"I don't understand."
I typed jlyajbe' and it says I have a typo in my answer. I see now that the second letter should be a capital 'i' instead of a lowercase 'l'. I wish there was a way that Duo could make the letters more clearly what they are - like using a serif typeface instead of sans serif. I will have to be hyper-observant I guess.
jIyajbe' simply says, "I don't understand," and doesn't refer to any specific thing, but rather implies that the lack of understanding is general and not specific.
vIyajbe' is translated as "I don't understand him," (or "her", or "it", or "them"). It is saying that some specific thing is not understood. To actually specify the thing that is not understood, you list it before the verb: paq vIyajbe' "I don't understand the book." But if the previous conversation or other context (like pointing at the book) makes it clear what the specific thing is, then you can just say vIyajbe'.
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If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I would like to ask that you review those so we don’t have to continuously repeat the information that we have explained there.
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This my understanding about the difference between the jI- and vI- prefixes:
jIyajbe' means, simply, "I do not understand". There is no object when the jI- prefix is used. jI- is also used when there are only adjectives following it. For example: jIwoch "I am tall", jIval "I am clever", jIQupbe' 'ach jI'IH "I am not young, but I am beautiful".
vIyajbe' can mean "I do not understand [her, him, it, them]" - there is an object whenever the vI- prefix is used. So, vIvuv "I respect her", torgh qoq [Thank you jdmcowan!] vIlegh "I saw Torg's robot".
I'm pretty sure the above examples are correct, but someone please correct this if it's wrong!
jI- is the prefix for I-none. vI- is the prefix for I-him/her/it.
E.g." jIyaj "has no direct object. It simply is "I understand" whereas " "Mara vIyaj jIH" is "I understand Mara." choyaj'a'?
*oh I missed that this was already explained. I leave it here purely for posterity.
There's a tendency for English speakers to treat apostrophes as unimportant, but they are a full letter of the alphabet in Klingon, so if you leave them out you have misspelled the word. Of course, Duolingo tries to let simple spelling errors slip, but we had them set apostrophes as being more strict so that English speakers will get used to treating them as important. Now, if they could figure out how to be as strict about the difference between q and Q...
That's because in Klingon an ' is a full letter indicating a glottal stop. Fyi a ' is the letter qaghwI'. In Klingon a single qaghwI can change one word into a completely different word including it's pronciation. You really understand this a whole letted better if Duolingo staff got over themselves and allowed audio to these lessons.