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  5. "yuQmey HopDaq mIDmey lucherl…

"yuQmey HopDaq mIDmey lucherlu'taH."

Translation:Colonies were being established on distant planets.

February 18, 2019



It works like the subject is not definite, so the object takes the prefix, qar'a'.


Sort of, yes -- if the suffix -lu' for an indefinite subject is present, the prefixes are used as if the sentence's object is the subject of the verb and the object is third person singular.

Thus, for example, wI...lu' for "we are ...ed; someone ...s us" or lu...lu' for "they are ...ed; someone ...s them".


Eww... that description will inevitably lead to confusion as people start to think that objects actually are subjects.

Here's a better one: when the subject is indefinite with -lu', use a different set of prefixes than the usual ones:

Object Prefix
jIH vI-
SoH Da-
ghaH/'oH none
maH wI-
tlhIH bo-
chaH/bIH lu-

This can be illustrated with simple examples.

vIleghlu' someone sees me
Daleghlu' someone sees you (singular)
leghlu' someone sees him/her/it
wIleghlu' someone sees us
boleghlu' someone sees you (plural)
luleghlu' someone sees them

You just have to memorize these prefixes along with the others.


So the correct translation includes "being established". I left off the "being" and it was wrong. Why is the "being" part necessary here?


I don't see any flag reports that could let me see your full attempt and there are a couple ways you could have left off the "being" so I can't address your exact sentence. If you want to type out your whole sentence, I might be able to address it more exactly. However, I have a suspicion that the problem is because of the -taH suffix. The -taH suffix specifically indicates that the time period we are talking about was during the same time that the establishing was happening. If you just say "were established" then that implies that the establishing was complete (or at least that the time relationship is unimportant), but the -taH suffix is specific about the time relationship so we have to find a way to express that in the English, too. If we had a specific we could say was doing the establishing we could word it more like, "so-and-so was establishing" which gets rid of the extra "being", but still requires the "-ing" on the main verb. Since this sentence has a general subject (which is what the -lu' suffix does) we have to add in that extra "be" in the English sentence and place the "-ing" there, so it becomes "was being established."


The creators have chosen to require that Klingon verbs with -taH be translated in English progressive tenses (like were being established instead of the simple past tense were established). This is not how translation really works, but your translations will be constrained this way in this course.

The English Colonies were established can be used to refer to an ongoing event, but the English grammar doesn't actually specify this. In Klingon, on the other hand, you can't avoid specifying whether an action is ongoing, completed, or neither. When referring to the past, mID lucherlu'pu' and mID lucherlu'taH can both be translated Colonies were established given the right contexts, but the one is a discrete, completed event while the other is an ongoing event.

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