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  5. "A Klingon does not defect."

"A Klingon does not defect."

Translation:cheHbe' tlhIngan.

May 13, 2019

3 Comments


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

In English, the indefinite article in "A Klingon does not defect" seems to imply that we're talking about Klingons as a whole, that it would be unthinkable for any one to defect, equivalent to the sentence "Klingons do not defect". However, as far as Klingon (the language) is concerned, this sentence is equivalent to "The Klingon does not defect." Obviously context matters, but would it be possible for the translation given here to have the same connotations as the English sentence?


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

You are correct: the Klingon sentence is not as narrow in meaning as the given English sentence.

cheHbe' tlhIngan could mean:

A Klingon does not defect
The Klingon does not defect
Klingons do not defect

When you say the Klingon sentence, you're not just saying one of these, you're saying all of them at once. Only context can narrow the meaning.


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

Let me just take a moment here to say that you are asking some excellent questions in this forum, prompting some equally amazing answers from the moderators/contributors/etc.

Keep it up, Nova and everyone that keeps answering in such detail! I really love reading all of that.

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