's probably better if (on this course) you don't contract "is" to 's after a noun as usually only the uncontracted form will be in the list of accepted answers already.

    As for names -- most of the personal names used on this course are from the Star Trek films, where the characters have a Klingon name and a "Federation Standard" (English) name which are usually similar but not the same. When speaking English, Klingons are referred to by their English names (e.g. Torg, Gowron), rather than as torgh, ghawran etc.

    A bit like how we refer to Cristoforo Colombo as "Christopher Columbus" in English -- that is his English name and it would be inappropriate to say that "Cristoforo Colombo came to America in 1492", just as we wouldn't say "I travelled from Deutschland to Rossiya, landing in Moskva"; we would use the English names of those places in an English sentence.

    So also with Klingons: we use their English names in English sentences, their Klingon names in Klingon sentences.


    As with all other Duolingo languages, I believe that each possible translation has to be hand-entered separately by the programmers. The more creative and fancy you get with your answer, the more likely it is to be incorrect. I've had this happen with several of the other languages I've been studying, in many cases simply because Duolingo did not agree with my word order, even when their English translation sounded wrong or bizarre. Best just to standardize.

    In addition, in this particular case, as discussed above, the suffix 'e' makes "[my] name" the primary subject. Thus, "My name" should come first.

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