"Torg, do you speak Klingon?"
Translation:torgh, tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'?
"tlhIngan Hol Dajatl'ha Torg" was what I input and marked wrong, and the correction it showed me was "torgh, tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a' SoH?"
I have a few questions;
1) Why is the answer shown different than the answer above?
2) Why does the subject come first? I thought tlhIngan Hol sentences were constructed object-verb-subject?
3) I don't understand the use of the word SoH here. Why is it used in one answer but not the other?
I'm going to answer in reverse order, because I think you need to understand 3 before you can understand 1.
3) In English we use pronouns to represent people in the sentence without using their names. "You" is a pronoun. When talking directly to someone you don't use their name, but use the word "you" to represent them in the sentence. For example: "You speak English." Klingon includes this information in a prefix instead. The prefix tells you who is doing the action: DIvI' Hol Dajatlh "You speak English". The Da- prefix tells us that "you" are doing the action.
The word SoH is a more traditional pronoun that can be used in much the same way as an English pronoun. However, the prefix is still required. It is the pronoun which is optional. DIvI' Hol Dajatlh and DIvI' Hol Dajatlh SoH mean the same thing, but the second version repeats the "you" by having it in both the Da- prefix AND the SoH pronoun.
2) The use of the name Torg at the beginning (separated by a comma) means that we are calling his name to get his attention. Having called his name, we then address him directly. In English we use "you" and in Klingon we use the prefix Da- when speaking directly to that person. When addressing someone directly, we might call their name, but we don't actually use the name in the sentence. If you actually used his name as the subject (by placing it after the verb, not separated by a comma) then you would no longer be speaking to him, but rather about him:
tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh? "Does Torg speak Klingon?"
tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a', torgh? "Do you speak Klingon, Torg?"
torgh, tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'? "Torg, do you speak Klingon?"
1) The pronouns are optional. The prefix Da- indicates that the subject is second person singular and it is required. The pronoun SoH also indicates a second person singular argument and can be placed in the subject position, but is not necessary and expresses no additional information since the required prefix already contains this information. Both versions are possible ways to translate the English sentence.
A fairly good explanation of this is given in the Tips & Notes. If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I would like to ask that you review those so we don’t have to continuously repeat the information that we have explained there. If you have read them and still have a question, please be specific in your question so we can figure out where the confusion is.
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/, either from your mobile device or from a computer. When you click on a Skill, it will expand to reveal a Start button and a light bulb. If you click on the light bulb it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you still have questions after reading the Tips & Notes for the previous and current Skills, then please return to the forums to ask more questions, explaining what you didn’t understand or what seems contradictory to you.