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Insults In Klingon

Is there a section in the Klingon skill tree for insults? If so, would that be in culture? I was just wondering because insults play an important part in the Klingon language.

March 20, 2018



It's in the People part. Like "petaQ".


Alright, thanks! I was thinking it might be a bonus skill to be added later.


We won't be adding any new skills to this tree, but once things calm down a little on this tree we will probably start working on an updated and expanded tree and I would love to see us add a skill on cursing to Tree 2. But that is getting ahead of ourselves. We still have a lot of work to do on this Tree.


What would a switch to a Tree 2 involve for the students? Would the current level be kept, or would one have to start from scratch?

Also, I'd like to ask what you feel are the work still to do on this tree (to move it out of beta, I presume), and if we students may help in any way. I see your comment is 6 months old now, so maybe something already changed.


We have not begun working on Tree 2. We still dream of doing so, but speaking for myself, I have become a little disheartened by the lack of support from Duolingo administration. They seem to have lost interest in the Klingon course.

If all we did was add new Skills, then all current crown levels would stay the same. But if we start moving the introduction of new words to other Skills or add more words to some existing Skills, then the system would reduce the crown levels to get you to go back and discover what's new and different. They have done some major rehauls on some of the trees and people have been upset with all the levels that they lost, but I don't imagine anything that extensive with the Klingon course.

While minor tweaking of the course could go on forever, us contributors have done everything we can to make the course ready for graduation from beta. The staff have even offered to graduate us from beta. However, we feel that the software problems are extensive and that it is inappropriate to graduate a course which has such problems. They have known about the problems with recapitalization and apostrophes since very early in the course creation and yet they still have not fixed them. They have either given up trying or never even started trying. I don't hold much hope that this course will ever work the way we imagine it should.

None the less, once you get used to the idiosyncracies, I think it's a very helpful course and us contributors are so thrilled to be helping new ghojwI'pu' learn the language that we maintain our enthusiasm for what we have created.

The only way I can imagine the students helping in these regards would be to file a bug report each time you see poor capitalization or an empty hint on a word starting with a qaghwI': https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-


Thank you, for your detailed answer.

I will try to report a bug. But as a workaround, wouldn't it be possible to use the fancy (unicode) quotation mark U+2019 in the text, and accept both the ASCII apostrophe and the single quotation mark in input? I don't know if you can do a search and replace on the whole exercises text, so it may not be possible.

As for the tree version 2... I was just curious, I am just half through the course and I am having fun.

I wouldn't personally care about losing crowns, they are an indication of progress to me, and may be motivational, but they are a tool to improve the learning experience, not a goal on their own.

I agree that the course is great, the ghaqwi' bug is annoying, but not a show stopper.


While insults are fun, they are unfortunately a bit difficult to teach, because they often don't have direct translations. We included the common petaQ and a few that do have translations, such as 'I'SeghIm ("curmudgeon") and 'eDjen ("arrogant person"), but didn't dedicate an entire skill to it.


Does the same apply for curses? Either way, thanks for making Klingon Available to everyone!


What's the difference between insults and curses? Unless you mean incantations meant to bring bad luck or bad situations to someone, that's a different kind of cursing. But if you mean, calling someone names or saying something bad about them, then I use the words "insult" and "curse" as synonyms.


I think Klingons see a difference between "curses" and "insults".

Curses are {mu'qaDmey}. They are more like burns. {mu'qaD veS} is a ritual fight that allows warriors to have some fun and to demonstrate their skill with language. It's not taken seriously. No one should be killed during {mu'qaD veS}. matay'DI', vIHtaHbogh bIQ rur mu'qaDmey.

However, if you insult a Klingon's honor, then he'll kill you. Words like {toDSaH}, {taHqeq}, and {yIntagh} are real insults. They start physical battles and get people killed. tlhIngan quv DatIchDI' Seng yIghuH.


Speaking of which, as a non native (English) speaker, I had to learn what a curmudgeon is. :)

I now understand it refers to a grumpy person. A bit of a weak insult, in my opinion.

Also maybe it would help to have some more natural alternative for "arrogant person".

Smartass maybe (is this considered vulgar?) Could Snob do? Or braggart?

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