1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "'Iw leghbe' SuvwI'."

"'Iw leghbe' SuvwI'."

Translation:The warrior does not see blood.

May 9, 2019

6 Comments


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

I offered one possible translation as "warriors do not see blood" which was rejected with the following explanation:

— You need the article "The" here.

I was led to believe that the Klingon language does not contain a definite article; it can be implied by context but there is no literal translation. I have also observed that specifying a plural of a noun (particularly one describing a person, such as SuvwI', HeSwI' etc.) is often unnecessary. The object "'Iw"/ "blood" is a noun without quantity (at least in English, & we do use the singular verb for it) so the pronoun/verb prefix or lack thereof wouldn't necessarily hint at the number of "SuvwI'" subjects either. Unless this is an established proverb— and I have recognized some in the course, but they haven't been covered as a discrete and explicit unit yet— I see no reason why my answer is wrong by reason of lacking a "the". Care to help me out with this?

EDIT: I submitted "a warrior does not see blood" as my redo answer & it was accepted. So I don't need a "the", so the feedback from before was misleading & should probably be corrected. That still leaves the question of quantity though regarding my first answer where I interpreted SuvwI' as plural. From everything I've learned so far, it may not be the first obvious answer, but I'm not seeing how it's wrong.

May 9, 2019

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

The creators of this course decided that all nouns have to be translated with a built-in article. It's a silly requirement. Do it because they make you, but don't believe for a second that there's anything wrong with translating SuvwI' as warior instead of the warrior.

Your error was actually not that you didn't include a the, whatever the message said. Your error was that Warriors do not see blood has a plural third-person subject and a singular third-person object. In Klingon, this combination requires a lu- prefix on the verb, which was not present in the given sentence. 'Iw leghbe' SuvwI' cannot mean warriors do not blood, but it can mean a/the warrior sees blood, which is singular, third-person subject and singular, third-person object, which takes the null-prefix.

To say Warriors do not see blood, you need to say 'Iw luleghbe' SuvwI'.

May 9, 2019

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

Cool, got it. Thanks. What tripped me up was that “blood” isn’t precisely singular OR plural, in other words you wouldn’t say “a blood” or “some bloods” unless it was a in metaphorical sense like a family line or something (again, at least in DIvI’ Hol you wouldn’t). I was probably subconsciously using that as my guideline for what pronoun to use.

May 9, 2019

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

Treat Klingon mass-nouns as singular.

May 9, 2019

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

“blood” isn’t precisely singular OR plural, in other words you wouldn’t say “a blood” or “some bloods”

"blood" is singular -- it's just not countable.

You would say "the blood is red", with the third-person singular verb form "is". You would not use the third-person plural verb form "the blood are red", nor would you use any other non-singular, non-plural verb.

Not all singular nouns are countable. They're still grammatically singular.

May 10, 2019

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

Yeah we already established that but thanks for the bonus lecture

May 10, 2019
Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.