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  5. "The enemy had lost."

"The enemy had lost."

Translation:lujpu' jagh.

February 13, 2019



Slightly tangential question, but...how does one say "the enemy" in a more general sense?

Like if a military commander or a government leader were to say, "We shall defeat the enemy!", meaning the other empire they're fighting, rather than an individual enemy, rather than a small mob of enemies.


Klingon does not have such a separate word and would use jagh to refer to one enemy, multiple individual enemies, a small group of enemies, a large organized enemy, or all the enemies they have everywhere. English doesn't have separate words either, but I suppose allows you to use the singular sort of like a mass noun to refer to a large organized group. Since the unmarked noun can be either singular or plural, you can pretend that Klingon does the same, but it really uses the plural for any group of enemies, it just might be unmarked.


Klingon would use "jagh" to refer to multiple individual enemies? Not "jaghpu'"?


Either one. The plural markers are optional and it is very common to see an unmarked noun representing a plural. Though if context (previous conversation or other grammatical elements) doesn't make it clear that you are talking about plural, it's standard to add the plural marker so there isn't any confusion. You WILL come across sentences in this course that have unmarked plurals made obvious by the grammar. For instance: loD luyaj jagh. Because of the lu- prefix, jagh must be plural: "The enemies understand the man."


It's not actually "standard." So far as we can tell from the canon, Klingons are perfectly happy to use plural suffixes when they're not needed and omit plural suffixes when they might disambiguate. It seems to be more a matter of how carefully the speaker is being in the moment. A rushed Klingon would probably be more prone to dropping plural suffixes.


I'm having the worst time memorizing those prefixes, honestly. I mean, I've been at this for months and only a few are sticking. If there was a pattern to it, like all of the me --> X prefixes started with the same consonant, all of the you --> X prefixes started with another consonant, etc...but they don't.

And that's making it difficult for me to see the 'lu-' prefix and get it from context.


I used Tinycards (Duolingo's companion flashcards ap) to drill the prefixes, which I found very helpful. You can try out mine ( https://tiny.cards/decks/e8322b1b-d784-40f9-8836-9a26dfb4acda ) or make your own.


Prefixes are one of the hardest parts of the languages. I still have trouble with some of them. Keep at it and you'll get the most important ones!

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