Might be an insult, might be a statement of anatomical fact. not SeghlIj vIqIHpu', Human. Hab QuchlIj. I've never met your species before, human. Your forehead is smooth.
Strictly speaking, if we follow the grammar, doesn't this mean "your forehead is smooth"? I would say "you have a smooth forehead" would be Quch Hab Daghaj. The meaning is the same, but in the interest of a fully correct translation, I'm curious why the grammatical format is changed here.
Strictly speaking, if we follow the grammar, doesn't this mean "your forehead is smooth"?
I agree; that's the translation I would have preferred.
Some of our contributors have added sentences with more flexible and less literal translations, particularly in the earlier units of the course.
I've generally preferred more direct translations for the sentences I've added.
So the "style" of translations is unfortunately not completely consistent throughout the course.
The translation is what it is because Marc Okrand translated it that way in Power Klingon: Hab SoSlI' Quch Your mother has a smooth forehead.
So, in a way, it's more a matter of looking at how something is generally said colloquially (or canonically, as the case may be with this particular Klingon sentence) than with getting the actual grammar/syntax correct. For example, in German, one would say "ich habe Hunger" or "ich habe Durst" to express hunger or thirst, but in English, we'd express these by saying "I'm hungry" and "I'm thirsty," rather than the more exact translations of 'I have hunger' and 'I have thirst.' Which are both perfectly grammatically correct, but the latter two are just not the way most native English speakers would normally express these sensations.
That's probably the best, most closely-related correlation I can think of: it's just one of those things you have to get used to. Thanks for the various viewpoints on this; they are all helpful!