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"Does Torg speak Klingon?"

Translation:tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh?

April 27, 2019

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Della_Rosa

I'm excited to be learning Klingon - tlhlngan? - but I'm not sure how to say...that the Klingon sentences in this multiple choice are capitalized at the start of the sentence. And I'm not sure where to say that...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

It's a consistent problem with the multiple choice exercises. The software automatically recapitalizes some of the options. It's annoying for our course, but it would take a lot of reprogramming to fix. Please read this post about known problems: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26778885


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I was looking back through recent comments and just noticed an important error. Look carefully at the first four letters of the word tlhIngan (look on the Duolingo site, the difference might not show in your email). The second letter is a lower-case L and has a small curl at the bottom of the letter. The fourth letter is an upper-case i and is straight at the bottom without a curl. The font that Duolingo uses is annoying for studying Klingon, but if you look carefully you can see the difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

The word tlhIngan refers to the species or to an individual of that species. To refer to the language, say tlhIngan Hol Klingon language (Hol language).

This works for lots of other things too. To say Klingon ship, say tlhIngan Duj (Duj ship, vessel). And so forth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/La_Mariette

Why is this not "tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh'e' "? The 'e' at the end is only used with the verb "to be", is that right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The 'e' at the end is only used with the verb "to be", is that right?

In this course, the only places where the suffix -'e' is used is in "to be" sentences (which Klingon doesn't have a verb for) and to disambiguate the head of a relative clause (e.g. "the man who has eaten the fish" ghotI' Soppu'bogh loD'e' versus "the fish which the man has eaten" ghotI''e' Soppu'bogh loD -- without -'e', ghotI' Soppu'bogh loD could mean either of them).

-'e' is also used as a topic marker, but less commonly, and this use is not taught in this course.

tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh'e' is a grammatical Klingon sentence; to capture the sense of the topic marker, you might phrase it something like "As for Torg: Does he speak Klingon?" or "Does Torg speak Klingon?" or perhaps even "What about Torg? Does he speak Klingon?".

(Similarly, tlhIngan Hol'e' jatlh'a' torgh? is also a grammatical Klingon sentence -- meaning something like "As for Klingon: does Torg speak it?" or "Does Torg speak Klingon?" or "What about Klingon - does Torg speak that?".)

The English sentence "Does Torg speak Klingon?" doesn't particularly mark either the subject or the object as a topic, so it's probably best not to include -'e' in the translation. A few sentences do accept translations with -'e' on subject or object in such cases, but not consistently.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

I would like to add, too, that there are some situation where English uses the verb "to be", but Klingon does not use a pronoun in place of the verb. For instance, "The Klingon is large." This sentence also uses "to be", but the noun in the Klingon sentence does not take -'e':
tIn tlhIngan.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh'e' is a grammatical Klingon sentence; to capture the sense of the topic marker, you might phrase it something like "As for Torg: Does he speak Klingon?" or "Does Torg speak Klingon?" or perhaps even "What about Torg? Does he speak Klingon?".

The as for translation and the boldfaced translation are actually separate functions in Klingon, but marked the same way. The role of the noun determines what function it is.

It seems that when a subject or object is marked with -'e' (ignoring the function of disambiguating a relative clause), it means grammatical focus: stressing that the noun mentioned is what you're talking about, not something else. Does TORG (not someone else) speak Klingon? As subject or object, it does not seem to play the role of topic.

When a noun with -'e' comes at the end of a "to be" pronoun sentence or before the object-verb-subject construction of a basic sentence, it indicates topic: saying what the sentence is all about. An example: lopno''e' Soj vIje'pu' 'ej vaS vIghummoHpu' As for the party, I have bought the food and alerted the hall.

These functions don't seem to mix. -'e' on a pronoun sentence never means focus and -'e' on a subject or object doesn't seem to mean topic. tlhIngan ghaH torgh'e' doesn't mean TORG (not someone else) is a Klingon and tlhIngan Hol jatlh'a' torgh'e' doesn't mean As for Torg, does he speak Klingon?

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