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  5. "nuqneH? yIjatlh!"

"nuqneH? yIjatlh!"

Translation:What do you want? Speak!

May 20, 2018



What does the "yI-" prefix in "yIjatlh" mean? Is that the imperative?


It's an imperative prefix, yes.

It indicates that the object is either "him, her, it", or -- when speaking to just one person -- is also used when there is no object.

In this case, "Speak!" is a verb with no object, so when speaking to one person, the imperative form is yIjatlh!.

If you were speaking to several people, it would have to be pejatlh!.


but according to that, why we Don't just use jatlh ?


In Klingon, if a word is a command, it MUST have a prefix.


jatlh, as a complete sentence, means, "He/She/It speaks." (Or other similar statements depending on context.) Using the imperative prefix yI- turns it into a command rather than a statement.


My dad used to tell us, when we were babbling about what we wanted, he used to say: "Shut up and speak up."


You need a person that can act, this guy is really hard to understand. He has a bad microphone andwhen he's angry he sounds suprised. It's really hard to learn this way. Please fix it


Of the two voices recorded for this phrase, the male has the better microphone, so I suspect you're referring to the female voice. She does sound a little surprised, but there's no reason for her sound angry. {nuqneH? yIjatlh} is not an angry phrase. It's probably how I'd render into Klingon, "How can I help you? Please let me know."

I'm going to rerecord this one, though, because there's palatalization of the e in nuqneH. It will take a couple days to go live, then let me know if you like it better.


Isn't it also Klingon-like to say "Speak! What do you want?" Or am I missing something here?


That could be a Klingon thing to say, yes, but it's not a translation of those two sentences in that order -- the nuqneH! comes first so it should be translated first.

But a Klingon might also say yIjatlh! nuq DaneH? "Speak! What do you want?".

(Probably not yIjatlh! nuqneH? as I've only seen nuqneH right at the beginning of a conversation, as a conversation starter.)


There's no rule that says nuqneH can only occur at the beginning of a sentence or conversation. I have no problem at all seeing yIjatlh! nuqneH! and I see no reason to tell people it's probably not something a Klingon would say.

If you're going to argue personal opinions of what a Klingon WOULD say, I don't think a Klingon would say nuqneH? yIjatlh! After saying nuqneH? what's the point of commanding the person to speak? You already asked them a question; presumably that's enough of a prompt to speak.

Fortunately, individuals do not all act the same way, and we can imagine all these sentences being spoken instead of ruling on what a Klingon WOULD say.


What I want is for this dude to have a better attitude.


Amongst Klingons, this IS the better attitude. :)


Very well said :P


It literally suggested "Speak it" for yIjatlh, then marked it wrong.


It literally suggested

It did no such thing. The hints are not "suggestions" or "recommendations".

They're more like dictionary definitions and may contain translations that are not appropriate for the current sentence.

Do not rely on them to provide an answer nor try to justify an answer by saying "but the hints said...".

They can jog your memory, but never "suggest" anything.


Interestingly, "Speak it" is NOT amongst the hints.


Why do you randomly capital letters and others not? Is there a system behind that??


The spelling was originally intended to help the actors pronounce their lines.

Basically, capital letters are used as a way to say, "careful: this letters is pronounced differently from usual!"

So letters such as m n l are lowercase while letters such as S H D are uppercase since they sound quite different from English s h d.

So the capitalisation is not random -- an m (for example) will never be capitalised in Klingon and a D (for example) will never be lowercase. (And q and Q are two different letters.)


It may seem random until you get used to it. The capitals are intended to help you remember those particular letters have special pronunciations. But Duolingo sometimes recapitalizes the carefully designed system, making it even more confusing. In top of that the lowercase L and uppercase i look almost the same. You have to look for the curl at the bottom of l that is absent from I.

There is a "Sounds" unit a little into the course that discussed the letters and their pronunciations. To get all the details, you will have to read the Tips & Notes. Since Duolingo has hidden the Tips & Notes, I want to make sure you know about them and where to find them. If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I would recommend that you review those.

If you are doing the course on iOS or Android, you cannot currently access the Tips & Notes through the app. To access the Tips & Notes, you will have to access the course using a web browser at https://www.duolingo.com/. You can still do it on your mobile device, but you will have to use the web browser instead of the app (or you can do it from a computer). When you click on a Skill, it will expand to reveal a large Start button, a small key button, and a large Tips button.

If you click on the Tips button it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you have questions after reading the Tips & Notes for any Skills, we are happy to answer your questions, but many of your questions will probably already be answered in the Tips & Notes.


There's no "to" ?


The word to has probably dozens of meanings in English, and isn't present in this sentence. Klingon doesn't have an equivalent of to indicating a verb infinitive, like to be or to see.

If you're asking about do, you're right, Klingon has no translation for that. If you say you do an action, you just say the action and the do is implied.

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