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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Nov 25 12:21:48 PST 2019

On 11/25/2019 2:54 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> 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.

He's not complaining that he can't figure it out; he's complaining that 
knowing the numbers isn't necessary to speaking the language?

If you learn Klingon through Duolingo, for instance, you may not even be 
aware that suffixes have numbers. You may know the suffixes and their 
orders, but you didn't realize they were numbered.

When I took that test, I had to do exactly what you said: I had 
memorized the word *QaghHommeyHeylIjmo'* so that I would have a map to 
noun suffixes, because I didn't think in terms of numbers; I just felt 
which ones came first. To this day I can't always rattle off noun suffix 
numbers without thinking about them. Learning the numbers has little to 
do with speaking the language.

> 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.

I object completely to everything you say in this paragraph. Tests are 
not supposed to be arbitrary. Tests are supposed to evaluate your 
knowledge and skill in the given subject. They should be designed to 
expose the ability of the person taking them. Being able to tell whether 
something is a type 1 or type 2 suffix is, as QIDwI' says, no different 
than someone being able to define what a participle is to prove their 
ability to speak English.

In this point, the KLI tests test knowledge of Klingon grammar, not 
ability to use Klingon.

> 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.

So now you've implied that QIDwI' is disrespectful, whining, and a 
layabout. C'mon. He's tried to present a respectful criticism, and I for 
one think he has a point.

I happen to think that most anyone learning English as a second language 
is going to learn more grammar than a native English speaker, so someone 
being tested in English as a second language /would/ need to know the 
definition of a participle. A native speaker wouldn't be tested in their 
ability to speak English, so the ability to explain the grammar isn't 
tested anywhere except in an English class that's teaching grammar.

So ultimately I see the inclusion of suffix numbers on the KLI test as 
parallel to the inclusion of grammar rules in an 
English-as-a-second-language test, so probably appropriate. But I 
appreciate QIDwI''s point. I don't think testing on suffix numbers is 
strictly /necessary./

> 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?

Now you're just being offensive. If you love the Klingon language so 
much, why don't you marry it?

> 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.

If the KLI didn't hand out medals and certification levels for passing 
those tests, then no, he wouldn't need to take them. But it does, and 
students feel a certain pressure to prove themselves, as you yourself 
admit to.

> 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.

He's not asking for a special pass or to be an exception. He's 
criticizing the content constructively. If you don't think his criticism 
is valid — that is, if you have a reason why suffix numbers /should/ be 
taught, say so and have done. If not, stop trying to beat him into 

> 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.

I don't see any respect coming from your post.


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