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  5. "HoD! Qum 'e' nID 'oH!"

"HoD! Qum 'e' nID 'oH!"

Translation:Captain! It tried to communicate!

July 29, 2018



The correct answer is given as "trying" but the Klingon says nID not nIDtaH. Is this really a correct translation? Nowhere else in the course have we been allowed to translate with "-ing" absent a taH on the Klingon verb.


The sentence originally had 'e' nIDtaH, reflecting the English "it is trying", but that was a mistake -- the verb after an 'e' may not have a type 7 (aspect) suffix (TKD 6.2.5).

Thus standard Klingon cannot make a distinction between (say) "it was trying to communicate / it tried to communicate / it has tried to communicate".

However, the default English translation (with "it is trying") was kept, which I agree is confusing.

I've now demoted that to an accepted but not preferred translation - the default translation is now "it tried". (Which was previously not accepted.)


It's possible to express aspect with a complex sentence of this type. The aspect just has to be attached to the first verb: QumtaH 'e' nID.


But It tries to continuously communicate is a different idea than It continuously tries to communicate. You can't just migrate the aspect suffix to the first verb and expect it to mean the same thing. Sometimes it might work, but it doesn't work here.

To express the ongoing nature of the trying rather than the communicating, you need to use some other tool. Maybe something like Qum reH 'e' nID It always tries to communicate or Qum 'e' nID; nIDtaH It tries to communicate; it keeps trying. Exactly what you use depends on exactly what you're trying to say.


The Klingon sentence is correct, but a Klingon would more likely say Qum 'oH 'e' nID rather than Qum 'e' nID 'oH (just Qum 'e' nID is even more likely). In most of the the canon examples with an explicit subject and an SAO construction, the subject is placed after the first verb, not the second.

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