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  5. "I was born ninety-seven year…

"I was born ninety-seven years ago."

Translation:HutmaH Sochben jIboghpu'.

April 11, 2019



I have solved this tile exercise correctly, but I think there is an incorrect tile in the solution: It says “Sochben“ instead of “Soch ben“. I think it lacks a blank.


Spacing is inconsistent with the suffix/word ben and its counterpart nem.

There is a canon source from 1996 which uses phrases such as loSmaH ben jIboghpu' "I am 40 years old" and one from 1999 which uses phrases such as wejnem "three years from now".

On the other hand, I've only ever seen wa'Hu' and wa'leS written as one word, so doing the same for ben and nem makes sense to me as well.


I see. I used the entry for ben (under definition 2 "years old") as a reference. The words wa'Hu' and wa'leS I know only from the duolingo exercises. In hindsight, I find both words to be confusing, because all the words ben, Hu' and leS are marked as nouns in the dictionary and not as suffixes. So I would assume them to be used with a preceding blank. But since we don't know for sure: Can we assume that both versions are acceptable for all these words? Or can we perhaps assume that one of the two sources might contain an error (such things happen...)?


Okrand has weighed in on this. Both versions are acceptable. When you speak, you don't pronounce the spaces, and "written" Klingon is really just a transcription of the sounds of Klingon, not any native writing system. ben is a separate word, not a suffix, but the phrase wa' ben has probably become so common that some Klingons just think of it as a set phrase, wa'ben.

You can't, in general, shove nouns together like this to coin new nouns. But for the time-related nouns, this is acceptable with numbers.

I usually separate them for numbers above nine. I might say HutHu', but I wouldn't say wa'maHHu'. That's just me, not a rule. You can never go wrong separating them; wa' Hu' is acceptable.


qatlho' 'ej marq 'oqranD vItlho'

By the way: If Marc Okrand never intended tlho' to be used like "thanks", what DID he intend?


I don't have any facts on that. I believe that one can speak about thanking without having to do so in a "thank you." For instance...

ghojmoHwI' tlho'meH puq, ghaHvaD mIllogh chenmoH
To thank the teacher, the child makes a picture for him/her.


Klingons definitely thank each other. They may express their gratitude by embracing. Or by giving a gift. Or by doing a favor in return. Or even by saying something sincere, meaningful, and original. Surely they wouldn't say a simple and polite, but meaningless phrase like, "Thank you."

If you truly are grateful, you can find a more creative and meaningful way to express it. If you are just saying it to be polite, because someone has assisted you, then a Klingon would rather skip it. You help me, I help you! That's how society works - no need to constantly say meaningless phrases to acknowledge it.

When someone does express their gratitude, you can use the word tlho' to describe that action. But I keep imagining a human saying qatlho' to a Klingon and the Klingon saying, "When will you thank me. All you've done was say you were going to thank me. Where is your actual demonstration of gratitude?"


naDev maja'chuqtaHvIS tlhIngan Hol malo' 'e' bomaS 'e' vogh vIlaDpu'; vaj SaDa. mupon DaghItlhbogh Dochmey. vang tlhInganpu' 'e' lumaS 'ach 'utchugh neH (+) jatlh. tagha' jIyaj. qatlho'meH chay' jIvanglaH?

(+) I am not sure whether I can use neH here to say ONLY if it is necessary. What do you think?


neH after a verb trivializes the meaning of the verb. 'utchugh neH if it is merely necessary. It doesn't have to be anything but necessary, which isn't much of a hurdle.

To say he speaks only if it is necessary, say something like jatlhnISchugh jatlh; jatlhnISbe'chugh jatlhbe' he speaks if he needs to speak; he doesn't speak if he doesn't need to speak. You might find better ways to say it.

Other notes:

You can't say 'e' vogh vIlaDpu'. For one thing, you can't put a type 7 suffix on a verb that has 'e' or net as its object. This is an arbitrary rule in TKD; you just have to follow it. To say I read somewhere that..., remember that the 'e' is the object and the vogh is a locative, and locatives that aren't objects come before objects. vogh 'e' vIlaD I read somewhere that.

DaghItlhbogh Dochmey is backwards; it needs to be Dochmey DaghItlhbogh things which you write.

mupon Dochmey DaghItlhbogh things which you write insist me. I'm not sure I follow this. I can only assume that mupon is invoking the prefix trick to represent the indirect object with the verb prefix, but I still don't understand things which you write insist to me. What do they insist?


Hi, David!

  • neH: I expected this to be problematic. So, thanks for the alternative!

  • 'e' vogh vIlandpu': You are right, I forgot the rule about type 7 suffixes. It simply seems so... arbitrary ;-)

Concerning the placement of vogh: This is a really helpful piece of information for me. I always thought that 'e' also worked like some kind of comma, that the second part of the sentence can only begin after the 'e'. So, it never occurred to me that I could place the locative before the 'e'. But it makes sense to me.

All in all ... 'e' bomaS vogh 'e' vIlaD... is correct then?

  • mupon DaghItlhbogh Dochmey: Yes, it has to be mupon Dochmey DaghItlhbogh. I only considered the fact that DaghItlhbogh Dochmey is the subsect of the sentence, but not that Dochmey itself is the object of DaghItlhbogh and therefore must come first.

But pon really is convince; insist is qap. So, I want to say The things which you write convince me. In this case, I didn't use any prefix trick (method,...), right?

Cheers, Steffen.


Sorry, you're right about pon. Dunno how I got those mixed up!

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