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  5. "lISuj'a' Ha'DIbaHmey chuS? H…

"lISuj'a' Ha'DIbaHmey chuS? HISlaH. nuSuj."

Translation:Did the noisy animals disturb you? Yes. They disturbed us.

July 22, 2018



Are the noisy animals disturbing you? Yes. They are disturbing us. Marked wrong. Why?


Typically the course requires a taH/lI' for this sense of an ongoing action.


"do the noisy animals bother you? yes. they bother us" is marked wrong; I don't understand why.


Because "bother" is translated by the word nuQ and the word Suj is translated as "disturb".


They're synonyms.


Yet, none-the-less we do have two separate words in English and in Klingon, too.

They are very close in meaning and I will agree that they are sometimes used as synonyms in English, but I think the subtle differences in the English definitions are important to understanding those two Klingon words.

bother - 1: to annoy especially by petty provocation; 2: to intrude upon; 3: to cause to be somewhat anxious or concerned

disturb - 1a: to interfere with; b: to alter the position or arrangement of; c: to upset the natural and especially the ecological balance or relations of; 2a: to destroy the tranquility or composure of; b: to throw into disorder; c: alarm; d: to put to inconvenience

I get the impression nuQ is particularly close to "bother" definition 1 and Suj is particularly close to "disturb" definition 2a.


Even taking this distinction as a given (which I don't really agree with in the first place - either "bother" or "disturb" in English could be used to mean either of the definitions given by your "bother 1" or "disturb 2a"), how on earth is someone supposed to know that? Especially with no prior explanation whatsoever?

Other than having been explicitly told, how is anyone supposed to know that the noisy sarks upset our natural and especially ecological balance or relations, but that the noisy sarks certainly did NOT annoy us especially by petty provocation?

And (again, even assuming the distinction, and even assuming a prior explanation), I feel that this sort of extremely fine (and questionable) usage detail between two synonymous and not-terribly-common verbs does not seem entirely appropriate for the earliest levels of a beginner class. This is the level at which the Spanish class is teaching the distinction between "I am Cuban" and "She is Cuban". Russian is teaching the distinction between "chicken" and "duck".


One is to know because that is how we have taught them. But your objection to them being used this early in the course is noted and we will consider alternatives when we create Tree 2. Please continue to ask questions and provide feedback.


I think you might have slightly misunderstood part of what I was saying.

"Because that is how we have taught them" is a reason why one might know that when presented with "nuSuj", a response of "they disturb us" (and not "they bother us") is expected. But it isn't a reason why one would know that they are destroying our composure, as opposed to them annoying us. Even if we 100% accept the at-best-questionable claim that only one of "bother" or "disturb" can be used in English for each of those two concepts.


And I'd just like to add, I do not mean that this specifically is something that is noteworthy in that there is more complexity and difficulty than I would expect out of a beginner's course. It is, at least in my mind, a part of a general pattern which I've mentioned before: This is significantly harder than other courses (to me). At the level I'm at in the Klingon courses, you see things like:

  • The skilled surgeon intentionally operated on the patients.
  • The noisy sarks destroy our composure (but implicitly do not bother us).
  • The terrans are going to the Great Hall in the capital city on the planet Kronos.

At the equivalent spot in other courses, you see stuff more like:

  • I eat apples.
  • I have an apple.
  • You like apples.


Unfortunately Duolingo is not set up well to teach those fine distinctions. The Klingon Dictionary isn't really either. Those are things you just sort of have to figure out through use and exposure. What we can teach here is that they are not perfect synonyms and that the distinction can be meaningful.

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