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  5. "Many Klingons are warriors."

"Many Klingons are warriors."

Translation:SuvwI'pu' chaH tlhInganpu' law''e'.

July 9, 2019



I'm having a very difficult time with this one. I understand that when talking about a specific number of tlhInganpu', the number should be before tlhInganpu', so why does law' belong after? I checked my copy of TKD and I didn't see any examples of law' in a sentence, but it was listed as a verb meaning "many, be many, numerous".


In Klingon, law' is not actually a number element, but rather a verb. It is a "be" verb", so it can act adjectivally, but it cannot act as a number. In English, "many" is an adjective and both numbers and adjectives go before the nouns they describe: "5 Klingons" "Many Klingons".

In Klingon, numbers also go before the nouns they describe: vagh tlhInganpu' ("5 Klingons"). However, in Klingon, verbs acting adjectivally go after the nouns they describe: tlhInganpu' law' ("many Klingons").

If the verb were in front of the noun, then it would be acting as a verb with the noun as the subject and it would form the complete sentence, law' thlInganpu' ("The Klingons are many," or more commonly in English, "There are many Klingons.")


That's kinda what I guessed, after reading that law' is a verb. Gotta bring it up, though, in another question, "There are few birds in this forest", the correct answer is definitely ngemvamDaq luDab puS bo'Deghmey. If puS is also a verb, according to TKD, shouldn't it be bo'Deghmey puS?


Could it have actually been, ngemvamDaq puSqu' bo'Deghmey. In that sentence, puS is acting as a verb and not as an adjective, but the English "best translation" doesn't use the direct translation of "The birds are very few in this forest," but rather the more common English way to say it, "There are very few birds in this forest," which is almost exactly what you quoted.

That exercise also accepts ngemvamDaq bIH bo'Deghmey puSqu''e' and ngemvamDaq bo'Deghmey puSqu' lutu'lu', but the puS follows the bo'Deghmey in both of those translations.

I can't find a similar sentence in the course that uses Dab, but if there was, it wouldn't have -Daq on the object of Dab and you are correct that the puS would be expected to follow bo'Deghmey.


I finally tracked that one down again, and I guess I was wrong. It's weird, though, because I still 'remember' finding it while this question was in my head, and I 'remember' it being bo'Degh puS. Memories are weird, I guess. Anyway, it might be good to add a blurb to the Tips section about puS and law' being verbs, compared to other numbers of things?


Thanks for the suggestion. Done!

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