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I made a video explaining Level 1 Phrases

Hello, I've noticed a lot of people in the discussion space of the questions are struggling to start learning Klingon with the course's headfirst into phrases appraoch and so I made a video called 'Learn Klingon with Me | Duolingo | Level 1 Phrases' on Youtube, making the video also helped me get my grounding in the language personally. Please give it a watch if you are struggling to start.


P.S I'm not an expert by any means!

September 15, 2019



majQa'! Great video! Thanks for enjoying the course and for the feedback.

I would like to respond to your criticism that it seems we don't answer questions and just say, read the Tips & Notes. I'm dissapointed in myself that this is the impression I have left. We have put a lot of time and effort into the Tips & Notes and if you haven't read them we certainly feel that the best first step is to read them before asking for more details. However, if anyone is having trouble understanding the Tips & Notes or feels that they have not answered their concerns we are happy to work on helping and explaining the material in different ways. I don't ever want anyone to get them impression that we are saying we don't have time to help them understand. I'll have to rethink my approach. Up until now, I have only sent people to the Tips & Notes when I suspect that they have not yet taken that first step and read them (usually because they are not aware of them since Duolingo has hidden them). But almost every time I do that, I also give an answer to the question itself. Perhaps I'm not 100% on that, but I TRY to always answer the question AND refer to the Tips & Notes. I hope that the only exceptions are when someone else in the Sentence Discussion has already given the answer, so I just need to add on the explanation about the Tips & Notes. Duolingo reorders the answers sometimes, so I fear that you may actually just be seeing my direction to the Tips & Notes before the answers that I didn't want to repeat and so it looks like I don't care to answer the actual question. But I'll try to be more careful about making sure there is an answer before I send to the Tips & Notes.

The complaint that too much is introduced early on without explanation is a problem. The size of the Tips & Notes is limited and so many of the "you'll get that later" comments are due to the fact that we don't have space for all the full explanations. Introducing so much right at the beginning was an attempt to keep the early lessons from being too boring, but I'm not sure the trade off was worth it. If we get a chance in the future to redesign the course, we may revise that approach and keep things simpler/more boring at the beginning (and introduce pronunciation instructions earlier in the course).


Hello, thank you for watching my video and the well-written response. As my video is a 'learn with me' type I have only explored the 3 first models so as Qov-jiH-je has written below I've only seen questions from the beginners who probably do not know about the Tips & Notes. It seems to be a tough situation because Klingon is very different from English and needs a lot of explanation but there is only so much that can be written in the tips section, even if Doulingo allowed more space, too much would overwhelm a user. What I tried to say in my video is that there was a lot of metalanguage such as 'glottal stop', 'subject and object' and 'pronouns'. In theory, the user can google any words they do not understand, but the inclusion of this terminology without explanation, especially in the first model is an extra layer that can put people off. Perhaps a link to a resource that explains these terms could help? However, these are all just my first impressions and that's why I made a video in case people were struggling to read the section and needed more explanation on the English side of things (which I know much more about than Klingon).

You guys are definitely doing amazing things and are very responsive in this community. I'm very excited to continue this course.

Can I quote your comment if I do another video? I plan to do more if that's okay, to add variety to the online resources out there, especially non-American ones.


Here's the intro chapter from another Klingon course, addressing your concern about terminology. It's a knowledge set I try to ensure Klingon learners have before they begin.



OK. I did a little editing and found enough characters to add a short sentence about subjects and objects to the Tips & Notes for the first Skill.

I do not mind if you quote me in your videos. If you want to say my username, the first three letters are individual letters and the last name has the first three letters pronounced like the animal J.D.M.Cow-an. You can also call me janSIy, but users probably won't be able to connect that to my user name here.

I wish we had room for links to the KLI, boQwI', and Hol 'ampaS and wonder if they might actually be more valuable than Quvar's videos.


Do you mind if I post a link to your video in the Facebook Learn Klingon group?


I watched your video. Thank you for being articulate and diligent in seeking information and explaining what you need. We will be starting work on Tree 2 soon, and your experience will help us make it better.

First off, for you and anyone else who comes away from the Tips and Notes with more questions, it is not our intention to ignore your struggles and send you back to Tips & Notes that you didn't understand in the first place. So many of the questions are from people who haven't read the Tips & Notes, and don't even know they exist. The mods have put their very best explanations into the Tips & Notes, so the first response is generally a macro sending you to read them. But that macro includes the sentence If you have not yet read 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. That means that if you have read them, please do reply back and say "yes, I have read them, but I still don't understand," and let us know exactly what it is that you don't understand. Something like, "I put XXXX, and I don't understand why it's wrong because it seems to agree with the rule YYY." (Also I had to click into over forty forum threads before I found an example of the macro to quote from. I think it's only used heavily in the first couple of units. After that the user questions get more specific,).

Duolingo is a frustrating medium for us, too. I have been teaching Klingon online for over twenty years, and know that the typical Klingon learner does want to know up front what everything means and what it's for. Duolingo makes that difficult in two ways. One is that the Tips & Notes have a finite capacity, and many of them are full. For every new thing we add, we have to take something out. So we have literally given you all the information Duolingo will allow before you start the unit. The other way is that Duolingo itself works off the philosophy that you should jump into a language with both feet, try it out and learn as you go along. To use your metaphor, we aren't sending you into battle untrained. We're asking you to step onto a mat with an instructor and try a few moves with a wooden practice batleH. You have to feel the weight of it in your arms in order for us to describe the correct swing.

When the course was first written there was no audio and little hope of getting audio, so yes, the sound system description needs a lot of work.

The missing prefix you were waiting for is lu- so tlhIngan luyaj mara torgh je Mara and Torg understood the Klingon.

And finally a note on your reteaching. Klingon has two different conjunctions that are translated just as and. The word 'ej is used to join two verbs or two sentences, like jIyaj 'ej bIyaj I understand and you understand. The word you're thinking of that joins two nouns is je, as in torgh, mara je Torg and Mara.

The rgh sound in torgh is a little tricky to say. It helps to have lots of saliva going on.


Thank you for watching my video. Yeah, you guys have done amazing things and I hope I didn't sound too whiny about it! I found this course with your recordings already available but found it very interesting to read discussions from as you were going through adding and fixing them. I had to take it out for time but I talked about how functional it was to have the whole phrase and each word recorded, so if you struggled hear every syllable (not because the recording is bad, but because it's a foreign sound) you had another recording to use.

That is an amazing way to look at the analogy and turn it in a different light.

And yes as soon as I uploaded the video I realised my 'ej and je mistake. I also made a mistake with the prefixes and plan to revisit these if I do a second video as the Tips & Hints in the next model is shorter. If I did do a second 'learn with me' video could I please quote your comment?


Certainly, and I hope you will direct people to the unit I linked to on language terms.

I just came on board this project to help with the recordings, so I wasn't there for the long development of the course itself, but I expect the team agonized about what to put in about things like verbs and subjects. There's a delicate balance between starting off at such a low level that people will think the course is too basic, and starting at so high a level that people don't understand.

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