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  5. "yuQ wIbavpa', So'wI' yIchu'!"

"yuQ wIbavpa', So'wI' yIchu'!"

Translation:Before we orbit the planet, activate the cloaking device!

October 6, 2019



I'm surprised to see -wI' at the end of So'wI' ("cloaking device") here. Looking at other exercises it seems like So' means cloak, so I'm guessing that the wI' turns it into a tangible object? Is there any relationship to the suffix -wI' meaning "my" when referring to a noun that's capable of speech? Or is this an example of another use for wI', or just an oddball we should memorize?

Thanks so much as always!


You're right: the suffix -wI' turns a verb into a noun meaning one who is, one who does the state or action of the verb, just like the English suffix -er. It can refer to an object or a person, and be ambiguous, just like English, e.g. printer. Same pronunciation as the possessive noun suffix, but no apparent relation. There are a lot of syllables in Klingon with totally different meanings in noun vs. verb contexts.

There is at least one spot where -wI' turns up and doesn't fit the pattern: De'wI', computer. There is no known verb De' just the noun meaning data but a computer is a kind of thing that does something with data. That's the oddball one to just memorize.


Also jonwI' engineer, chamwI' technician, and DeghwI' helmsman, but no corresponding verbs.


Awesome, thank you!


To add a little extra for consideration:
So' "to cloak"
So'wI' "a cloaker"
So'wI'wI' "my cloaker (must be a being capable of using language"
So'wI'wIj "my cloaker (probably a device, or at least either not a being or not capable of language)"

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