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  5. "tera'nganpu' chaH'a'? ghobe'…

"tera'nganpu' chaH'a'? ghobe'. tera'nganpu' chaHbe'."

Translation:Are they Terrans? No. They are not Terrans.

July 23, 2018



So why does chaHbe' translate as 'they are not' here? But in the last one, naghmey chaHbe', it does not? Since they are not rocks, they could be people, or staplers it's unclear, so why would chaHbe' sometimes be they are not, and other times that translation is wrong?


It is true that there might be beings capable of language that could be mistaken for a rock and that in that case, naghmey chaHbe', would be the proper thing to say about them. However it is much more likely that the things being mistaken for rocks are being mistaken for rocks because they are NOT beings capable of language. We want to make sure that someone casually alternating chaH and bIH do not get away with calling something chaH that appear to be rocks. Which ever way we go on this decision, there will be people who feel it should be the other way. For this question we decided to err on the side of marking a really unusual context as wrong, rather than allow someone to mistakenly use the wrong pronoun.


Not quite sure of your question, but I think it has to do with the fact there are two words for "they".

  • {chaH} is for beings capable of language. (like terrans)
  • {bIH} is for everything else (like rocks)


Yes I know. The previous entry said "naghmey chaHbe'" was an incorrect translation of "they are not rocks". But that means "They are not rocks", correct? Since they are not rocks, they could be staplers, or tennis balls (stuff not capable of language), OR they could be Terrans (capable of language). Since this is true, either chaH or biH should be acceptable for "they" in this case because it is unclear if the "they" are beings capable of language or not.


I think I get your point, I suspect the pronoun needs to match the noun you say they aren't, too.

For rocks:
naghmey bIH. / naghmey bIHbe'.

For terrans:
tera'nganpu' chaH. / tera'nganpu' chaHbe'.


He might talk about Odo...


wouldn't this be a question of context? If in a previous sentence the reader gets to know that "they" refers to a group of Kazon, then it should be "naghmey chaHbe'", whereas if "they" refers to some inanimate object that has been mentioned, it would be "naghmey bIHbe'" ?


Yes. It would be a question of context. And Duolingo does not provide context.


There was a pronunciation complaint here that the ch has been pronounced as S. I re-recorded the female because there was an overlong pause between tera'ngan and chaH, but I hear both the female and male versions as ch. That said, SaH'a' and chaH'a' would both be valid things to say in this sentence, and the sounds are not that far apart, so if you're still hearing SaH listen for the lack of retroflexing (is that a word?) on the ch.


Would Klingons say, "naghmey chaHbe' Horta."?


Whether that's what they would believe, I'm not sure. But it's certainly a grammatical sentence with a clear meaning and could be said by a Klingon with that opinion.


I would still add -'e' to Horta here, even though it's a loanword.

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