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  5. "This morning I was woken by …

"This morning I was woken by a noisy targ."

Translation:DaHjaj po muvemmoH targh chuS.

January 19, 2019



This is a translation exercise from the English...

But the English version uses a passive voice where "I" am the subject, while the tlhIngan Hol version turns it to an active phrase with the targ as the subject.

I was thinking on a way to keep more faithful to the original...

Would the following work?

DaHjaj po, jIvemlu' targhmo' chuS

I think it should work, but is there a better way?


I recommend against trying to automatically translate English passive voice with Klingon indefinite subject. The two do not express the same concepts, and don't always lead to the same expression of meaning.

That said, your sentence is ungrammatical. The first reason is as mizinamo said: you have the wrong word: vIvemmoHlu' I am awoken; someone wakes me up.

But you also have the reason in the wrong place. targh chuSmo' is a noun phrase playing a syntactic role of cause. Noun phrases marked with a syntactic suffix must go before the main verb, not after.

DaHjaj po, targh chuSmo', vIvemmoHlu'pu' This morning, because of a noisy targ, I was awoken. (The -pu' is required to describe this as a completed event, a rule that this course fails to follow.)

If, on the other hand, you want to make the cause a verbal clause, the verbal clause can go on either side of the main clause:

chuSmo' targh, DaHjaj po vIvemmoHlu'pu' Because a targ was noisy, I was awoken this morning.
DaHjaj po vIvemmoHlu'pu' chuSmo' targh I was awoken this morning because a targ was noisy.

You could even put the time expression on the noisiness of the targ instead of the waking up, and it would still make sense:

DaHjaj po chuSmo' targh, vIvemmoHlu'pu' Because a targ was noisy this morning, I was awoken.
vIvemmoHlu'pu', DaHjaj po chuSmo' targh I was awoken because a targ was noisy this morning.


From a grammatical point of view, it would have to be vIvemmoHlu' targh chuSmo' "Someone caused me to be awake because of a noisy targ; I was woken becaues of a noisy targ".

That may not mean that the targ woke you up; it could be that the noisy targ was yours and the neighbour woke you up hoping that you could get it to quiet down.

I don't think you can make a "proper" passive sentence that includes the agent in Klingon -- -lu' makes the subject indefinite, and you can't add it back the way English does with "by".


Thank you for the answer. How does the

targh chuSmo' work, however?

I considered it for a while, but in the end I was at odds with adding a suffix to a verb in the adjective position. So Is this allowed?

Also i considered the responsible to be the targ, and the adjective a further specification.

I understand that there is no straightforward translation for the English phrase. I just wondered what could I do to put the focus on the "I" that was woken as in the original.

On the other hand, having options in the handling of missing prepositions would be useful.


I considered it for a while, but in the end I was at odds with adding a suffix to a verb in the adjective position. So Is this allowed?

It is allowed/required for type-5 noun suffixes -- syntactic suffixes such as -mo' -Daq -vaD -- to come on an adjective-like verb after the noun if there is one.

Thus, DujDaq tIn 'oH can only mean "it is big on the ship" and Duj tInDaq 'oH can only mean "it is on the big ship".

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