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  5. "Who are you?"

"Who are you?"

Translation:SoH 'Iv?

August 30, 2018



The "right" sentence I was offered was {'Iv'e' tlhIH}... I don't believe the {-'e'} should be there.


I've removed that as one of the corrections shown, but it is still an accepted answer. Why do you believe it should not be accepted?


First I'm not sure if it's grammatical to make a question word the topic of the sentence (in a copula) ("As for who, you all are....?" "WHO are you?").

Second, the translation of {'Iv'e' tlhIH} is not the same as {'Iv tlhIH}, which is the answer I would expect as a translation of "Who are you?" based on canon. The English given doesn't include the meaning of {-'e'} so answers shouldn't have it in there.

To me, it looked like it offered me three sentences of which none of them were the correct translation of the English.

Edit: Updated to make my initial statement clearer thanks to SuStel's input below. I wasn't thinking outside the context of "Who are you?"


The grammar of 'Iv'e' tlhIH is hazy enough that I wouldn't offer it as a solution.

We do have an example of a question word with an -'e': Sojvetlh 'oH nuq'e' What is that food?

This is contrasted with its "regional" variation, sojvets 'o nuk?

A Morskan dialect speaker in Star Trek VI says Dujvets 'o nuq? Though it is not stated, this is obviously a variation on the standard dialect's Dujvetlh 'oH nuq'e'? What ship is that?

Of more concern to me is seeing this in a copula. We know question words can allow the word order to shift around — for example, we have both SoH 'Iv and 'Iv SoH. Furthermore, we know that the pronoun-like question words can take on the verb-like aspect that pronouns take on in copulas: Dochvam nuq? What is this? from Conversational Klingon. When you put together a pronoun-like question word and an actual pronoun in a copula, is there a set order? Do either of them have to act noun-like? Could either of them be topicalized or emphasized?

And finally, where in the English translation is the sense given by the topic marker? This Duolingo course has a policy of reflecting each element of grammar in one language with an equivalent element in the other, even where inappropriate. I'd expect no less here, but it doesn't appear.


Which is why it was removed from the "best" translations. Theoretically it should, now, never be shown to someone who has not already entered it. However it is not marked incorrect if someone gives it as an answer. Do you see a strong reason why we should mark it as incorrect?


Basically just this: if there were a sentence like HoD vIlegh I see the captain, would you accept someone translating it HoD'e' vIlegh, or would that be marked wrong? Whatever you do with a sentence like that is what you should do with a sentence like 'Iv tlhIH or SoH 'Iv.

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