1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "SIDwI' ghaH tera'nganvetlh'e…

"SIDwI' ghaH tera'nganvetlh'e'."

Translation:That Terran is my patient.

May 28, 2018



In a question of "Nationality," rather than "Race," Terran might be unequivocal. A klingon reared on Earth would be a "Terran," but never a human, for that period of his life. I'm confident that Hundreds would agree with me.


How is wI a plural suffix, but here means "my"?


You must be misremembering something. The plural suffixes are -pu', -Du', and -mey. On a noun, the suffix -wI' can only be used to mean "my". There is also an identical verb suffix, but it has a completely different meaning unrelated to either plurals or possessives.


Right after I hit post, it occurred to me that there could also be confusion with the prefix wI- which indicates that "we" do something to "him/her/it" and goes on the front of a verb and never on the back of a noun.


I was thinking of examples such as 'boQwI'' or 'SuvwI''. I did mistakenly remember it as a plural suffix when it appears it is used to mean "one who does", similar to how Spanish uses "ero".

Even so. How is it used as "one who does" and "my" in this example?


There is a verb suffix -wI' meaning "one who does" or "thing which does", similar to English -er (a "digger" might be a person who digs or a tool that digs, for example).

There is a noun suffix -wI' meaning "my" which is used when the "possession" is capable of using language (e.g. "my father" or "my friend" but not "my dog" or "my rock").

The two happen to look the same -- so you have to know whether the stem is a verb (as with boQ "to assist") or a noun (as with SID "a patient").

A bit like how the English ending -er is also used to form the comparative of adjectives -- "stronger" is not someone who strongs or a thing that strongs, and a "digger" is not something that is more dig than something else.

You can tell the difference by seeing whether the -er is attached to an adjective or a verb.


Thank you, that helps a lot.

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.