1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "Did they hear you? No. They …

"Did they hear you? No. They did not hear me."

Translation:nIQoy'a'? ghobe'. muQoybe'.

January 19, 2020



nIQoypu''a'? ghobe'. muQoybe'. should also be an acceptable answer, no?


If it were nIQoypu''a' and muQoybe'pu' or muQoypu'be' it would be acceptable: both parties are referencing the same completed action. Having perfective on just one of them doesn't really make sense.

However, Duolingo is likely not to accept perfective Klingon translations of simple past tense English sentences, even when the simple past tense English is meant in a perfective sense. They have artificially, and somewhat inconsistently, imposed a one-to-one translation of Klingon perfective aspect and English perfect tenses, so they often don't accept good perfective translations, even when the perfective interpretation is obviously the one everybody thinks of. This example sentence is one of those cases where everybody is going to assume the perfective meaning, that they didn't hear you do a particular thing, but probably doesn't accept a perfective translation.


"nI-" is translated "they" as the subject verb and "you" as the object combined. There would be no need to add "-pu'" which would be used for "beings capable of using language" in the plural sense, ie: Terrans, Klingons, Romulans, etc.


nI- is a verb prefix that you put on a verb that has a third-person singular subject (they) and a second-person singular object (you).

-pu' does go on nouns as the plural suffix for beings capable of using language, but it also goes on verbs as the suffix that means "completed."

These two -pu' suffixes are not related to each other.

jIQong I sleep. I'm describing myself in a state of sleep.
jIQongpu' I slept; I have slept. I'm describing my act of sleeping after it's done.

nIQoypu''a' Did they hear you? Have they heard you? If they heard you, it's already completed, and I'm asking about that.


It's fun when two different languages utilize similar words. In the case of nIQoy'a' (Did they hear you?) the "nI" is the same word for "you" in Navajo, "Ni".


If I recall correctly, "nI-" is translated as combined verbs "they(subject) - you(object)". "bI-" would be the proper verb for "you(subject)".

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.