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  5. "mara 'oHbej pongDaj'e'."

"mara 'oHbej pongDaj'e'."

Translation:Her name is definitely Mara.

April 28, 2018



Can someone break this one down for me?

  • mara "Mara"
  • 'oHbej "is definitely"
    • 'oH "it"
    • -bej "definitely, undoubtedly"
  • pongDaj'e' "her name" (topic)
    • pong "name"
    • -Daj "his / her"
    • -'e' (topic marker -- required in this kind of "to be" sentence by Klingon grammar, but does not translate to anything specific in English)

Translating 'oH(bej) as "is (definitely)" works for this sentence, but the basic meaning of 'oH is "it". So a literal translation would be something like "Her name: it definitely Mara".

But in English, that sort of construction with 'oH and -'e' translates into a sentence with "is".


The Klingon "to be" sentence is an irregular sentence and has two forms: one that links a noun with a pronoun, and one that links two nouns.

The formula for the latter kind is 'e'. Optionally, the pronoun may take some verb suffixes. It means you've got a topic noun, and now you're comparing the other noun to it and equating them in some way.

In this case we have mara as noun* and pongDaj (her name) as the topic noun. This sentence is equating Mara with her name. Since the topic noun is an it, the pronoun is chosen to match: 'oH.**

The -bej is there to express the speaker's certainty that her name is, in fact, Mara.

Don't try to apply the basic sentence's object-verb-subject structure to a "to be" sentence. It doesn't apply.


I wrote down 'Mara is definitely her name', in part b/c many languages have sentence parts moved around so it says the same thing with the same words, just in different order. I have afeeling tho, that Klingon is going to be strict about the word order!


Yes, you are correct. Because word order can be so important in Klingon, we are quite strict.


I said 'Mara is definitely her name'. this answer was rejected


That's right. That would be pongDaj 'oHbej mara'e' ("As for Mara, it is definitely her name.")


ok. So the only reason it wasn't correct was the sentence order of left to right. Mara being first in the thIingan sentence and last in the DIvI' translation.


Yes, that is basically correct. You had all of the elements for a correct translation, they were just in a different order.


Except that "Mara is definitely her name" and "Her name is definitely Mara" are identical in meaning in English. Because Klingon's word order usually doesn't match, it doesn't make sense to require a literal left to right translation here when it doesn't at all change the English meaning and almost everywhere else the word order isn't 1:1.


They may be identical in meaning, but they aren't identical in structure. Since English and Klingon use different structures in some areas and identical structures in others, it is very important to be able to recognize when the grammar uses a different structure and when it doesn't. While the connecting "is" in English often allows for commutative transposition, by strict syntactic analysis there is a minor difference with the subject and object reversed. It's absolutely necessary with locatives, but even some noun=noun sentences only work well in English. Consider "My hand is a weapon." It doesn't quite imply the same meaning as, "A weapon is my hand." Thus when translating from a Klingon pronoun-as-"to be" sentence to an English copula or vice versa we ask that you keep the same noun in the subject position and the same noun in the object position in both sentences.


What is the importance of definitely here? Is it like in english where its just used when somebody wants reassurance or is it just a normal part of the language?


-bej tells the listener that you are absolutely certain that the sentence is correct. Culturally, Klingons approve of precision in language, and expressing how certain you are of something (-bej certainly, -law' apparently, -ba' obviously on verbs; -qoq so-called, -Hey apparent, -na' definite on nouns) shows an attention to precision.


I'm confused because here it shows a lot of grammar that it's not said in tips or somewhere else. so... i couldn't do this excersive without having to look at the words' meaning


This unit was designed to give you some useful phrases that you can just memorize. As you progress through the course, you will learn about the grammar involved and come to understand these sentences more deeply.


When you spell "definitely" wrong.


You wouldn't believe how many people indignantly click My answer should be accepted after they misspell definitely.


Will this affect the decline of humanity?


ghobe'. Qaw''eghpa' Human nugh, yuQchaj luchargh tlhInganpu'.


It says, No. Before human society destroys itself, Klingons will conquer their planet.


vIyaj, 'ach boQmo' boQwI'. :)

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