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  5. "Mara is standing among us."

"Mara is standing among us."

Translation:maH jojDaq QamtaH mara.

August 7, 2018

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phuvtuo

Among and between don't mean exactly the same thing in English. Does joj in Klingon mean both between and among?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Among can mean many things (see the definition). But in the sentence Mara is standing among us, it means "in, into, or through the midst of; in association or connection with; surrounded by." That's pretty much jojDaq. It doesn't mean exactly the same thing as between, but it's close enough that I accept it.

If you take a looser meaning of among us here, and include the idea that Mara could be standing at the edge of our group instead of in the middle, then jojDaq isn't appropriate. That would be something like ghommajDaq QamtaH mara.

The dictionary translation of joj is area between.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phuvtuo

Thanks much. I truly appreciate your posts. I have learned so much from them. You are an invaluable resource. Please don't stop. This would be a lesser place without you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

Okay, I can NOT get the hang of when 'e' is appropriate and when it's not. I coulda sworn there should be one after 'mara', but apparently not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Forget the -'e'. It is almost never used. It does NOT match up with the use of English "is". You ONLY use it when there is no verb in the sentence and a pronoun is acting like a verb. (There are other uses for it, but you haven't learned those yet and those uses are never required.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

I'm trying to picture a pronoun acting like a verb...I can't even.

Still, I keep seeing it used, and I totally don't grok why; even if it's almost never used, it seems to come up a lot in these lessons and it seems bloody random sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

-'e' in basic sentences is not quite as rare as Jeremy is making it out to be. Don't forget it, but only apply it for the uses I've laid out in my previous post.

Don't picture a pronoun acting like a verb. That's not what's really happening. The pronoun is being linked to a noun, and the pronoun is allowed to use verb suffixes to describe the nature of the relationship between noun and pronoun. Some examples:

HoD jIH I am the captain.

HoD jIHpu' I have been the captain. The relationship between me and the captaincy is completed (-pu' perfective).

HoD jIHqa' I am the captain again. (The relationship between me and the captaincy is resumed (-qa' resume).

HoD jIHtaH I am still the captain. The relationship between me and the captaincy is ongoing (-taH continuous).

HoD jIHtaHvIS while I am the captain. The relationship between me and the captaincy will be concurrent with something else (-taH continuous, -vIS while).

Remember that basic sentences (those that use the Object-Verb-Subject syntax) are different from pronoun sentences (those that use the Noun-Pronoun or Noun-Pronoun-Topic syntaxes). Pronoun sentences with topics or subjects are the only ones that require -'e'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/puyjaq

Maybe I'm a little late to the party, but I like to think of "is" as just another verb, which changes its entire form instead of taking prefixes, and those forms just happen to look exactly like the pronoun for the subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

When -'e' appears on the subject or object of a basic sentence (not a pronoun "to be" sentence), it means the noun it's attached to has focus.

maH jojDaq Qam mara Mara stands among us

maH jojDaq Qam mara'e' MARA (not someone else) stands among us.

When you use -'e' on the subject of a pronoun "to be" sentence, it has the same focusing effect, but its use is required.

HoD ghaH mara'e' Mara is the captain; As for Mara, she is the captain.

(You cannot say HoD ghaH mara.)

-'e' can also be used when a relative clause has nouns as both subject and object, and you want to indicate which noun is the head noun of the clause.

HoD HIvpu'bogh yaS vIngu'laH could mean either I can identify the officer who hit the captain or I can identify the captain whom the officer hit. You can leave it like this and let the listener figure out what you mean through context, or you can add an -'e':

HoD'e' HIvpu'bogh yaS vIngu'laH I can identify the captain whom the officer hit.
HoD HIvpu'bogh yaS'e' vIngu'laH I can identify the officer who hit the captain.

-'e' can be added to a noun that is neither the subject nor the object of the sentence. This makes it the topic of the sentence. We've only ever seen this once in canon, and its use in this way is confusing to a lot of people.

HoDpu''e' po' mara On the topic of captains, Mara is skilled. (Presumably, Mara is a captain.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

"When -'e' appears on the subject or object of a basic sentence (not a pronoun "to be" sentence), it means the noun it's attached to has focus."

I know the part about 'has focus', but it seems like a lot of nouns have focus in a lot of sentences; still seems super-random whether it needs -'e' or not.

"(You cannot say HoD ghaH mara.)"

...why not? I'm honestly not seeing the difference between that and "HoD ghaH mara'e'". If someone said either one to me, I'd translate it in my head as "Mara is the captain," without any thought that it could be anything else.

And when ya say stuff like, "when a relative clause has nouns as both subject and object", my eyes glaze over; I have no idea how to parse that. It's probably pretty simple, but I have no idea what a 'relative clause' is...that is to say, I probably know what it is but not that it's called that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

...why not?

It's an arbitrary rule. It's simply true.

And when ya say stuff like, "when a relative clause has nouns as both subject and object", my eyes glaze over; I have no idea how to parse that. It's probably pretty simple, but I have no idea what a 'relative clause' is...that is to say, I probably know what it is but not that it's called that.

I'm sorry I make your eyes glaze over.

A relative clause is a verb with -bogh and any words attached to that verb. HoD HIvpu'bogh yaS officer who hit the captain; captain whom the officer hit is a relative clause. Relative clauses are taught in the course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

it seems like a lot of nouns have focus in a lot of sentences; still seems super-random whether it needs -'e' or not.

Can you tell the difference between basic sentences and pronoun "to be" sentences? Basic sentences do not require an -'e'. Pronoun "to be" sentences ending in a noun do require -'e'.

If you find a sentence that no verb but does have a pronoun in the middle or at the end, it's probably a pronoun "to be" sentence.

(Sic on that last sentence!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

I know what the verb "to be" is...but not a pronoun "to be" sentence is; the very concept sounds paradoxical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Me Tarzan. You Jane.

Klingon works just like that. You shove a noun and a pronoun next to each other, and it means the relationship is one of linking: you are connecting a noun with a pronoun.

Tarzan jIH; Jane SoH.

HoD ghaH

You can also link two nouns together by using a pronoun.

yaS ghaH wo'rIv'e' Worf is an officer. Links the nouns yaS and wo'rIv in a relationship that says one is the other.

DujDaq ghaHtaH HoD'e' The captain is on the ship. Links the nouns DujDaq and HoD, giving the captain's location. The relationship is an ongoing one because of the -taH suffix.

ghew 'oHbe' targh'e' A targ is not a bug. Links ghew and targh in a relationship that says that one is not the other. The negative comes from the suffix -be'.

These are not "basic sentences," that use the Object-Verb-Subject syntax. They have their own syntax that you simply have to arbitrarily follow.

noun pronoun

noun1 pronoun noun2'e'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

Anyway, I'm still super lost. Take these examples you already gave:

maH jojDaq Qam mara Mara stands among us

maH jojDaq Qam mara'e' MARA (not someone else) stands among us.

I see absolutely no difference whatsoever in those two sentences. As near as I can tell, they're saying exactly the same thing.

Even the "not someone else" part makes no sense. But part of that might be because of the "us" part; if we're talking about a crowd of people, the only way for Mara--and not anybody else--to stand among us is if "us" is just me and her. So maybe that's just not the best example. But if that's not the problem, then it's still completely a mystery to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

Say Mara stands among us. Now raise your voice and emphasize the name: MARA stands among us. Imagine you're saying that to someone who isn't sure who it is who is standing among you, and you want to make it absolutely clear that they focus on the Mara part.

This is what -'e' does in this sentence.

It's emphasis. It's pointing out the important part.

You're not describing a different situation. Both sentences describe exactly the same situation. But in one of them you're placing special emphasis on the name Mara and in the other you're not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

OH!

Okay, now it's starting to make sense. It seems that it's not so much "focus", but rather, it's relationship. The linking part...that's what I was missing.

Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Right. This is an important difference between English and Klingon. Klingon has no verb "to be". Not at all, not ever. Klingon has some verbs that describe qualities or states, like "red" or "happy". In English, these are adjectives. In Klingon these are verbs.

In English adjectives typically can't be used as verbs - you have to connect them to the noun using the verb "to be": "The ship is red", "Mara is happy.". But since there is no verb "to be" in Klingon, and in fact these words are already verbs, you can just use them directly with the subject: Doq Duj and Quch Mara.

When defining these Klingon words into English, if we just define them as "red" and "happy", then they seem to be adjectives, but in Klingon they are verbs. So we instead define them as "to be red" and "to be happy" so that everyone can see they are verbs and that in English one has to add the verb "to be" to make them work (even though there isn't such a thing in Klingon and they wouldn't need it anyway).

In English "to be" is also used to connect a subject to another thing or to a place: "Mara is a captain" and "Mara is here". But remember that Klingon has no verb "to be". Instead, Klingon uses a very special structure where a pronoun is used to link the subject to another noun or to a place. This pronoun goes where you might expect the verb "to be" to go and it can take verb suffixes, but it's not really a verb and it doesn't really mean "to be", it just gets translated that way in English because that's the way the same sort of connection gets made in English. But I hope you can see why the pronoun in this special kind of construction gets accused of acting like "to be".

There's two more important notes (or maybe two sides of one note). When using a pronoun as the subject, you don't need to repeat it and it doesn't need any special markings:
HoD ghaH "She is a captain."
naDev ghaHtaH "She is here." But when you use a pronoun to connect a subject to another noun or location, then that subject must be marked with -'e':
HoD ghaH mara'e' "Mara is a captain"
naDev ghaHtaH mara'e' "Mara is here."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

Okay, this is making tons more sense, now.

Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Can you see the difference between:
maH jojDaq QamtaH mara
and
maH jojDaq ghaHtaH mara'e'?

For the moment ignore the existence of the -'e' - what other differences do you see?

Notice that the first version has a verb (Qam) and the second one does not. In the first sentence standing is happening and the sentence tells us where that is happening. In the second sentence we have a pronoun connecting Mara to the location, but no actual verb.

In the first sentence (the one saying what Mara is doing at the location) we have the option of marking Mara with -'e' and that would put focus on her, but we have not taught that to you yet in this course and it is not required.

In the second sentence (the one with no verb and a pronoun connecting Mara to the location) we are required to mark the subject (Mara) with -'e'. The -'e' is only required in sentences where there is no verb and a pronoun is being used to make the connection.

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