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  5. "Torg does not understand Mar…

"Torg does not understand Mara."

Translation:mara yajbe' torgh.

August 2, 2018



I'm having trouble understanding which name goes first.


Like English, with third person (not you and not me) subjects and objects their role in the sentence is indicated completely by position. The subject is the one doing the action and the object is the one that the action is being done to. In English, the subject comes before the verb, so when we say, "Torg does not understand," then "Torg" is the subject. And what is it that he doesn't understand? "Mara" is the thing he doesn't understand, so she is the object.

The difference in Klingon is that the positions of these elements are reversed from the English word order. In Klingon, you state the object first (the one the action is being done to), then the verb, then the subject (the one doing the action).

Not all parts of a Klingon sentence are reversed from English, but many are. Please don't get in the habit of reading the sentences in reverse. It takes a while for the English speaking brain to get used to the different word order and reading the sentences in reverse just makes it harder and makes it take longer.

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Why wouldn't it be Dayajbe'? There is a subject and an object.


The prefix Da- is only used when the subject is you (singular) and the object is he/she/it/them. Dayaj would mean you understand he, she, or it. In this case, the subject is he and the object is she so you would use the null prefix (no prefix).

The prefixes are a little hard at first but I promise, you get used to them.

Edit: As mizinamo said below, where ever I said an object was he or she above please replace it with him or her instead. So it should read like this:

The prefix Da- is only used when the subject is you (singular) and the object is him/her/it/them. Dayaj would mean you understand him/her/it/them. In this case, the subject is he and the object is her so you would use the null prefix (no prefix).


If I may suggest some corrections:

Dayaj would mean you understand him, her, or it. In this case, the subject is he and the object is her so you would use the null prefix (no prefix).


You are right. Sorry. I forget to think about the objects as him/her/it instead of he/she/it when thinking in klingon. It doesn't come up when doing the English sentences out of habit but when thinking about the Klingon, I consistently forget to write chart headings and such with the right case. I think it is because the pronouns don't change by case in Klingon.


as a temporary fix, i like to think of "yajbe'" as "is not understood by"


It is certainly a way to translate the sentence and keep the elements in the same order. However, this doesn't work for all situations and so cannot be a consistent aid. What if we are not saying who or what Torg does not understand? yajbe' torgh is a fine Klingon sentence that can be interpreted, in the right circumstances as, "Torg does not undertand." But this is one that you can't use the passive sentence trick on.


This language is wack


There's no interplanetary rule about what part of a sentence should come first. Even among Earth languages there is lots of variation.

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