"The enemies are Klingons."
Translation:tlhInganpu' chaH jaghpu''e'.
I'm having difficulty knowing when to use the suffixes: pu', 'e'. Also when to combine them. Additionally, how does one tell, for instance, when to use "jaghpu'" vs. "jagh" vs. "jaghpu''e'"?
I'm guessing it's some sort of "English language rule" (which I'm terrible at identifying) that was used in the creation of the Klingon language.
This noun suffix -pu' is much like the plural -s used in English with two important differences.
1) It is only used on beings capable of language. There are different plural markers for things that are not beings or not capable of language.
2) The plural markers are optional in Klingon. The word jagh might mean "enemy" or "enemies" depending on context, but if you want to be clear about the plural, using jaghpu' can only mean "enemies". In many Klingon sentences in this course, it is not clear whether the word is plural or singular and for all of those, we accept either the singular or the plural in the English translation. For a plural English sentence (which will almost always be clear in its plurality), we accept the Klingon translation either with or without the plural marker (since both can be interpreted as plural).
The suffix -'e' is more complicated since there is not an equivalent in English. The sentence tlhIngan chaH is a complete sentence meaning "They are Klingon." Since we are using the pronoun chaH, we cannot normally also include the noun that it refers to - that would be like saying, "They enemies are Klingon." But Klingon has a special rule that allows you to include the noun that the pronoun refers to by tacking it on the end with the special suffix -'e'. Note that this suffix does not normally mark a subject, it is a special required thing in sentences that use pronouns to mean "to be".
An explanation is given in the Tips & Notes, but I know it’s a lot of new information and some details are bound to be difficult to understand or slip through the memory. However, 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, 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. 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.
You sir, are a fantastic mod!
I had no clue there even was a "Tips & Notes" feature! Thank you so much for pointing this out!
Also, your explanations in the first 2 paragraphs made a lot of sense!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and clue me in to something that will hopefully help me learn Klingon without feeling so confused half the time! :)
Qapla' batlh je!