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  5. "The Klingon is a child."

"The Klingon is a child."

Translation:puq ghaH tlhIngan'e'.

August 20, 2019

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parker969821

How do you know when to use 'oh or ghah as "is/are" ? Duolingo has them both listed when you click on them


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

ghaH is for "beings capable of language". 'oH is for things that are not beings or are not capable of language". In this case, the Klingon is a "being capable of language", so you use ghaH.

Detailed explanations are available in the Tips & Notes, but since Duolingo has hidden the Tips & Notes I want to make sure you know about them and where to find them. If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I would like to ask that you review those so we don’t have to repeat too much of the information that we have explained there.

If you are doing the course on iOS or Android, you cannot currently access the Tips & Notes through the app. To access the Tips & Notes, you will have to access the course using a web browser at https://www.duolingo.com/. You can still do it on your mobile device, but you will have to use the web browser instead of the app (or you can do it from a computer). When you click on a Skill, it will expand to reveal a Start button and a Tips button.

If you click on the Tips button it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you have questions after reading the Tips & Notes for any Skills, then please return to the forum to ask your question, explaining what you didn’t understand or what seems contradictory to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GS337

what does the 'e' mean?


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

It is a grammatical marker that does not exactly match anything we have in English, so there is no direct translation for it. There is a way to express it in an English sentence, but I'll get to that in a minute. Let me first explain why it is required in this sentence.

Since the pronoun in a “pronoun as the verb to-be” sentence is acting as both the verb and the subject, it is not possible to put a separate subject also in the sentence to explain who or what the pronoun is actually referring to. SuvwI' ghaH means, “He is a warrior.” SuvwI' ghaH tera'ngan is ungrammatical since the ghaH and the tera'ngan are both trying to be the subject and you cannot have both at the same time in Klingon. So instead we mark the noun as the “topic” in Klingon with the marker -’e’ and place that “topic” in the subject position to help make the connection. This is a very special grammatical construction and is absolutely required when trying to use an explicitly stated subject with a “pronoun as the verb to-be”. Since the noun with -'e' is grammatically acting as the “topic” and not the subject, it can be translated with, “As for ..., he is ...”

So this sentence can be translated by saying, "As for the Terran, he is a warrior," but it is the Klingon equivalent of saying, "The Terran is a warrior."

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