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  5. "toD'eghlI' HaqwI'."

"toD'eghlI' HaqwI'."

Translation:The surgeon is saving herself.

February 24, 2019



It seems strange that there isn't a prefix for him/her/it --> himself/herself/itself. I'd think that'd be useful...or is there something about this being an action instead of an adjective? (Yes, I know all adjectives are actually verbs which describe the action of being something, but I think the you'll get the distinction I'm making, here.)


Klingon expresses this reflexive (I - myself, you - yourself, he - himself) etc. with a suffix: -'egh.

The prefix is what you would expect for "no object", e.g. jIlegh'egh "I see myself", bIlegh'egh "you see yourself", legh'egh "he sees himself; she sees herself; it sees itself; they see themselves".

Since "he/she/it - [no object]" and "they - [no object]" both have a zero prefix, this is also the prefix used for "he/she/it - him/her/itself" and for "they - themselves".


"Adjectives" can't take an object. You can't "adjective something" or even worse "be adjective something". So, there's no way for someone to "adjective" himself or herself. (Though if you haven't learned it yet, you will learn how to say that someone "makes himself adjective".)

And there is a prefix for him/her/it --> himself/herself/itself. Since both the subject and the object are third-person singular you use the null prefix. And to make it clear you want the null prefix to be reflexive in this case, you use the -'egh suffix.


Okay...but...I think my point is that there not being a reflexive prefix instead of a suffix is strange.


All of the prefixes are pretty simple and straight forward and it would seem strange to me if there were a special third person prefix just for reflexive. The suffix feels right to me. But we are talking about subjective interpretations, so there's room for many opinions. I do agree though that the lack of first person and second person reflexive prefixes leaves odd holes in the prefix chart. But on my own personal prefix chart, I fill those in with things like {jI...'egh} and {Su...'egh}, etc.


Well, I uh-spose I can learn to remember those suffixes; hell, this language has enough eccentricities.

My REAL beef with the prefixes is that there seems to be no structure to them. If I was building a language, all of the pronouns that indicate what I'm doing would start with the same letter, all those ones indicating you doing something would all start with another letter, etc. They're all just so...unrelated to each other. Makes it tough to memorize 'em.


Remember, though, that when this language was being created it was not being created for logical patterns or efficient learning, but rather it was supposed to resemble a natural language for a rough and warlike species. In a way, the inconsistencies are part of the beauty of the language - an irritating beauty when you're trying to learn it, but one can still learn to appreciate it.


Still a pain in the butt. ;)

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