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  5. "qa'naDa'Daq DIvI' Hol vIraS …

"qa'naDa'Daq DIvI' Hol vIraS Hol je lujatlhlu'."

Translation:English and French are spoken in Canada.

November 28, 2019



Happy Thanksgiving (even if you aren't in the USA). This sentence looks odd to me; I don't understand the -lu prefix, since there is a plural object. And the -lu' suffix seems to indicate an indefinite subject. What am I overlooking?


The prefixes work a little differently with the -lu' suffix. The lu- prefix with the -lu' suffix indicates an indefinite subject and multiple objects, so it is being used properly here. The English also does something weird in using "they" to mean "no one in particular, but rather people in general".


Thank you. With the -lu' suffix, the subject "acts like" an object. Scots? That is so cool, but also potentially addictive for me. "wee mousie..." Maybe best to just read it!


No, the subject doesn't act like an object. -lu' means there is NO subject. In this sentence, DIvI' Hol vIraS Hol je IS an object.

English passive voice ({subject} {be} {past participle}) is often translated with Klingon indefinite subject (-lu'), but they're not the same thing. You can get a better idea of what the Klingon means by translating with English impersonal one, as in One speaks English and French in Canada. Any time you're dealing with an English passive voice sentence, try recasting it with impersonal one first to get the correct Klingon translation.

For instance:

I was attacked on the ship
gets recast to
One attacked me on the ship
which translates as
DujDaq jIH vIHIvlu'pu'
or just
DujDaq vIHIvlu'pu'

But not every English passive voice will get -lu' in Klingon:

I was attacked on the ship by a warrior
gets recast to
A warrior attacked me on the ship
which translates as
DujDaq jIH muHIvpu' SuvwI'
or just
DujDaq muHIvpu' SuvwI'

Notice that both sentences describe the same event, and I am the object in both cases. The only difference is that in the first one the subject is unknown, while in the second the subject is known. Notice the difference in verb prefixes between the two sentences that otherwise describe the same event.

In the particular sentence of this lesson, the translator has used English they in the same way as the impersonal one. This is a less stilted way to translate the sentence than with one, but it means the same thing.


Not Scots. Gaelic!


After moving along, I (re)see that this the way that it is said. But I am still missing something.


From the Tips & Notes of the IndefSubj Skill (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/kl/Useful-phrases/Indefinite-subject):

The use of verbal prefixes in connection with this suffix is a bit unusual.

The prefix is chosen as if the patient or "sufferer" of the verb were the subject and the object were "he, she, it".

For example, "it bites you" (when speaking to one person) is Duchop, and "they bite you" is nIchop, but when using -lu', neither Du- nor nI- is used but instead Da- -- the form used for "you (one person) do something to it": Dachoplu' "one bites you; someone or something bites you; you are bitten".

Thus, we have:

  • vI...lu' = one ... me; I am ...ed
  • Da...lu' = one ... you; you are ...ed
  • ...lu' = one ... him/her/it; he/she/it is ...ed
  • wI...lu' = one ... us; we are ...ed
  • bo...lu' = one ... you all; you all are ...ed
  • lu...lu' = one ... them; they are ...ed


Erse (learned that from a crossword puzzle)? Wow. I am very tempted by Latin, but reluctant to stretch myself any thinner. And muchas gracias for the Tips review.


Not a word I was familiar with. I think it might be outdated. It wasn't in any of my linguistics books, but it was in my English dictionary. It seems it's related to the word "Irish" and was used to distinguish Gaelic language speakers (from both countries) from English speakers. But it was never an official name for the language and can't be used to distinguish Gaelic from Irish.


Scots Gaelic. I'm not sure in which context.

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