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  5. "Worf is smart."

"Worf is smart."

Translation:val wo'rIv.

June 22, 2018



In the multiple choice version, two of the options include "Val" for "is smart". Shouldn't it be "val"? I don't remember having ever seen a capital V before.


Yes, only val is correct; there is no capital V in Klingon.

This forced (mis)capitalisation in multiple-choice exercises is point 1c on the list of known issues with the course described at https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26778885 .


Thanks. But why the capital/lowercase weirdness anyway? Is there some actual reason for it (that we haven't been introduced to yet), or is it just "in the latinized version of this totally alien language with a totally alien alphabet, let's flaunt a basic rule of the latin alphabet for no real reason other than to make it seem weird"?


Klingon wasn't designed from the beginning as a language to teach to fans -- it was made for the films, and the spelling was intended as a guide to the actors to help them pronounce the words more or less accurately.

The basic idea is that capitalised letters are ones that are different from English -- for example, D and S are retroflex, H is velar, and I (capital eye) is always lax. On the other hand, letters such as p or m or w are pronounced as in English, and are lowercase to show that you don't have to pay special attention to them.

At least, that's been my understanding of how the capitalisation of Okrandian Klingon spelling came about.

And then when the dictionary was published, they used the same spelling as they had used for the actors' lines -- because that's what they had, not necessarily because someone thought that would be cool and edgy, or flaunting a basic rule for no good reason.


Thanks! I'm glad to learn there's an actual use for it. Perhaps this information can be included in the intro blurb about the alphabet (which currently just says something like "here are the letters in the alphabet").

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