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  5. "You have your father's ridge…

"You have your father's ridges."

Translation:vavlI' vIlHomDu' rur vIlHomDu'lIj.

April 16, 2019



This one confused me a bit. I had answered "vavlI' vIlHomDu' ghaj SoH," which was marked wrong. Wouldn't that be closer to the original English sentence though? "You have your father's ridges," and "Your ridges resemble your father's ridges," are very similar sentences but I would argue that they are subtly different enough that the translation of one wouldn't count for the other.


One of the things we hope you will learn from this sentence is that English uses "have" for a lot of things that are not actually taking about possession. When translating into Klingon, don't use ghaj unless you are actually talking about possession of a physical object. You have to think more about what would be a better Klingon verb.


Except we don't really know the extent of Klingon ghaj. It's probably less inclusive than English have, but it's not always entirely literal: TKD gives us pIch vIghajbe' It's not my fault, literally, I don't have blame.

So while vavlI' vIlHomDu' rur vIlHomDu'lIj is a perfectly good — and idiomatic — translation of You have your father's ridges, I don't think we can actually say that using ghaj is necessarily wrong. I'd guess it's wrong, but I can't elevate that guess to anything stronger.


Your answer would have needed to be {vavlI' vIlHomDu' Daghaj} to be correct Klingon (if not the intended meaning). Though I would add a response to such a sentence with {'aplo'Daq bIH vIpol.}

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