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  5. "vavlI' SoSlI' je tIquvmoH!"

"vavlI' SoSlI' je tIquvmoH!"

Translation:Honor your father and your mother!

March 8, 2019



This is very much a nuance question. When speaking about couples - mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, aunt and uncle, sisters and brothers, etc - does Klingon generally list the male before the female?

The reason I ask is that, in studying Slavic languages, I've noticed that they generally tend to list the male of each pair first, while English generally puts the female first. It's an interesting matter of perspective, and while I suspect that I already know the answer, I'm curious which category Klingon falls into.


I suspect that Klingon does not consider sexual gender for this purpose and rank would be the more likely decider (which however, would tend to favor males). Though I'm not sure we have enough evidence in the actual language to be certain.


I suspected there might not be enough evidence to know for certain. I guess I'll have to keep an eye out as I begin to read through 'canonical' source material in the future. Thanks for your input, though! I hadn't considered that rank might be a factor.


I disagree that English has any preference for putting females ahead of males in lists of things. Not sure where you got that idea but I have never noticed that and never heard it mentioned in any grammar texts or discussions of English. I don't think there is any evidence to back up your claim either. If anything, I would say there are more examples to the contrary. Mr. and Mrs. Boys and girls. Men and women. Gentlemen and gentle ladies. Ladies and gentlemen seems if anything to be an exception but I wouldn't be sure enough of that to make some grand pronouncement that there is a preference either way. Superman and superwoman sounds better but is that a male gender first preference or a few syllable word first preference? Who knows. I would certainly be interested in seeing somebody prove there is a particular natural order by gender in English.

I can't believe sometimes how many weird claims I read about English on Duolingo. This month I read a claim in a sentence discussion that English always puts lists of things in a sentence in alphabetical order as in the following colors would be naturally named as black, blue, chartreuse, green, grey, lime, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow automatically by native English speakers as opposed to some other order. Mmm, no. No such rule and no such pattern. It is even preposterous in theory because until the last couple hundred years, the vast majority of centuries of English speakers in history (from even before Indoeuropean all the way through Old English, Middle English, and everything else along the way) who would have been important to the development of what sorts of constructions are natural in English were totally illiterate and wouldn't even have known of alphabetical order.

As far as whether Klingon has a preference, if it did, that would be in the canon sources for Klingon and it isn't. In addition, there are no native speakers of Klingon so a preference can't even have developed in the language.


I do think in English we put the female first for some things. I got this question wrong because without thinking I said "mother and father" instead of the direct translation "father and mother." I don't know if it's a grammatical rule but it's an interesting question. I'd be more likely to say "brother and sister," or "husband and wife" though and I think you're right there are more situations English when we put the male first. Maybe it's who is considered more important in the most sexist of ways? Like to a child a mother is more important than a father, while to a parent a son is more important than a daughter and a husband is more important than a wife (obviously they're not, but in the "olden days" when these nuances developed people saw gender differently).

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