"jIHvaD tIngev!"

Translation:Sell me them!

April 22, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Comparing with the sentence Chom! 'Iw HIq HInob ("Bartender! Give me bloodwine!") I am wondering whether this sentence could/should read instead bIH HIngev.

Just a few days ago there was a discussion in the "Learn Klingon" Facebook discussion group about the phenomenon in Klingon when a verb can be inflected in accordance with the indirect object instead of the direct object, with reference to the following explanation: https://www.kli.org/wiki/Verb_prefix_trick. I wonder where the sentence "Sell me them" is a situation where such an inversion would be appropriate.


bIH HIngev is perfectly acceptable.

The Klingon Dictionary doesn't distinguish between direct and indirect objects until it introduces the concept of indirect object in its second-edition addendum. Until then, they're just "objects." I think Okrand was thinking about direct objects when he wrote it, but then as he started translating English sentences, sentences that used non-prepositional indirect objects threw him, and we got things like HIq HInob, where the prefix doesn't agree with the direct object. We were later given the "prefix trick," which explains what's going on (possibly retroactively).

There's no known "appropriate" time to make the prefix agree with the indirect object instead of the direct object, but there are restrictions. You can only do it when the indirect object is first- or second-person and when the direct object is third person or nonexistent.


Since we don't actually teach the prefix trick, I wonder if it was a mistakes to introduce it and perhaps the bartender sentence is the one that needs to be replaced. We'll give it some thought.

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.