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  5. "gheDDaj ghachlI' wamwI'."

"gheDDaj ghachlI' wamwI'."

Translation:The hunter is stalking her prey.

August 9, 2018

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gadsden_1

How is "a hunter stalks his prey" wrong here? If I heard either in English I would call them equivalent. Is this just a case of allowing only 1 correct answer out of convenience to reduce workload?


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

It's not so much about convenience and work load as about users paying attention to the -lI' suffix. "A hunter stalks his prey," might be talking about a general activity rather than an ongoing intentional activity. The prior would not take the -lI' prefix and the later is more clearly expressed as, "a hunter is stalking his prey."

Given the right context, we might use the English simple present for an ongoing activity: "As we watch, the hunter stalks his prey." Since we are clearly talking about an ongoing activity with a known stopping point, the -lI' suffix is definitely appropriate in Klingon even though "-ing" is absent in English.

However, since this course lacks context, we have decided to implement a one-to-one correspondence between -lI'/-taH and "-ing" to make sure that our users recognize and account for those suffixes in their translations. It's not fully accurate and may at times be slightly misleading, but we believe it reduces potential confusion for our users.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christa627

You mean -lI'/-taH, correct?


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

I do. vItI'ta'. DopDaq qul yIchenmoH QobDI' ghu". Thanks for finding the error.


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

Do you mean "is stalking" was the accepted answer and "stalks" was rejected? If that is the case, I see your point because I had initial trouble with this and aspect in general in the course myself trying to answer.

It is not an easy resolution. It is because the suffix -lI' shows something like a continuous activity something like the English progressive. That is probably the best match to it in English. I agree there is not much or any difference in meaning in this case to me at least but perhaps we are being asked to answer in the progressive so that they know we understand that is the meaning.

I agree that if you were translating in real life, you could possibly use stalks. But for the course, that answer is not accepted because stalks as an answer does not reveal that the learner understands that the action is an in-progress action or state.

As a user that has had to figure out how to handle this situation like you, I came to this conclusion : Ok, they want me to prove that I understand -lI' is something continuous, in progress by using the English progressive. Fine, I will do that. But in real life, that might not be how I would choose to translate something.

You see what I mean? Otherwise how do they know we know the difference between -lI' versus no continuous type seven suffix?

The type seven suffixes are the aspect suffixes -pu', ta', -taH, -lI'. ----pu' and -ta' tell you and action is completed and -taH and -lI' tell you an action is continuous.

This has probably been a difficult subject to handle in this course because English verbs use tense whereas Klingon verbs use aspect. These two things don't align well. So you definitely have a strong point here.

DavidTrimb3 has also voiced his concerns over this specifically with -pu' and I guess -ta' because the course has chosen to handle these by using the English past tense construction such as "She has eaten" instead of "She ate". But this is not actually the correct difference. There is no simple one to one correspondence that will reveal this difference when translating between English and Klingon. It is completely uniquely situational, which makes it very difficult to handle well in the course.

So the course creators have had to make some hard choices about how to consistently have these ideas translate between the two languages. There is not really a good answer for how to resolve this situation. They chose to use "has" type English constructions to translate completed Klingon aspects and to use progressive verb English constructions to translate the Klingon continuous aspect.

I don't know if it is the best choice or not. It might be the most consistent choice across the course. So I have just played along with that as I do the course while keeping in the back of my mind the understanding that this is not the only or even the perfect way to translate between Klingon and English and that of course, outside the course, I will have the choice to make different decisions.

For simplicity, I have confined myself to the format they are using in the course for handling the mismatch between Klingon aspect and English tense.

So it is not that they are really saying your answer choice is wrong. It is more like they are saying, hey, aspect versus tense are difficult to align in these two languages so please just play along with us following this formula for translating them in the course so we know you understand that this sentence is using a continuous aspect.


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

So it is not that they are really saying your answer choice is wrong. It is more like they are saying, hey, aspect versus tense are difficult to align in this two languages so please just play along with us following this formula for translating them in the course so we know you understand that this sentence is using a continuous aspect.

Which is absolutely no different from teaching that progressive aspect equals progressive tense and perfective aspect equals perfect tense. It's flat-out wrong, and it's what people are being taught.


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

Yes, that is a problem. I just do not know what the solution is.


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

Frankly, the solution would be for the sentence-writers to learn which English sentences are perfective (not perfect) and which are not, and then to translate THOSE into Klingon perfective. A sentence like I destroyed the ship is unambiguously perfective. It must be translated Duj vIQaw'pu' or Duj vIQaw'ta'. Saying Duj vIQaw doesn't describe a completed action like destroyed, and shouldn't be an acceptable translation of the perfective English sentence.

The situation with the continuous aspects is similar, only there the importance is not to recognize that English progressive tenses do not necessarily mean that the sentence is a continuous action, but rather that it's modern English style to use progressive sentences to describe simple actions.


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

In the paragraph starting "The type seven suffixes", you have -lu' instead of -lI'.


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

Thank you. If it is ok, I am going to edit that paragraph so that it won't misguide anybody.


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

Good idea.

Please edit them again -- the letter i does not exist in Klingon, and should be I (the capitalised version).


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

Aw, man! There I go again! Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qov-jIH-je

Is there a new word I don't know about, or have we all managed to get twelve comments into a thread nitpicking this sentence, without anyone noticing the typo? The word ghach means lurk, lie in wait. The best translation for stalk would be ghoch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niko722246

When practicing this lesson on the mobile app I am getting the pronunciation for ghoch, but the spelling for ghach.


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

I don't know how it's pronounced in this lesson, but Klingon o sounds like the o in English ghost, and Klingon a sounds like the a in English father. Klingon does not have an a sound as in apple.


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

There is an error in this sentence. The English translation is based on the word ghoch, but the Klingon sentence is entered into the database with the misspelling ghach. Qov recorded the correct word with hopes that it would be simple to make the spelling change as well, but it's a pain to fix problems like this. I have a moment now, so let me see if I can fix that.

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