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  5. "qach 'emDaq QamtaH lurveng '…

"qach 'emDaq QamtaH lurveng 'ej tlhIch purtaH."

Translation:Lurveng is standing behind the building and smoking.

January 24, 2020



This is an example of a sentence where the continuous aspect (-taH) is misleading and only there because -ing is in the English sentence.

qach 'emDaq Qam lurveng 'ej tlhIch pur
Lurveng stands behind the building and smokes.

If you were saying this to point out that Lurveng is standing there and smoking right now, in English you're forced to use the progressive present tense, but Klingon has no such thing.

Yes, you COULD say that Lurveng standing behind the building and smoking is an ongoing thing, and that would use the continuous aspect, but that's not what someone would really mean when they say this sentence. What they mean is that Lurveng is there and engaged in this particular activity at the moment, not that the activity has been ongoing.

So while qach 'emDaq QamtaH lurveng 'ej tlhIch purtaH is grammatical and does mean Lurveng is standing behind the building and smoking, it doesn't mean that in the sense you think it does. If the English translation had been Lurveng continues to stand behind the building and smoke, it would have been more precise.


There wasn't a tooltip for purtaH by itself.


If the building were on fire, would we presume she is breathing in smoke from the fire? Or does tlhIch purtaH have to mean smoking?


If the building were on fire and she were 'standing behind the building smoking,' would you presume in English that she was inhaling smoke from a cigarette, or on fire herself?


I would presume in Engnlish that she was inhaling smoke from a cigarette and unaware that the building were on fire. If someone is on fire, you say they're on fire, not that they're smoking.

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