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  5. "Sarks are strong animals."

"Sarks are strong animals."

Translation:Ha'DIbaHmey HoS bIH Sarghmey'e'.

December 13, 2018

8 Comments


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

Okay, confused now...why is it "Sarghmey'e'" and not "Sarghpu''e'"...?

December 13, 2018

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

Sarks are not capable of language. The -pu' plural marker is only used on beings capable of language.

December 13, 2018

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

I don't recall that being mentioned before...sometimes I think that these lessons don't give enough explanation for why words mean what they mean. It's great to know which bits to use...kind of...but it's just as important to know the reason they're appropriate or not.

December 13, 2018

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

The following paragraph comes from Basic Sentences (5 Skills before the one this sentence appears in). It's a small detail out of a lot of information you are receiving, so I'm not surprised if a few people miss it.

Nearly all Klingon nouns belong to one of three groups, depending on how they form their plural:
Beings capable of using language have a plural in -pu'
Body parts have a plural in -Du'
Everything else has a plural in -mey.

I've added an extra note now to specifiy that the last one applies to inanimate objects, robots, and animals.

December 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scott.myran

Are robots not capable of language? Is there a different word for a robot capable of speech? (e.g. how would Worf refer to Data in Klingon)

February 3, 2019

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

It's definitely a gray area and I wouldn't be surprised if some klingons occasionally refer to some robots using the "being capable of language" parts of grammar. I'm sure Worf would do so when referring to Data. However generally klingons think of robots as not "beings capable of language" and in this course we follow that pattern 100% of the time.

February 3, 2019

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

Why is -'e' strictly necessary? It is already the subject and it means sarks in general and not a special group of sarks (e.g. on this planet they are very strong or so). boQwI' states that it puts emphasis on what the subject is but why is it not clear? Why do I need -'e'?

August 9, 2019

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

The use of the -'e' suffix can be said to have a few different uses other than just emphasis. For most of those uses, the suffix is completely optional. The only time the -'e' suffix is 100% required is when you are stating an explicit subject while using a pronoun as "to be" type of sentence.

In a sentence using a pronoun as "to be", like Ha'DIbaHmey HoS bIH, the pronoun is acting as both subject and verb: "They are strong animals." You cannot use both a pronoun and a noun in the same grammatical slot (for instance, yIt bIH Sarghmey is not a grammatically correct sentence because it has two subjects), these "to be" sentences have a special grammar rule that allows you to both use the subject pronoun and to state the noun that it represents. To do that you use the topic suffix to add an additional noun which is officially neither the subject nor the object, but rather a separate topic. In English "to be" is a verb and we can use the regular noun as the subject, but in Klingon we are using the subject pronoun as the verb and so we cannot also use a regular noun as a subject. So a sentence like the one from this exercise is often more literally translated as, "As for Sarks, they are strong animals."

If you want to explicitly include what the pronoun is referring to in a Klingon pronoun as "to be" sentence, you are required to mark that noun with the suffix -'e' - it is not for emphasis and it is not optional.

August 9, 2019
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