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  5. "Jentus are birds which canno…

"Jentus are birds which cannot fly."

Translation:puvlaHbe'bogh bo'Deghmey bIH jentu'mey'e'.

April 1, 2018



So, the relative clause is not treated essentially as an adjective modifying the noun, as it is in some languages, but rather as a state of the verb? I was expecting it to come after the noun as a modifier.


Exactly -- the verb stays where it would normally be (after the object, before the subject) and just gets a relative marker -bogh on it.

This also means that you can only relativise subjects and (direct) objects; there's no "the house that I grew up in" (prepositional phrase) or "the boy the man gave the candy" (indirect object).

But it does mean that you can distinguish between tera'ngan HoHbogh "the Terran whom he killed" from HoHbogh tera'ngan "the Terran who killed him"; if the verb were always after the noun when it's relative, you couldn't tell them apart.

There's an entire unit on relative clauses later on where this will be taught in more detail and with more examples. This unit just gives you a little preview with a handful of relativised verbs to essentially learn as single units.


could this be a possible translation for this sentence? puvlaHbe'bogh bo'degh jentu'mey


No -- that's not an entire sentence.

It would mean "bird jentus which can't fly".

The bo'Degh jentu'mey would just be two nouns next to each other, so it would be much like putting "bird jentus" next to each other in English -- the one noun would simply modify the other one a bit like an adjective.

Kind of like tlhIngan Hol "Klingon(s') language" or mara pong "Mara's name".

You need a pronoun such as ghaH, 'oH, chaH, bIH for there to be a "to be" meaning or relationship.

This is a case where Klingon is not like Russian :)

(Also, mind the capital D in bo'Degh.)


I seem to get a translation for bIH as they are and some times you are.... can anyone clarify?


bIH means "they" (or sometimes "they are").

Perhaps you're confusing it with the verbal prefix bI- as in bIyIt "you walk". But the two are not related.

Don't be misled by the fact that jIH "I" happens to look similar to the verbal prefix jI- as in jIyIt "I walk"; that's not a general rule.


thanks, can you tell me the whole conjugation of to be? so far I have been identifying the followin jIH (I am), ...... ghaH (he/she/it is ......maH (we are)......bIH (they are)


Klingon doesn't have a verb "to be" as such; it just uses pronouns together with a noun to indicate that somebody is something.

  • jIH I
  • SoH you (one person)
  • ghaH he, she (capable of using language)
  • 'oH it (not capable of using language)
  • maH we
  • tlhIH you (more than one person)
  • chaH they (capable of using language)
  • bIH they (not capable of using language)

So something like tlhIngan maH! (We are Klingons!) is literally "We -- Klingon(s)!". Much like Russian, if you speak that language.

And bo'Deghmey bIH jentu'mey'e' would be more literally something like "as for jentus: they -- birds". Or as we would say it: "jentus are birds".

Note that ghaH is for he/she but not for it. HoD ghaH "He is a captain / She is a captain" but bo'Degh 'oH "It is a bird." (Or as a Russian would say: "He -- captain. It -- bird." No "to be", no articles. They would probably feel right at home with this part of Klingon.)


Thanks that makes a lot of sense. thanks for clarifying.

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