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  5. "Am I crazy? Yes. You are cra…

"Am I crazy? Yes. You are crazy."

Translation:jImaw''a'? HISlaH. bImaw'.

March 26, 2018



What I don't understand is that the exact same question shows up later in the same lesson and has a different answer. This one says that "You are crazy" should be bImaw', but the other one says that it should be Sumaw'. Can you clarify this please? What's the difference between the two and why do they both show up?


You would use bImaw' when you are speaking to one person.

You would use Sumaw' when you are speaking to more than one person.

Here, you are obviously talking to one person -- the person who asked, "Am I crazy?"

There is another sentence in this unit which has mamaw''a'? HISlaH. Sumaw'. "Are we crazy? Yes. You are crazy." There, you are clearly talking to multiple people -- the "we" of the first question.

Most languages distinguish between this "you (one person)" and "you (many people)" just as they distinguish between "I" and "we" or "he" and "they". English, for historical reasons, does not -- but Klingon does.

So in Klingon, there is no one word corresponding to English "you" -- you have to decide whether you are speaking about "you (one person)" or "you (many people)".


This is also explained in the Tips & Notes. You can find the Tips & Notes by clicking on the skill and then clicking on the light bulb that appears. Please make sure to read the Tips & Notes for each Skill before beginning it.


I just wanted to thank you for the Tips & Notes. They really come in handy. Also, I have a notebook that is filled with the Tips & Notes along with grammar, punctuation...just as if I were in school. Seeing, writing, and speaking...all this helps me a great deal.

It just takes time to learn a new language. I have just scratched the surface of the Klingon language. The main thing is to have fun learning, which I am. I am starting to be able to translate from English into Klingon mentally. This is when, I know I am progressing. Qapla’!


Thank you for reading the Tips & Notes!


How is the double glottal stop pronounced?


The simple answer is: basically the same as a single glottal stop.

The more complex answer follows. First note that the first glottal stop ends the syllable before it and the second one starts the following syllable. Let's look at the second syllable. In English when a word behind with a vowel, we actually close the glottis at the start of the vowel. So no special effort or technique needs to be learned by English speakers. We do it naturally before an open vowel. At the end of a stable, it abruptly cuts off the sounds of the vowel (or semi-vowel in the case of y' and w'). Most Klingon apeakers simply close the glottis and keep it closed. When it is immediately followed by another glottal stop, you have three choices. 1) You can just keep the glottis closed and start the following vowel from there. 2) You can quietly open the glottis and then close it again to start the vowel. I'm not sure I could hear the difference between 1) & 2). 3) you can actually release a puff of air between them, usually lightly voicing the preceding vowel. This is rare among Klingon speakers, but TKD describes some Klingons as doing this.


Why does "vImaw''a'" not work instead of "jImaw''a'"?


Why does "vImaw''a'" not work

As you know*, the prefix vI- indicates that the subject is "I" and the object is "him/her/it/them" -- something third person, singular or plural.

So vImaw''a'? would be like asking "Am I crazy it?"

It makes no sense. maw' is a stative verb and cannot take an object, so the prefixes that indicate an object of any kind make no sense with it.

* If you don't remember this, read the tips and notes for the very first unit again: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/kl/Useful-phrases/tips-and-notes . Pay particular attention to the section "Verbs", where the prefixes jI- and vI- are introduced.

If you haven't been reading the tips and notes so far: please start reading them before you start any new lesson unit. They can be found on the website https://www.duolingo.com/ by clicking on the lightbulb icon after selecting a lesson unit:


I did read the tip, but I didn't quite understand the difference then, now it makes much more sense. Thanks for the quick and helpful reply!


Fortunately, there is help. I'm guessing that you don't know about the Tips & Notes. Duolingo has hidden the Tips & Notes so I want to make sure you know about them and where to find them. If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I hope you find they provide the help you're looking for..

If you are doing the course on iOS or Android, you cannot currently access the Tips & Notes through the app. To access the Tips & Notes, you will have to access the course using a web browser at https://www.duolingo.com/. You can still do it on your mobile device, but you will have to use the web browser instead of the app (or you can do it from a computer). When you click on a Skill, it will expand to reveal a large Start button, a small key button, and a large Tips button (or a small light bulb button - the small light bulb button is pictured here).

If you click on the Tips button (or the light bulb if you have that instead) it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you have questions after reading the Tips & Notes for any Skills, we are happy to answer your questions, but many of your questions will probably already be answered in the Tips & Notes.

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