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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Mon Nov 25 18:37:21 PST 2019

You are fighting a straw man, making up your own versions of what I’ve said which are quite different from what I’ve said. 

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Nov 25, 2019, at 7:35 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 11/25/2019 5:24 PM, Will Martin wrote:
>> I openly invite you to redesign the test. My whole point is that I don’t invite you to make whoever designed the test redesign the test.
> I'm pretty sure your whole point was: don't offer criticism unless you're Somebody.
Wholly untrue. If anything I’m inviting people to become more useful to the group. Certainly, *I* am nobody at this point. I’ve made very few useful contributions to the group for years. I did a lot, earlier. So have you. But it’s been a while.

There are an impressive number of people here who have put in sweat equity to deserve respect for the resources they have created and provided for everyone here. I consider them to be Somebody, simply because they have earned my respect.

ANYBODY can become Somebody here. All you have to do is put in the hours. Come up with an idea and put some time in it. Do that, and yes, you do earn the right to being respected.

Complaining is, by comparison, remarkably easy. Spend a minute or two at a keyboard and you are done.

> I honestly can't tell if you're ignoring the real point to be defensive, or if you actually don't get it. This is someone saying
> I have a problem, and here's something that would help. And you dump on him with And who do you think you are?
Okay, so what exactly is the problem?

The original complaint was that he could not possibly finish the test because it asks him to do something that would take hours for him to learn how to do, and he doesn’t consider it to be a worthwhile requirement because his natural talent at language acquisition makes the task unnecessary. Well, he’s certainly not the first person who needed to spend hours studying to pass the test. I reject the idea that he is actually incapable of passing the test. He just doesn’t want to spend the time it would take him to pass it.

That’s a valid personal choice. That’s what I meant when I sincerely suggested that all he has to do is not take the test. Nobody requires him to take it.

Meanwhile, if he really suffers because he personally needs those three little pins and doesn’t want to have to study for the test, well, everybody else who has the pins passed the test. Many of them had to work as hard at it as he would have to work to earn those pins.

The pins are not awarded to people because they are naturally good at acquiring language. They are awarded for passing the test. It really is that simple.

That really sounded like the driving force behind the complaint. Yes, it is valid to point out that maybe the test, in its current form, is not the best teaching resource that such a test, in theory, could be, but he suggests that he doesn’t NEED the test as a resource to help him learn the language. He’s so natural at it that he can intuitively absorb the language without needing the test.

That’s great for him. I’m genuinely happy for him, and glad that the language comes to him naturally.

But he doesn’t get the pins for that.

The only thing the test in its current form does in terms of impeding him is that it doesn’t present itself in a form that he can pass without spending some time studying. And why should he care? Why should he bother studying something that he doesn’t care about?

Unless its for the pins, I’m clueless.

For me, the pins were just an odd accomplishment; something already done by many more before me, kind of like upgrading the Master Sword in Breath of the Wild. I didn’t have to do it. I just decided, okay, it’s worth the effort for me to spend the time learning vocabulary I don’t generally use, learning suffix numbers that I can usually just look up, and doing other stuff that, as a person who had already been using the language for years, wasn’t really something that I needed to do.

I just did it.

Like everybody else did it.

They didn’t have to be Somebody to pass the test. They just had to put in some time, study, and pass the test. He’s free to do that, or not.

The idea that the test should be changed specifically so that he doesn’t have to study for a few hours doesn’t really get any traction. Sorry. That’s just an honest opinion.

Basically, what I’m hearing is, “The test is too hard for me. Make it easier.”

The answer being, well, don’t take it, then. Or, figure out how a test would do what this test is supposed to do, and come up with a test that would help new people learn the language more effectively. Create that better test. That’s fine, too.

But just complaining because the test would require some study time?

That’s not a strong start.
> But okay, let's pretend it matters if I redesign the test. As a matter of fact, I have given a great deal of thought to how I would design a course in Klingon. I have posted extensively to the Duolingo discussion boards with my thoughts on how that course is constructed, often arguing with the very patient janSIy. I've thought much about how I would do it.
> And it always comes down to this: I don't have a platform. Nobody's going to prefer SuStel's Klingon Kourse over Duolingo or the KLI. It would be wasted effort. Plus, I've got two small children and a job and a wife with a job; I haven't got lots of free time. Even now I'm stealing time from putting my kids to bed to write this.
I feel your sincere frustration. Text, as a medium, fails to prove that there is no sarcasm intended at all. I completely understand.

I, also, am married, with three adult kids, all married, and have two grandchildren. I retire in a year or two. Maybe I’ll have some time then. Now, I don’t.

I know you are very talented with the language, and I’m sure that you could come up with a great Klingon language course. If you do ever pull it off, I will be in line with everyone else to take your course, because I’m rusty, and I’m sure it would help me to be better with the language.

I have no interest in disrespecting your ideas about how the test could be improved.

Meanwhile, it’s quite possible that whoever made the test we now have, like you and I, has a busy life right now. Maybe they don’t have the time to change the test, or the background, or the ideas.

What I didn’t hear from anyone so far is, “I have some time that I’m willing to put into improving the test.”

Instead, there’s the suggestion that Somebody else should change the test in a specific way that won’t require as much arbitrary studying in order to pass it. The effort that went into the complaint was slight. It didn’t take much time or effort, and mostly, it seemed aimed at invalidating the work that someone actually has put into making the test happen.

Like, maybe we should just hand out pins to everyone who wants one, because, hey, the test is useless and meaningless and the person who created it wasted their time and is wasting mine, requiring me to study in order to pass it.

Face it.

We speak Klingon.

We waste our time.

It’s a badge of courage for us.

I know. You’ve proven that we are NOT the lowest rung of the Geek ladder, but we’re pretty competitive. We could yet win that prize.

It’s okay for us to waste some time. I’m wasting mine, right now.
> As for this particular test, I have already said that I'm not convinced that it needs changing. I'm not arguing with you that the test needs to be changed, or that he's right and you're wrong. I'm telling you not to attack him for making his point.
> Nobody is saying the people who made the KLI tests haven't done a fine job. QIDwI' proposed something he thinks is an improvement, explaining why he thinks it is so. The wrong thing to do is to mock his explanation and suggest he come back when he's proved his bona fides.
People seemed to be piling on, in terms of disrespecting the test. I didn’t comment until the discussion had gone on for more than a few messages. In that thread, nobody was acknowledging that the person who created the test wasn’t casual about it, wasn’t mean-spirited or malicious or wholly ignorant. Good work went into it. It took a lot of hours of someone’s attention, persistently applied over an extended period of time. Everyone was encouraged to review the work and comment and make suggestions.

That doesn’t make it holy and untouchable. It just makes it something useful that can only be replaced by someone putting more actual work into it.

This test has been around for a long time. A lot of people have taken it. A lot of people have passed it.

Anyone who wants to put work into improving it is welcome to do so. Trashing it in an extended discussion without expressing any respect for it is not cool.

>> If they care to, on their own timeframe, they can certainly be welcome to do it, but I’ve seen less positive suggestion on this point than I’ve seen negative reaction to what now exists, without much in the way of appreciation shown for the effort that went into creating the test and making it available.
> He didn't just give a negative reaction. He gave an explanation of what his problem is, and what he thought would positively fix it. And invited someone to explain why what he wants isn't as good an idea as he thinks.
> How profusely should he have shown his appreciation?
>> If I seem defensive, it’s because I’m defending something I care about. I care about people creating resources for the KLI. I respect the hours they’ve put in, and I         appreciate the positive intent of their efforts.
> So, I think, does QIDwI'. He didn't say, This test sucks! He said he tried to take the level 1 test and realized it was asking him for things he hadn't learned, and questioned the appropriateness of teaching them. People are allowed to doubt the KLI.

Actually, he went quite a bit farther that that. He stated that he knew that it would be impossible for him to pass it. He added that it would require hours for him to learn this arbitrary stuff.

Note that I don’t believe that having a requirement of hours of study to do a thing makes it impossible. Seeing those two parts of the argument so close together was what really impressed me. Hours to study = impossible to pass. Really?

Then he went on to explain why he felt that he should not be required to spend hours learning this arbitrary stuff.

That’s when I pointed out that he isn’t required to take the test at all. It’s his choice. Others have taken it. It hasn’t been all that easy or natural for them, either. Being easy or natural has never been a requirement for the test.

>> I never suggested that the test couldn’t be better, or that anyone willing to put the positive effort into redesigning it should be discouraged from doing so. I’m less interested in defending the specific, current form of the test than I am in defending the earned respect of whoever created the test and made it available.
>> I would just as quickly defend respect for any new person who makes the positive effort to make the test better.
> That is exactly what he did. He explained his trouble with the test and offered an outline of a solution. And you dumped on him.
I’m sorry. I didn’t see that outline of a solution. I saw him describe a test that he thinks would be easier for him to pass. That is not convincing as being “better”.

Okrand teaches the language with numbered suffixes. That’s how it is explained in TKD. It’s quite natural to approach testing with the grammatical system as described by Okrand. The numbers are not some secret that only somebody who is Somebody has access to. It’s in The Klingon Dictionary, for cryin’ out loud. boQwI’ has them listed by numbered type. 

Someday, Someone can put some skilled work into improving the test, not so that it will be easier, but so that it will press students of the language toward understanding how this language works, and so that it will test how well they understand how it works.

We all look forward to that day…

… but THIS, is not that day…

[Cue the sound of a sword clacking against a line of spears as the King rides at full gallop, along the front line of his cavalry, accompanied by the sound of coconut shells.]

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries.
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