1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "He's not heavy; he's my patiā€¦

"He's not heavy; he's my patient."

Translation:'ughbe'; SIDwI' ghaH.

May 2, 2019



Why is it "SIDwI' " and not "SIDwIj"?


-wI' is the suffix that means my when the noun it's attached to represents a being capable of using language.

-wIj is the suffix that means my when the noun it is attached to represents something other than a being capable of using language.

SIDwI' my patient because the patient is a being capable of using language.
HaqtajwIj my scalpel because the scalpel is not a being capable of using language.
HoDwI' my captain because the captain is a being capable of using language.
DujwIj my ship because the ship is not a being capable of using language.

Don't accidentally use -wIj on a noun representing a being capable of using language. This is considered insulting.


Not any sort of correction, just an additional point to add to David's excellent explanation.

A veterinarian might say SIDwIj.


Interesting technical question. If the distinction is 'capable of using language ' would you say SIDwIj if the patient is temporarily incapable of using language, due to being unconscious perhaps ?


Not typically. These genders are applied based on broad categorization and not momentary evaluation. Humanoid patients are capable of using language. Even if this particular patient does not seem to be able to use language, he's still a humanoid patient, which is viewed as a language capable being. On the other hand, if the patient was an animal, that might be enough to think of it differently. Then it's an animal patient and does not fit the broad category of a being capable of using language.


No. This question was asked of Okrand once, and he answered. Here is the report from someone who was there:

Now, to clearify "use of language" a little bit... A child which has not yet developed language would still get [-wI']. This kind of goes along with how Klingon doesn't have tense. 99.9% chance that this child will later use language. Someone earlier brought up the hypothetical situation: if someone is in a coma, they can not speak. Well, they were able to, and perhaps will someday again. They still get [-wI']. When someone dies, if you are talking about the "person" they get [-wI']; and of course if you are refering to the empty shell that is left, it gets a [-wIj].



Thank you for clarifying. I thought I would be how it was.


Does the word 'ugh have some other meaning in this context?


No, it just means be heavy. I find this sentence completely mystifying. Maybe it's a quotation.


Perhaps a reference to He Ain't Heavy; He's My Brother: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Ain%27t_Heavy,_He%27s_My_Brother


Well, I will say this for it: the mystifying nature of the sentence sure makes it memorable. I won't be mistranslating this one any time soon.


I like 'ugh as to be heavy because it's the sound you make when you pick up something heavy.

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.