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"Are Klingons crazy? No."

Translation:maw''a' tlhInganpu'? ghobe'.

September 3, 2019

9 Comments


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

t "l" h? I thought it was t "I" h.


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

The Duolingo font is not great for Klingon, though the Facebook font is even worse. If you look carefully the l (lowercase L) has a small curl at the bottom and the I (uppercase i) does not.


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

Right, I've struggled with the i and L problem before. But what is the correct spelling? t I hIngan capital i or t l hIngan? lower case L


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

The sound is half like an English T and half like an English L and in other languages that have the sound, it is usually transcribed into Roman letters as just tl, but in Klingon h is used to mark other multigraphs (single sounds represented by multiple Roman letters), so Dr. Okrand made it tlh (with a lower case L).


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

Lower case L.

Thank you. I've struggled with this one for way too long :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qov-jIH-je

I'm glad you came to the forum to learn. I just cleared your report (thanks for explaining what seemed wrong, and not just "has an error"), and now I don't have to wish I could reach through the screen and explain.


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

Could somebody please explain why "Klingons" is tlhIngan rather than tlhInganpu? Is it something like referring to humanity as a whole (or as a rule) rather than to two or more specific humans? Would "THE Klingons" be tlhInganpu?


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

An unmarked noun might be singular or plural and tlhIngan could be interpreted as "a Klingon", "the Klingon", "the Klingons", or "Klingons", depending on the context. Adding the suffix -pu' makes it definitely plural and removes those singular versions from consideration.

The context might also restrict some of the options. The verb prefix is sometimes, though not always, limiting. The suffix -chuq can only be used with plural subjects, so would also remove the singulars from consideration. And sometimes the rest of the conversation can indicate whether singular or plural people are being considered. In this case, since there is no such context, translations with either the singular or the plural are accepted as correct answers.

The previous Skill, "Basic", which introduces the plurals, mentions that a noun can be plural even without the suffix. Since it is still a new concept, perhaps this Skill is too early to begin showing nouns without the plural suffix as plural. I have changed the structure of this exercise so that it still accepts tlhIngan without the plural as a correct answer, but shouldn't show it as the correct answer anymore (once the system updates which can take a day or two). In fact, I think you'll find that the translation shown at the top of this discussion now includes the plural marker.


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

Okay, thank you so much for explaining!

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