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  5. "'IH qach."

"'IH qach."

Translation:The building is beautiful.

March 21, 2018



There is no tool tip for 'IH. It is the first time I have encountered this word.


This is a general problem for words starting with an apostrophe -- there are hints stored for them but they are not displayed.

Duolingo's technical staff know about this and are working on it, so there's no need to mark "hints wrong or missing" for this case: it's a general, known bug already.

'IH means "be beautiful, pretty".


It might be helpful to mention its meaning in the Tips section preceding the lesson, then. Since many of us have never encountered it before this lesson, without a hint, it could mean absolutely anything. :)


One way to learn is by guessing and seeing what the correction is :)

But I like your idea; I'll add 'IH to the tips and notes for this unit.


Thank you. I was wondering the same thing.

  • 1097

I tried 'Gorgeous building' and 'Beautiful Building', both of which were rejected. Not yet clear where the requirement for 'The' and 'is' came from?


Klingon doesn't have adjectives as a separate class of words, distinct from verbs.

Instead, there are some verbs that describe certain qualities -- for example, 'IH could have the dictionary translation "be beautiful".

In this sentence, it's a full verb -- qach is the subject and it is after the verb 'IH.

So 'IH qach means "The building is beautiful." 'IH here means "is beautiful" here (or "was beautiful" or "will be beautiful"), and qach means "the building" or "a building". It cannot be translated just "building" in this sentence because "Building is beautiful" is not correct in English, if "building" has the meaning "structure, edifice" -- countable nouns in the singular need an article or other determiner in front of them.

Your phrase "(a) beautiful building" would be qach 'IH -- when such a quality verb comes after the noun, it acts like an English adjective.

(Normally, a noun followed by a verb would be the object of the verb: for example, paq laD would be "he/she reads the book". But quality verbs don't take objects, so qach 'IH is unambiguous; it cannot mean "it beautifuls the building".)


This is a bizarre sentence


It makes it memorable and entertaining. Expect more bizarre sentences!


You must be new here ;-)


Why is "house" not accepted


A qach can be any building -- it could be a house but it could also be a library, hall, museum, hospital, ....

So "house" is too specific a translation. Kind of like translating "vehicle" with "car", or "animal" with "horse".

A house is a juH qach: a building that's a home.


Why is "The building is handsome." not accepted, while "Torg is handsome" is in a similar sentence? Is that just a matter of that being a somewhat outdated way of describing non-gendered things in English, or is Klingon more gender-specific than I'd thought?


I would use the word „handsome“ only for humans in English, not for inanimate objects such as buildings or even animals.

In fact, nearly only for male humans.

So it’s an English thing, not a property of the Klingon word.


I disagree. I could easily imagine someone saying that a building, other object, or maybe even an animal is handsome. I'm going to add it in as an option. It may seem weird to some people, but it's not clearly wrong and it's just being added as an alternative.


Why not “It is a beautiful building”?


Because the adjective-verb stands before the noun, not after it.

Remember that Klingon is object–verb–subject -- when you have 'IH qach, the order is verb 'IH then subject qach, so 'IH is translated as a verb, "is beautiful".

If you want to say "a beautiful building", the adjective-verb has to stand after the noun: qach 'IH.

(That can't be mistaken for object + verb, because Klingon adjective-verbs can't take an object; qach 'IH cannot mean "it beautifuls the building" and can only mean "a beautiful building" or "the beautiful building".)

And there is no "it is" in the sentence -- that would be 'oH in this case, for qach 'IH 'oH "it is a beautiful building".

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