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  5. "Are you smart? Yes. We are s…

"Are you smart? Yes. We are smart."

Translation:Suval'a'? HISlaH. maval.

August 25, 2019



bIval = you singular, Suval = you plural? Do I have that correct?


That is correct. If you have not even been reading the Tips & Notes, I applaud you for picking up on it. Or perhaps you are just trying to confirm what you read in the Tips & Notes. Since Duolingo has hidden the Tips & Notes I want to make sure you know about them and where to find them.

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, a key, and a light bulb.

If you click on the light bulb it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. Of course, we are always happy to answer question here, as well.


Plural you should really have its own separate word in english


Based on historical versions of English, singular should really have its own separate word. "You" is the plural. "Thou" used to be the singular. As in many languages, the plural was used as a formal way of speaking even to a singular person. For some reason it became the thing to address everyone with the formal/plural "you" and people eventually just stopped using "thou" for the singular.


Many of the other languages on Duolingo use "you all" to indicate plural. Not having any difference in the prompt and not accepting both singular and plural answers is poor question construction.


Because the response sentence uses "we", it should be clear that the English sentence is using a plural "you" and so the Klingon translation must use the plural version of "you" in the translation. A true dialog option would be more clear, but there are a number of exercises in this course that relies on this kind of "dialog" to make the singular/plural distinction clear. And when a user is given the Klingon sentence (which is clearly plural), it accepts English translations which use either "you" or "you all".


Because not all English speakers use the construct you all to indicate plural, I think it's important that those who don't learn to think about the context and how many people are meant by you, thus what prefix makes sense.


HIja' is an acceptable substitute for HISlaH, unless that's been changed in the years since I was in the KLI.


Yes that's true. Why do you bring it up?


I tried HIja' as part of my answer and had it marked wrong. Maybe HIja' can be put in as an alternative in that question?


It is already an accepted alternative. Is it possible you had some other error that you didn't notice? I don't see any "my answer should be accepted reports that would let me check your answer. By any chance, did you take a screen shot?


How are we meant to know in this situation if it's you plural or you singular?


Because they answered "we". If it was one person they wouldn't answer with "we".


Thanks for the reply! I guess I still hadn't made the connection that it's two people talking. Woops.


Dialogues are ideal for teaching this kind of thing, but Duolingo doesn't currently have a good way to do that so we have to fake it with this kind of structure. Maybe one day Duolingo will give us a better way to do dialogues.

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