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  5. "mara, be' SoH."

"mara, be' SoH."

Translation:Mara, you are a woman.

March 17, 2018

17 Comments


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

I used "female" and not "woman" and got it wrong, despite the fact that {be'} also means "female". Ugh.


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

Did you report it so we could fix it?


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

No... I'll do that when I come across it again.


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

Do loD and be' refer to the male and female of any articulate species?


[deactivated user]

    Yeah, a male or female of noun class one (language users), assuming males and females exist, which, of course, they do because the Great Bird had to put his skimpy costumes on someone. ;)


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

    loD and be' actually mean "male" and "female", but when used to refer to people are usually translated as "man" and "woman". I suppose you could point to sheep and say the words and expect them to be translated as "ram" and "ewe".


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

    Or as here, to Mara, who stricto sensu is not a woman, but a female Klingon, I assume. I suppose my real question was whether they were limited to Klingons or would apply to Terrans and other species.


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

    Klingons are people too! We use words like "people" and "women" to refer to female Klingons as well as female humans. In English I would say that Mara is a woman, but she is a Klingon woman, not a human woman - but in the most literal translation I suppose the Klingon would say something like, "Klingon female" or "human female". You could also have targ females, sark females, v'gro females, etc.


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

    It's a philosophical question, I suppose. I might be willing to extend the term to any species that would look good in a miniskirt (which should be a fundamental classification in Star Trek), but I am loathe to use the term for a Horta, Denevan neural parasite or Tholian female, for instance, even though they are clearly articulate, and form their plurals with -pu' in Klingon, I assume. If my cat were to start talking, I probably still wouldn't call her a woman, even though she is probably more closely related to me than a KIingon female is. Of course, I suppose the TNG episode "The Chase" would indicate that my cat is indigenous to Earth, while I am some sort of invasive species, as Klingons are on QonoS, unlike the native targ. I have always tried to ignore that episode, though.


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

    But you're talking about the English word "woman". The point I'm trying to make is that the Klingon word "be'" actually means female and can be applied to beings that you wouldn't call "woman".


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

    Right, I suppose what I am saying is that "woman" is not a great translation for "be'". We do find many non-human characters in Star Trek that use the term "female" when speaking English, and I would say that is probably a better translation for "be'."


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

    I originally wanted to translate this as "Mara, it's not you." Since there is no copula in Klingon to attach the negative particle be' to, would this work as an alternate translation?


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

    Leaving aside any arguments as to what counts as a copula and what doesn't, the pronoun in a sentence like this is acting as a copula. The SoH here means "you are" and can take some verb suffixes when acting that way. Mara SoHbe' would mean, "you are not Mara." Since the negating suffix -be' cannot be attached to a noun, appearing, as it does here, without a verb, means it must be the noun be' "female". "It is not you," is a very weird thing to say, but I suppose SoH 'oHbe' is grammatical and matches in both meaning and weirdness.


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

    (Small typo: it should be mara SoHbe' with a lowercase m.)


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

    HIvqa' autocapitalization!


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

    Thanks for the confirmation, jd. I realized a short while after posting that that the -H suffix on the pronoun acts as the copula in this particular case, so it's SoH that the negating suffix should be attached to. That's been happening to me a lot lately; slowly but surely, Klingon is really beginning to get into my head.

    "It is not you" IS an odd thing to say, granted, but as usual, we can come up with a potential situation where it might occur if we look hard enough for one: "Something is blocking my light. Mara, it's not you."

    (Leave it to me to come up with a convoluted scenario under which an unnatural sentence might be used, if only to prove that such a scenario does indeed exist. I'm kind of the queen of finding such out-there scenarios.) ;-)


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

    In Klingon, that pronoun (if that's what we want to call it) is essentially treated as a verb, taking all the verbal endings. I think what you are suggesting would be "mara, SoHbe'." Actually, it might even be "mara, SoHbe' oH'e'," so I guess I should leave it up to the experts to clarify this.

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