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"loD be' je"

Translation:the man and the woman

March 28, 2018

14 Comments


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

I wrote "man and woman" as an answer. Should this be marked as correct? Or am I mistaken?

March 28, 2018

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

I think it should not be marked correct -- singular countable nouns in English nearly always need an article (or other determiner) in front of them, e.g. "a man and a woman".

March 28, 2018

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

Perhaps I'm thinking of a sentence like, "Death brings honour to both man and woman alike", or something like that. In such a context, would you translate it like I have suggested?

March 28, 2018

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

Yes, most likely.

March 29, 2018

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

Thank you! Your insight has been most valuable.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

In isolation, no English singular countable noun needs an article. "Man and woman" is absolutely a correct translation of loD be' je. It's just not the only one.

You don't have to apply articles until you get to sentences, or at least certain phrases. It would be incorrect in English to say "Man and woman live in Germany," but if your Klingon original were qachvetlh luDab loD be' je, any of the following would be perfectly fine:

The man and the woman live in that building.
A man and a woman live in that building.
The man and a woman live in that building.
A man and the woman live in that building.
Men and women live in that building.
A man and women live in that building.
The man and women live in that building.
Men and a woman live in that building.
Men and the women live in that building.
The men and the women live in that building.

But the Klingon qachvetlh luDab loD be' je doesn't mean just any one of these, and it doesn't even mean any one of these at a time. It means all of them at the same time, though only some may be suitable translations for a given situation.

Basically, English articles introduce more information than the Klingon does. The Klingon version is more generally applicable than any given English version.

This is true of much in Klingon: it is less situation-specific than English. Forcing people to translate a general Klingon sentence into a specific English version, even when the Klingon doesn't only mean what the English says, is a very unfortunate problem with the Duolingo method.

It goes the other way too. Forcing people to lose the information encoded in English articles, etc., when translating to Klingon, without the benefit of encoding that information in outside context, is unfortunate.

March 29, 2018

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

Ah, interesting. Thanks for your insight!

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanHu16208

this told me the correct answer was "Men and Women" this is wrong. that would be "loDpu' be'pu' je

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

In Klingon, the plural suffixes are nearly always optional. loD can be translated man or it can be translated men.

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanHu16208

Ok, that's new to me, but why was "man and woman" considered wrong then? Articles and plurality both being option?

June 11, 2018

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

A lot of accepted translations (51 to be exact) had been entered, but that specific variation had been missed. It is now accepted.

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

"Man and woman" should not be wrong. The course is incorrect to mark them wrong.

June 11, 2018

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

Articles are not optional in English (and don't exist in Klingon).

"man and woman" works as a kind of fixed phrase, but you couldn't say, for example, "Man came into store and bought book."

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

That's generally true for sentences, but you're not asking for a sentence; you're asking for a noun phrase. The translation of the word loD is man; the translation of the phrase loD be' je is man and woman. That these phrases are not provided in context is not the fault of the student translating them.

And I can certainly think of ways to use the phrase man and woman without articles, referring to them as categories of people. "Telekinesis is beyond the ability of man and woman." "Scholars debate the psychological differences between man and woman."

June 11, 2018
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