1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "bIQaptaH'a'?"

"bIQaptaH'a'?"

Translation:Are you winning?

September 7, 2018

4 Comments


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

This word looks like the root verb of Qapla' 'success'. Is there a suffix -la' which creates nouns out of verbs under certain conditions, or is this just an isolated case (or coincidence)?


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

It does. And there is not. Well, there is, but it is slang and not the reason for this word.

Since -laH (be able to) and -lu' (indefinite subject) are both Type 5 verb suffixes and cannot be used together, a slang suffix -la' is sometimes used to mean "an indefinite subject is able to". Thus Qapla' could theoretically be translated as "One is able to succeed/win" or "Succeeding/winning is possible". In the creation of the language it appears that the two things were created separately, so it is probably purely coincidental. When used as a noun meaning "success", it certainly doesn't make any sense to break it down like that. Though if you prefer to translate the exclamation Qapla'! as "Success is possible!", I don't have a problem with that. (But since it's a slang suffix, we probably won't accept it as a translation in this course.)


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

So, we can't use the -la' suffix to create nouns out of verbs willy-nilly, which I suppose was part of my question. Thanks for the additional slang info, which is always welcome. A lingot for your time and trouble, my man!


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

We definitely cannot use the slang -la' suffix to turn verbs into nouns. Qapla' is a special word and not an example of turning a verb into a noun. I'm glad you enjoyed the explanation.

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.