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  5. "mara Dayaj'a'?"

"mara Dayaj'a'?"

Translation:Did you understand Mara?

August 6, 2018



Since Mara was first in the sentence, wouldn't it be her name first in translation?


I see what you are asking. The answer is no. The sentence you are thinking of would be written in this course as << mara, (comma) Dayaj'a'? >.

You would only put her name first in the translation if her name was first because she is being addressed. But that is not the case here. Here, her name is only first because she is the object of the verb and in this simple sentence, there is no other grammatical thing to precede the object.

As an aside, in Klingon, punctuation is often not required. I think in Klingon you are never required to use a comma or a period. But it is helpful to use in ambiguous situations and also to signify where sentences start and stop. This course always uses commas and periods though to help us read the Klingon sentences more easily.

Besides the lack of a comma after mara, there is one other clue that would hint that mara is the object of this sentence and not just somebody being addressed. That is the prefix Da-. The prefix Da tells you that there is an object, which may be stated or unstated. So it is possible that mara is that object. However, mara would not have to be the object because the sentence could have mara being addressed and an unmentioned object being the cause of Da- being used so then the sentence could mean ALMOST the sentence meaning you were asking about, "Mara, do you understand it" (the same as "Do you understand it, Mara?"). Your sentence is not exactly the same because you left out the object, "it". So if Mara were not the object, then you need to supply an object in the English sentence because the prefix Da- tells us there is an object. Regardless, that is not the case here because this course would always separate the person being addressed from the rest of the sentence by a comma.


Why not just "mara Dayaj?"


Many languages allow you to use the same grammar with a different inflection to indicate that it is actually a question and not a statement. You could probably get away with that when speaking to a Klingon speaker, but officially the interrogative suffix is required to make a statement into a yes/no question. So even with the question mark there, your suggestion says, "You do understand Mara," instead of asking the inteded question, "Do you understand Mara," which requires the -'a' suffix.

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