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"What is his name?"

Translation:nuq 'oH pongDaj'e'?

May 1, 2018

7 Comments


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

I got this wrong because I thought I had to add 'a' to the verb 'oH here to indicate the interrogative. Do I not have to because the question is implied by nuq? (I noticed that nuqneH doesn't have 'a' either.)


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

Correct. -'a' is not used to mark all questions, just to turn a statement into a yes/no question. When using a question word, -'a' is NOT used on the verb (or in this case, pronoun acting as a verb).


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

Can anyone break this down?


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

This sentence is provided in this skill as a useful sentence to memorize. The grammar for this sentence will be explained in detail later. Make sure to read the Tips & Notes for each Skill - they contain a lot of the details needed to help you understand what is going on. You can find the Tips & Notes by clicking on the Skill and then clicking on the light bulb next to the Start button.

Even though the grammar of this sentence is explained and practiced later, I will give you a brief introduction to it here. To understand this sentence, you would first need to notice that there is no verb in the sentence. In Klingon, pronouns can act as verbs equating two things. So 'oH in this sentence is acting like "to be" or more specifically, "it is". The "it" that it is referring to is pongDaj'e' "his name". We don't know who "he" is because Duolingo just gives you the sentence without context, but that is no different than the isolated English sentence, "What is his name?" (By the way, the Klingon does not actually indicate a sexual gender, so it could also be translated as "her name".) We can use this same construction to say what the name is: torgh 'oH pongDaj'e' "His name is Torg." But in this case, the sentence is using the question word nuq "what?". So instead of saying what his name is we are asking what his name is.

I hope that helps.


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

That does help greatly, thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mike-lima

I remember from a more advanced lesson that nuq can be used as a pronoun, so can I say

pongDaj nuq?

to translate the same question?


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

Yes, and that is an accepted translation on this exercise.

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