[tlhIngan Hol] Suffix-number questions in the KLCP test

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Mon Nov 25 11:54:51 PST 2019

While your complaint has the air of reason about it, there are a couple of reasons one might resist following the advice and changing the test:

1. If you are so good at knowing what suffix follows what, then it shouldn’t be so difficult for you to map out which numbered suffix it is. You know most of the suffixes, and you know how many Types there are (5 for nouns, 9 for verbs, plus rovers). Pull out a scrap of paper and doodle them out. It’s not that hard.

2. Tests are arbitrary. ALL tests are arbitrary. It’s okay for tests to be arbitrary. If you eliminate one arbitrary part of a test, you’ll just have to replace it with some other arbitrary thing that someone ELSE will object to. 

3. Respect that the people who created these tests did so voluntarily, putting in a lot of time and thought in to what they sincerely thought would help people learn the language well. Complaints like this don’t make them feel good about that positive spirit they put into their sincere effort to give our nerdy little society another helpful resource. Whine too much about this sort of thing and we won’t have any tests, or Wikis or Web sites or mailing lists, for that matter. Appreciate what people do for you and for all of us. So, what resource have YOU created from hours of your own work that you voluntarily offered to the rest of us? Share with us how much you appreciate it when someone complains about how poorly executed your effort was.

4. If you are so naturally talented that you can intuitively absorb the language and know all the suffixes in the right order without learning the numbers of the suffix, then why are you bothering to take the test? A primary reason for creating the test is to give people guidance about what to work on in order to learn the language. If you just know the language like the back of your hand, then you don’t need no stinkin’ test.

I went years without taking the test, and I was one of the founding members of the KLI. I appreciated the effort that went into it, but I didn’t have anything to prove. Eventually, peer pressure kicked in. “Hey. Don’t you want a complete set of these cool little pins?” That sort of thing. [sigh] I did it, okay? I did it with some eye rolling because much of the test wasn’t stuff that was important to me, but I didn’t care because I figured it would be important to somebody else. I didn’t ask for a special pass on any part of the test. I didn’t ask to be an exception because I was so special.

And you shouldn’t, either.

Just do the extra work and pass the test, or don’t do the work and skip the test. You’ll still be respected here as a full member even if you don’t get to wear the cool little pins.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Nov 25, 2019, at 2:24 PM, Hugh Son puqloD <Hugh at qeylIS.net> wrote:
>> On Nov 25, 2019, at 13:15, Hugh Son puqloD <Hugh at qeylis.net> wrote:
>>> On Nov 25, 2019, at 11:49, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> unless someone is a real native klingon, he can't learn the language, if he can't remember what type of suffix, each suffix actually is.
>> The point is that a native Klingon speaker would know how to put all of the suffixes in the right order without knowing which number each one has. I wouldn’t expect a native Klingon speaker who hasn’t specifically studied Klingon grammar to know the numbers of the suffixes any more than I would expect a native English speaker who hasn’t specifically studied English grammar to know what a participle is, or be able to name and classify the different types of articles on a test. I would even go so far as to say that a native speaker who cannot answer those questions correctly is still very likely to be more proficient at the language than a non-native learner who has perfectly memorized the names and categorizations. Being unable to correctly name grammatical elements doesn’t prevent one from using them correctly.
> Oops, should have read your sentence better. You said *unless* someone is a real native Klingon. But my point still stands even for non-native learners. I don’t think a student needs to know all of the suffix numbers to be able to order them correctly. I’m certainly not a native speaker and I hardly ever think about the suffix numbers when writing or speaking, and I manage not to make too many mistakes.
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