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

"HoDra' 'Iv?" vs. "HoDra' ghaH 'Iv'e'?" vs. "'Iv HoDra'?"

I have seen the first two in the lesson. Are both truly correct/interchangeable? Is the third structure permissible? I ask because, as a general rule in the lessons, it seems that question words begin sentences in Klingon, whereas 'Iv is the only question word in the lessons that regularly proceeds in the standard Klingon sentence structure of Object -> Verb -> Subject. Is there a reason the lessons were structured this way?

September 30, 2018

12 Comments


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

All are valid. nuq and 'Iv are not only question words, but also pronouns. They stand in for whatever the answer is. As such, they can also be verb-like in a "to be" construction.

There's a fourth possibility: 'Iv ghaH HoDra''e'?

September 30, 2018

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

The third option you give ??'Iv HoDra'?? is probably not a legitimate question. There is no verb in that sentence.

Probably the most common way to ask the question in Klingon would be 'Iv ghaH HoDra''e' which might be translated as, "As for our captain, he is whom?" As you point out Klingon, like English, seems to have a preference for the question word first and using the pronoun-as-verb "to be" gives us the needed verb. Even though this is a very common way to ask the question in Klingon, the literal translation sounds a little odd in English so we usually just translate it as, "Who is our captain?"

In the question HoDra' 'Iv you are actually using 'Iv as if it were a pronoun-as-verb "to be". In actuality, it's not significantly different and this sentence has the literal translation "Who is our captain?"

The question HoDra' ghaH 'Iv'e' should most literally be translated as, "As for whom, he is the captain?" But I might be more tempted to interpret it as, "Who is it that is our captain?" It is an odd sentence, though if we are creative we can come up with an imaginative context in which it might be appropriate.

September 30, 2018

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

The third option you give ??'Iv HoDra'?? is probably not a legitimate question. There is no verb in that sentence.

There are no verbs in a "to be" sentence. The pronouns that act verb-like are not verbs, and they do not stand in for verbs. They are not pronouns-as-verbs. They are just pronouns. That they have certain verb suffixes hang off them doesn't make them verbs.

tarSan jIH is EXACTLY equal to Me Tarzan. There is no verb there. English requires a verb, be, to link a noun and a pronoun; Klingon does not.

The question HoDra' ghaH 'Iv'e' should most literally be translated as, "As for whom, he is the captain?" But I might be more tempted to interpret it as, "Who is it that is our captain?"

I would not only be tempted; I would insist upon translating it that way. You are illustrating why it is important not to translate too literally or formulaically: translation is about taking what an expression means in one language and expressing it with the same meaning in another language, using whatever tools are natural in the target language. Klingon is too far removed from English to be able to copy expressions or grammar the way you can between, say, English and Spanish. Klingon "to be" sentences are a primary area where this is important.

September 30, 2018

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

I think my presentation is easier for students and I will continue to use it. I'm sure both of our methods result in students creating good Klingon sentences. But either way, I maintain that ??'Iv HoDra'?? is meaningless since TKD says, "The pronoun always follows the noun."

September 30, 2018

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

This is a bit funny because it is basically the exact question I asked yesterday about nuq. nuq and 'Iv both function in the same manner I think in Klingon, right?

October 1, 2018

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

Right. Similar to the difference between ghaH and 'oH and between chaH and bIH, 'Iv asks for a being capable of language and nuq asks for something that is not a being and/or not capable of language.

October 1, 2018

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

What is going on that we get almost the exact same question from 3 different students within 1 day? This information IS in the Tips & Notes. Is it not clear enough? Do you have any recommendations for clarifying it?

October 1, 2018

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

Honestly, I do not think it is all that clear, and it certainly is not immediately self evident. The Tips & Notes only discusses nuq, and as pertaining to that word, the section discusses it in both structures. However, discussion of the word 'Iv is completely omitted from the body of that section, so I think it would be beneficial to contrast the placement and uses of nuq from 'Iv, since the grammar of the two really isn't comparable.

October 1, 2018

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

nuq and 'Iv use exactly the same grammer, but nuq is used to ask about things which are not a being and/or not capable of language and 'Iv is used to ask about beings which are capable of language. I have now expanded the Tips & Notes. Hopefully it'll be clearer now.

October 2, 2018

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

Do you mean in the question words lesson? I don't think that tips and notes section addressed the questions I asked. The discussion on question words is pretty basic. Maybe there could be added information listing the various ways nuq/'Iv can be used.

One of the three questions about it (the one in the sentence discussions) was definitely in the tips and notes but I think people don't read those or sometimes don't understand what they read.

October 2, 2018

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

Looking back at your question, I see that you are right that though you were asking about the same general topic, your specific question was not (and still isn't) addressed in the Tips & Notes. It's all quite a coincidence that after 6 months with no questions on that general topic we should get three separate questions within one day's time.

October 2, 2018

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

Jinx!

October 4, 2018
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