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  5. "Sarks are strong animals."

"Sarks are strong animals."

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

December 13, 2018



I am also confused. bIH appears to mean both "you (sg.) are" and "they are". Is that correct?


I am also confused. bIH appears to mean both "you (sg.) are" and "they are". Is that correct?

It is not correct.

You seem to be confusing the pronoun bIH "they (are)" and the verb prefix bI- which is used when the subject is "you (one person)" and there is no object, e.g. bIQuch "you are happy".

But bIH is just one syllable; it is not related to the verb prefix bI-. (In particular, it's not the verb prefix bI- attached to an impossible verb H.)


Indeed. Thank you. This kind of question would probably come up less often if the explanatory texts and grammar tables under "tips" were also available in the Android app. I wasn't even aware they existed until someone mentioned them in a comment.


Yes, we do have hope that one day we will be able to provide them to app users, but it's years off if ever.


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


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


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.


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.


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)


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.


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'?


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.


Why can the answer not be ' HoS Ha'DIbaHmey .... ' because previously, we used the adjective first (for example, val torgh).


HoS is a verb, but it is from a special class of verbs that can be used adjectivally. This class of verbs has a large amount of overlap with the English adjectives. Since it is a verb, when you place the verb first and the noun second, the noun becomes the grammatical subject and you form a complete sentence.
HoS Ha'DIbaH = "The animal is strong."

This would wind up separating the Klingon line into two sentences, one of them incomplete.
HoS Ha'DIbaH bIH Sarghmey'e' = "The animals are strong Sarks are..." or perhaps, "It is strong Sarks are animals."

This class of verbs cannot take a grammatical object. You can't say things like "He strongs a sark," or, "You tall me." So when you place the noun first and the verb second, it can't be acting as a verb and instead it acts adjectivally.
Ha'DIbaH HoS = "a/the strong animal/s"

Now the two words have formed a complex noun phrase which can then be used as a noun and can be placed into a sentence in the object position or other positions like the subject position, a possessor, a possessed the locative position, etc.
Ha'DIbaH HoS bIH = "They are strong animals."

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