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  5. "I go to the nearby table."

"I go to the nearby table."

Translation:raS Sum vIjaH.

September 10, 2018



I (bong!) wrote Sum raS vIjaH. Could that mean "I go near [to] the table?"


The sentence raS Sum vIjaH is using the verb Sum as an adjective, so there is only one verb in the sentence (jaH). In the sentence Sum raS vIjaH the word Sum must be acting as a verb and you now have competing verbs. One of them must be marked as subordinate or in some other way marked for how it is interacting with the other verb. It would translate as something like, "I go to the table is near," (which is as confusing and non-sensical in Klingon as it is in English). There is no grammatical structure in Klingon that allows you to state you are going near something, only that something is near you (or near to something else). You could create a multi-sentence explanation defining a space near the table and then saying you are going there. But the easier way might just be to say, raS vIchol, "I come nearer the table."


Strictly speaking, there are no adjectives in Klingon. Verbs expressing qualities may modify nouns in the way that other languages use adjectives, but in Klingon they remain verbs. You must have only one MAIN verb in a sentence, but you can have lots of other kinds of verbs. For instance, QapmeH SuvwI' val, Qongbogh jagh HoHpu' In order to win, the clever warrior killed the sleeping enemy has five verbs in it, only one of which is the main verb: Qap succeed (part of a purpose clause), Suv fight (used in a complex noun), val be clever (used adjectivally), Qong sleep (used in a relative clause), and HoH kill (this is the main verb).

I know of no canon that suggests that chol is transitive. Its dictionary gloss is "close in, get closer, come nearer," none of which suggest a transitive verb. If you want to say I get closer to the table, you can say raSDaq jIchol At the table, I get closer. This is the same technique used in sentences like raSDaq jISum I am near the table. It sets the locative context of the action independent of the subject of the sentence, and then says what the subject does relative to that location.


Since I posted that, new canon from Okrand has shown that chol is transitive and an inherently locative verb. so you can say raS vIchol.


Both very interesting and informative replies. I seem to keep managing to find the limits of this constructed language, don't I? ;-) Thank you yet again for your excellent help, jdmcowan and DavidTrimb3!


You have a typo. raS SumDaq vIjaH.

I go to it at the close table? shouldn't it be xx-Daq jI-xx? Either -Daq or vI-?


"There are a few verbs whose meanings include locative notions... The locative suffix need not be used on nouns which are the objects of such verbs... If the locative suffix is used with such verbs, the resulting sentence is somewhat redundant, but not out-and-out wrong." (TKD)

So raS SumDaq vIjaH is one of those redundant but not out-and-out wrong sentences, because jaH is one of those verbs whose meanings include locative notions. It can mean I go to it at the nearby table (that is, while I'm near the table, I go to it), but it can also mean I go to the nearby table.

The non-redundant version would be the sentence given in the lesson: raS Sum vIjaH I go to the nearby table. This version is also not ambiguous.

raS SumDaq jIjaH can only mean that, while I am at the nearby table, I go. The raS SumDaq in this sentence cannot refer to the destination of my going, because the object of jaH is the destination of my going, and I used a no-object prefix (the destination is left vague or general). The -Daq in this sentence must refer to some other locative meaning besides destination. (I could be in the table, on the table, next to the table, or any other locative notion other than to the table.)

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