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  5. "tlhIngan ghaH wo'rIv'e'."

"tlhIngan ghaH wo'rIv'e'."

Translation:Worf is a Klingon.

June 2, 2018



I wrote, "Concerning Worf, he is a Klingon." (I was marked incorrect, but that's not my point.) Cerebral contortions are required (for me) to understand correctly, but I think I'm catching on.


Your translation is correct. It's probably just not a phrasing the creators of the course though of.

Just remember that "to be" sentences do not follow OVS order. They are a thing unto themselves, simply to be followed because that's the way they are.


I'm trying to "grok" the creator of the language's intent. That is, the basis of the "formula" that we use to say, or write it out.

It's a little like trying to fit into an alien's head, hence the "mental gymnastics."


There isn't a basis. Marc Okrand created several "just because" things in the language. This is one of them. Specifically, he wanted to avoid any verb meaning to be, because he thought that would be fun, but not for any deeper reason. So he came up with a way to shove nouns and pronouns together that can be used in the same places that other languages use to be. But it's just a more or less arbitrary formula to follow. There's nothing to grok here.


I'm not confident of that. And I totally understand what you're saying.

But a Klingon does understand Being. Or else he would not be self-aware. The Klingon language developed in different ways than ours. He does not follow an arbitrary set of rules when he expresses that, "He is."

Don't forget, a Professor made this up. My guess is that it Does make sense in some real (alien) way.


You can understand a concept without having a word for it in your language. Klingons don't need a word for be because they other tools to accomplish the same thing. You're confusing philosophy with linguistics.

I've spoken with Marc Okrand many times, as have most (maybe all) of the creators/moderators of this course. We've all asked him about how he came up with Klingon, and he's given lectures on the topic. A big topic is always that there is no "to be" in Klingon. It's because he just wanted Klingon to be "difficult" in that way. There was no master plan or deep insight. Pseudo-quote: "All languages have a verb to be, so Klingon doesn't."

Here's a clip of him explaining how he didn't know much about making constructed languages when he made Klingon, and why he did what he did: https://youtu.be/9YnYTSy0iYs?t=3m


Thank you, DavidTrimb3 for the link to the video!


I keep on typing this in and my answer is not accepted. Am I making a weird typo?


I keep on typing this in and my answer is not accepted. Am I making a weird typo?

The top typo on this course is probably mixing up I (capital i) with l (small L). The small L should have a little curl at the bottom on Duolingo's standard font while the capital i should be a straight line.

If we wrote Klingon completely in uppercase or completely in lowercase (which never happens), this sentence would be TLHINGAN GHAH WO'RIV'E' or tlhingan ghah wo'riv'e'.

If you write tlhlngan or wo'rlv'e', for example, that would be a mistake.


Thank you very much for your help. I finally realised that the problem was the position of the last glottal stop - I was putting it before the e instead of after!

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