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  5. "I'm reading that book now."

"I'm reading that book now."

Translation:DaH paqvetlh vIlaDtaH.

June 23, 2019

7 Comments


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

regarding the -taH suffix...I got this question wrong, and I researched & found out that this suffix is one showing a continuing action...but at this point, that hasn't been covered yet, except to say "we will be learning that later."


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

Duolingo takes a simplistic approach to the continuous suffixes: if it uses a progressive tense in English, it uses a continuous suffix in Klingon, as if these things had a one-to-one correspondence.

This isn't really correct, though. One must distinguish when English uses the progressive tense to actually mean something continuous, or whether it's just a conventional style. For instance, there's no rule that says we couldn't say I read that book now, but it sounds stilted, because we automatically use the present progressive whether the action is continuous or not.

DaH paqvetlh vIlaDtaH means that now you are in the ongoing activity of reading that book. DaH paqvetlh vIlaD means that that book is the book you identify as the one currently at the top of your reading list (or whatever). Both might be true, but you can only express one at a time. English uses one sentence for both meanings.

Unfortunately, Duolingo doesn't support these more accurate meanings of the continuous suffix, so you'll have to artificially use -taH or -lI' whenever the English sentence uses a progressive tense.


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

Thanks for the help with that. I was really referring to the fact that Duolingo was quizzing me on something that hadn't even been taught yet, making it impossible for me to give a correct answer since it was a question where I had to type in the correct answer. (If I had just had to choose from a limited set of words, I may have been able to do that, although I would have been confused, but it's impossible to type in a word you haven't been taught.)


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

Is DaH really needed in this sentance? If -taH is used it has to be happening now. Or could paqvetlh vIlaDtaH mean that I am currently reading that book but on a break or something?


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

-taH does not mean it's happening now. -taH means the reading is continuous. In the moment the sentence is describing, whether that moment is in the past, present, or future, the reading was happening before that moment, is still happening, and will still be happening when the moment has passed.

paqvetlh vIlaDtaH
I was reading that book.
I am reading that book.
I will be reading that book.

-taH need not be interpreted as absolutely unbroken continuity. paqvetlh vIlaDtaH doesn't preclude taking a bathroom break any more than I'm reading that book does in English.


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

Ok, thanks. Having this idea of a continuous action as a word takes a little getting used to! It is really an alien concept to me!


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

laD read
laDtaH still reading, ongoing reading, continuing to read
laDlI' making progress to the end of reading
laDpu' completed reading
laDta' accomplished reading

(Those aren't really translations, just illustrations of the differences.)

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