|Created by||Marc Okrand, James Doohan|
|Setting and usage||Star Trek films and television series (TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise) and the opera 'u'.|
|Users||Unknown. Around 12 fluent speakers in 1996, according to Lawrence Schoen, director of the KLI. (1984)|
|Writing system||Latin, Klingon alphabets|
a priori languages
|Regulated by||Marc Okrand|
Described in the 1984 book The Klingon Dictionary by Marc Okrand and deliberately designed to sound "alien", it has a number of typologically uncommon features. The language's basic sound, along with a few words, was first devised by actor James Doohan ("Scotty") for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That film marked the first time the language had been heard on screen. In all previous appearances, Klingons spoke in English. Klingon was subsequently developed by Okrand into a full-fledged language.
Klingon is sometimes referred to as Klingonese (most notably in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", where it was actually pronounced by a Klingon character as "Klingonee" /klɪŋɡoni/) but, among the Klingon-speaking community, this is often understood to refer to another Klingon language called Klingonaase that was introduced in John M. Ford's 1984 Star Trek novel The Final Reflection, and appears in other Star Trek novels by Ford. A shorthand version of Klingonaase, and later with the same term adopted by tlhIngan Hol itself, is called "battle language", or "Clipped Klingon".
A small number of people are capable of conversing in Klingon. Its vocabulary, heavily centered on Star Trek-Klingon concepts such as spacecraft or warfare, can sometimes make it cumbersome for everyday use.
Though mentioned in the original Star Trek series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", the Klingon language first appeared on-screen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). For Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) director Leonard Nimoy and writer-producer Harve Bennett wanted the Klingons to speak a proper language instead of made-up gibberish and so commissioned Okrand to develop the phrases Doohan had come up with into a full language. Okrand enlarged the lexicon and developed grammar based on the original dozen words Doohan had created. The language appeared intermittently in later films featuring the original cast - for example, in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), where translation difficulties served as a plot device.
Two "non-canon" dialects of Klingon are hinted at in the novelization of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, as Saavik speaks in Klingon, to the only Klingon officer aboard Capt. Kruge's starship after his death, as the survivors of the Enterprise's self-destruction transport up from the crumbling Genesis Planet to the Klingon ship. The surviving officer, Maltz, states that he speaks the Rumaiy dialect, while Saavik is speaking to him in the Kumburan dialect of Klingon, per Maltz' spoken reply to her.
With the advent of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)—in which one of the main characters, Worf, was a Klingon—and successors, the language and various cultural aspects for the fictional species were expanded. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Honor", several members of a Klingon ship's crew speak a language that is not translated for the benefit of the viewer (even Commander Riker, enjoying the benefits of a universal translator, is unable to understand) until one Klingon orders the others to "speak their [i.e. 'humans'] language". A small number of non-Klingon characters were later depicted in Star Trek as having learned to speak Klingon, notably Jean-Luc Picard and Jadzia Dax.
Worf would later reappear among the regular characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and B'Elanna Torres, a Klingon-human hybrid, would become a main character on Star Trek: Voyager (1995). The use of untranslated Klingon words interspersed with conversation translated into English was commonplace in later seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when Klingons became a more important part of the series' overall story-arcs.
The pilot episode of the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise, "Broken Bow" (2001) describes the Klingon language as having "eighty polyguttural dialects constructed on an adaptive syntax". However, Klingon as described on television is often not entirely congruous with the Klingon developed by Okrand.
Hobbyists around the world have studied the Klingon language. Four Klingon translations of works of world literature have been published: ghIlghameS (Gilgamesh), Hamlet (Hamlet), paghmo' tIn mIS (Much Ado About Nothing) and pIn'a' qan paQDI'norgh (Tao Te Ching). The Shakespearian choices were inspired by a remark from High Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, who said, "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon." In the bonus material on the DVD, screenwriter Nicholas Meyer and actor William Shatner both explain that this was an allusion to the German myth that Shakespeare was in fact German.
CBS Television Studios owns a copyright of the official dictionary and other canonical descriptions of the language. While constructed languages ("conlangs") are viewed as creations with copyright protection, natural languages are not protected, excluding dictionaries and/or other works created with them. Mizuki Miyashita and Laura Moll note, "Copyrights on dictionaries are unusual because the entries in the dictionary are not copyrightable as the words themselves are facts, and facts can not be copyrighted. However, the formatting, example sentences, and instructions for dictionary use are created by the author, so they are copyrightable."  Whether constructed languages can be copyrighted was tested in court in the example of Loglan and its derivative Lojban.
Even though Marc Okrand has studied the indigenous languages of the Americas, the Klingon language is not based upon any of those languages. Okrand himself has stated that a design principle of the Klingon language was dissimilarity to existing natural languages in general, and English in particular. He therefore avoided patterns that are typologically common and deliberately chose features that occur relatively infrequently in human languages. This includes above all the highly asymmetric consonant inventory and the basic word order.
The 2003–2010 version of the puzzle globe logo of Wikipedia, representing its multilingualism, contained a Klingon character. The updated logo removed the character and substituted one from the Ge'ez script.
A small number of people are capable of conversing in Klingon. Arika Okrent guessed in her book "In the Land of Invented Languages" that there might be 20–30 fluent speakers. Its vocabulary, heavily centered on Star Trek–Klingon concepts such as spacecraft or warfare, can sometimes make it cumbersome for everyday use. For instance, while words for transporter ionizer unit (jolvoy') or bridge (of a ship) (meH) have been known since close to the language's inception, the word for bridge in the sense of a crossing over water (QI) was unknown until August 2012. Nonetheless, mundane conversations are common among skilled speakers.[dead link]
One Klingon speaker, d'Armond Speers raised his son Alec to speak Klingon as a first language, whilst the boy's mother communicated with him in English. Alec rarely responded to his father in Klingon, although when he did his pronunciation was "excellent". After Alec's fifth birthday Speers reported that his son eventually stopped responding to him when spoken to in Klingon as he clearly did not enjoy it, so Speers switched to English.
In May 2009, Simon & Schuster, in collaboration with Ultralingua Inc., a developer of electronic dictionary applications, announced the release of a suite of electronic Klingon language software for most computer platforms including a dictionary, a phrasebook, and an audio learning tool.
In September 2011, Eurotalk released the "Learn Klingon" course in its Talk Now! range of over 130 languages and includes a choice of more than 120 languages to learn from just by changing the help language. The course is broken down into topics and made up of practice and learning games as well as the ability to test your skills with the speech recognition software. The language is displayed in both Latin and pIqaD fonts making this the first language course written in pIqaD and approved by CBS and Marc Okrand. It was translated by Jonathan Brown and Okrand and uses the Hol-pIqaD TrueType font.
Appearance and use
The Klingon language was first developed only for the purpose of being used in Star Trek. A daily conversation or a perfect translation of literature are difficult due to the small vocabulary of only 3000 words. Fans enjoy using the language on conventions and for role-playing to give their character a more realistic appearance (also see cosplay). There are Klingon language meetings and even linguists or students are interested in researching this topic, even writing essays about the language or its users. In the media – being music, literature and television – Klingon is also used frequently as a reference to Star Trek.
Star Trek feature films
Klingon is used in the following films:
- A total of only eleven short phrases. These were created by James Doohan and made the basis for the language developed by Okrand.
- Some dialogues were first spoken in english and later recorded in Klingon.
- This film has the largest use of Klingon.
- Lots of Klingon dialogues and also untranslated background screams.
- Star Trek Generations (1994)
- One single word was heard in the background of a Klingons' scene.
- Star Trek (2009)
- Two scenes with Klingon phrases had been cut from the film. These are shown in the special features part of the film's DVD.
- Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
- There is a scene with Klingons where communications officer Uhura (Zoë Saldaña) talks to them in Klingon.
- Daddy Day Care (2003)
- One of the children speaks few phrases in Klingon..
- Faintheart (2008)
- One of the main characters loves Star Trek, so he speaks Klingon to his girlfriend during a romantic situation after she asked him to do so.
- Paul (2011)
- In this film about two nerds finding an alien lifeform, the main characters played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost use Klingon as a form of secret communication.
fake Klingon and hints
- Garden State (2004)
- There is a scene with apparent Klingon spoken, but it's not the real Klingon. This person is portrayed by Jim Parsons who speaks real Klingon as Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.
- Kill Bill (2003)
- This film starts with an image of a "Old Klingon Proverb", but displayed in English, "Revenge is a dish best served cold". Khan also refers to this phrase as an old Klingon proverb in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- Several episodes use Klingon words, but never to the extent of the films.
- In "Star Mitzvah", a Season 10 episode of the sitcom, Frasier Crane gives a speech in Klingon at the ceremony for his son's Bar Mitzvah—having been fooled by a Jewish colleague he had let down into thinking it was Hebrew.
- In episode 11 of the twelfth season of The Simpsons, (entitled Worst Episode Ever), Comic Book Guy is tossed out of Moe's bar. Lying in the gutter, he asks himself, "Is there a word in Klingon for 'loneliness'?" Flipping through his handy pocket dictionary, he looks skyward and exclaims, "Garr'dock!". Likewise, he recites a Klingon oath of love in the episode My Big Fat Geek Wedding when about to marry Edna Krabappel at a Star Trek convention. None of these is "correct" Klingon, but the word LOVE is visible using Klingon letters.
- In the eighth episode of the first season (2005) "the Duel" Robin is forced to cancel a date with a nerd. He answers with a Klingon insult Hab SoSlI' Quch („Your mother has a smooth forehead“) explaining that she was acting without honor.
- In "Witch Hunt", an episode of the television crime drama, Timothy McGee, who understands Klingon, communicates with a suspect dressed as a Klingon at a Halloween party, until his superior, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, becomes impatient enough to force the suspect to speak in English.
- Chuck Bartowski and Bryce Larkin communicate in Klingon when nobody else should understand and to verify their identity.
- Here there are frequent references to Klingon. In the second season episode "The Panty Piñata Polarization", Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj are seen playing Klingon Boggle. In the third season episode "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary", Sheldon actually quotes the Klingon proverb referred to by Khan in Star Trek II: revenge being a dish best served cold. In the fifth season finale, "The Countdown Reflection", Sheldon tries to wed Howard and Bernadette in the language.
In 2010, a Chicago Theatre company presented a version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in Klingon language and a Klingon setting. On September 25, 2010, the Washington Shakespeare Company performed selections from Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing in the Klingon language in Arlington, Virginia. The performance was proposed by Okrand in his capacity as chairman of the group's board. This performance was reprised on February 27, 2011 featuring Stephen Fry as the Klingon Osric and was filmed by the BBC as part of a 5-part documentary on language entitled Fry's Planet Word.
A cryptic message left by a serial killer in Klingon is a plot point in the novel Watch Me by A. J. Holt.
In the title track to Kate Bush's 50 Words for Snow, the Klingon phrase peDtaH 'ej chIS qo' appears as number 42. She thanks Marc Okrand in the liner notes for providing the translation (for which the literal translation back into English is "It's snowing and the world is white.").
An important concept to spoken and written Klingon is canonicity. Only words and grammatical forms introduced by Marc Okrand are considered canonical Klingon by the KLI and most Klingonists. However, as the growing number of speakers employ different strategies to express themselves, it is often unclear as to what level of neologism is permissible.
Within the fictional universe of Star Trek, Klingon is derived from the original language spoken by the messianic figure Kahless the Unforgettable, who united the Klingon home-world of Qo'noS under one empire more than 1500 years ago. Many dialects exist, but the standardized dialect of prestige is almost invariably that of the sitting emperor.
The Klingon Language Institute regards the following works as canon Klingon; they serve as sources of Klingon vocabulary and grammar for all other works.
- The Klingon Dictionary (TKD)
- The Klingon Way (TKW)
- Klingon for the Galactic Traveler (KGT)
- Sarek, a novel which includes some tlhIngan Hol
- Federation Travel Guide, a pamphlet from Pocketbooks
- paq'batlh: The Klingon Epic (ISBN 978-90-817091-2-5), ed. Floris Schönfeld et al., trans. Marc Okrand. Includes the first full edition of the paq'balth and no'Hol fragments.
- Audio tapes
- Conversational Klingon (CK)
- Power Klingon (PK)
- The Klingon Way (TKW)
- Electronic resources
- The Klingon Language Suite, language-learning tools from Ultralingua with Simon & Schuster
- Star Trek: Klingon, a CD-ROM game (KCD, also STK)
- Talk Now! Learn Klingon a beginners language course for the Earth based Klingon by eurotalk and translated by Jonathan Brown (a.k.a. qe'San) and Marc Okrand. (2011)
- Other sources
- certain articles in HolQeD (the journal of the KLI) (HQ)
- certain Skybox Trading Cards (SKY)
- a Star Trek Bird of Prey poster (BoP)
- on-line and in-person text/speech by Marc Okrand (mostly newsgroup postings)
The letters in parentheses following each item (if any) indicate the acronym of each source - used when quoting canon.
Klingon has been developed with a phonology that, while based on human natural languages, is intended to sound alien to human language. When initially developed, Paramount Pictures (owners of the Star Trek franchise) wanted the Klingon language to be guttural and harsh and Okrand wanted it to be unusual, so he selected sounds that combined in ways not generally found in other languages. The effect is mainly achieved by the use of a number of retroflex and uvular consonants in the language's inventory. Klingon has twenty-one consonants and five vowels. Klingon is normally written in a variant of the Latin alphabet (see below). In this orthography, upper and lower case letters are not interchangeable (uppercase letters mostly represent sounds different from those expected by English speakers). In the discussion below, standard Klingon orthography appears in ⟨angle brackets⟩, and the phonemic transcription in the International Phonetic Alphabet is written between /slashes/.
The inventory of consonants in Klingon is spread over a number of places of articulation. In spite of this, the inventory has many gaps: Klingon has no velar plosives, and only one sibilant. Deliberately, this arrangement is quite bizarre by the standards of human languages. The combination of aspirated voiceless alveolar plosive /tʰ/ and voiced retroflex plosive /ɖ/ is particularly unusual, while the consonants <D> /ɖ/ and <r> (/r/) can be realized as [ɳ] and [ɹ], respectively. The apostrophe character <'> is not a punctuation mark but a full-fledged letter, representing the glottal stop (/ʔ/).
|Labial||Dental or alveolar||Retroflex||Postalveolar
|Plosive||voiceless||p /pʰ/||t /tʰ/||q /qʰ/||' /ʔ/|
|voiced||b /b/||D /ɖ/|
|Affricate||voiceless||tlh /t͡ɬ/||ch /t͡ʃ/||Q /q͡χ/|
|Fricative||voiceless||S /ʂ/||H /x/|
|voiced||v /v/||gh /ɣ/|
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/||ng /ŋ/|
|Approximant||w /w/||l /l/||y /j/|
In contrast to its consonants, Klingon's inventory of vowels is simple, and similar to those of many human languages, such as Spanish. There are five vowels spaced evenly around the vowel space, with two back rounded vowels, and two front, or near-front, unrounded vowels.
The two front vowels, ⟨e⟩ and ⟨I⟩, represent sounds that are found in English, but are more open and lax than a typical English speaker might assume when reading Klingon text written in the Latin alphabet, thus causing the consonants of a word to be more prominent. This enhances the sense that Klingon is a clipped and harsh-sounding language.
- ⟨a⟩ – /ɑ/ – open back unrounded vowel (in English spa)
- ⟨e⟩ – /ɛ/ – open-mid front unrounded vowel (in English bed)
- ⟨I⟩ – /ɪ/ – near-close near-front unrounded vowel (in English bit)
- ⟨o⟩ – /o/ – close-mid back rounded vowel (in French eau)
- ⟨u⟩ – /u/ – close back rounded vowel (in Spanish tu)
Diphthongs can be analyzed phonetically as the combination of the five vowels plus one of the two semivowels /w/ and /j/ (represented by ⟨w⟩ and ⟨y⟩, respectively). Thus, the combinations ⟨ay⟩, ⟨ey⟩, ⟨Iy⟩, ⟨oy⟩, ⟨uy⟩, ⟨aw⟩, ⟨ew⟩ and ⟨Iw⟩ are possible. There are no words in the Klingon language that contain *⟨ow⟩ or *⟨uw⟩.
Klingon follows a strict syllable structure. A syllable must start with a consonant (which includes the glottal stop) followed by one vowel. In prefixes and other rare syllables, this is enough. More commonly, this consonant-vowel pair is followed by one consonant or one of three biconsonantal codas: /-w' -y' -rgh/. Thus, ta "record", tar "poison" and targh "targ" (a type of animal) are all legal syllable forms, but *tarD and *ar are not. Despite this, one suffix takes the shape vowel+consonant: the endearment suffix -oy.
In verbs, the stressed syllable is usually the verbal stem itself, as opposed to a prefix or any suffixes, except when a suffix ending with <'> is separated from the verb by at least one other suffix, in which case the suffix ending in <'> is also stressed. In addition, stress may shift to a suffix that is meant to be emphasized.
In nouns, the final syllable of the stem (the noun itself, excluding any affixes) is stressed. If any syllables ending in <'> are present, the stress shifts to those syllables.
The stress in other words seems to be variable, but this is not a serious issue because most of these words are only one syllable in length. There are some words which should fall under the rules above, but do not, although using the standard rules would still be acceptable.
Klingon is an agglutinative language, using mainly affixes in order to alter the function or meaning of words. Some nouns have inherently plural forms, such as jengva′ "plate" (vs. ngop "plates"). In other cases, a suffix is required to denote plurality. Depending on the type of noun (body part, being capable of using language, or neither) the suffix changes. For beings capable of using language, the suffix is -pu′, as in tlhInganpu′, meaning "Klingons," or jaghpu′, meaning "enemies". For body parts, the plural suffix is -Du′, as in mInDu′, "eyes". For items that are neither body parts, nor capable of speech, the suffix is -mey, such as in Hovmey ("stars"), or targhmey ("targs") for a Klingon kind of boar. In certain cases, however, there is a word part that defines gender, although it is not defined as a suffix. These following words are compound nouns. The words puqloD and puqbe′ (meaning "son" and "daughter" respectively) when referenced with other words, imply that loD means "male", where be′ is female (puq meaning "child").
Klingon nouns take suffixes to indicate grammatical number. There are three noun classes, two levels of deixis, and a possession and syntactic function. In all, twenty-nine noun suffixes from five classes may be employed: jupoypu′na′wI′vaD "for my beloved true friends". A word may carry no more than one suffix from each class, and the classes have a specific order of appearance. A few suffixes, called "rovers", are exempt from this order restriction and have their own individual rules for placement. For example, -be′ is a negating suffix that immediately follows the element of the word being negated, while -Qo′ is a suffix meaning "don′t!" and always comes at the end of the verb phrase, unless it is followed by a class 9 suffix.
Verbs in Klingon take a prefix indicating the number and person of the subject and object, whereas suffixes are taken from nine ordered classes, and a special suffix class called rovers. Each of the four known rovers has a unique rule controlling its position among the suffixes in the verb. Verbs are marked for aspect, certainty, predisposition and volition, dynamic, causative, mood, negation, and honorific, and the Klingon verb has two moods: indicative and imperative.
DaH mojaq-mey-vam DI-vuS-nIS-be' 'e' vI-Har now suffix-PL-DEM 1PL.A.3PL.P-limit-need-NEG that 1SG.A.3SG.P-believe "I believe that we do not need to limit these suffixes now."
Hyphens are used in the above only to illustrate the use of affixes. Hyphens are not used in Klingon.
An important dimension of Klingon grammar is the reality of the language's ungrammaticality. A notable property of the language is its shortening or compression of communicative declarations. This abbreviating feature encompasses the techniques of Clipped Klingon (tlhIngan Hol poD or, more simply, Hol poD) and Ritualized Speech. Clipped Klingon is especially useful in situations where speed is a decisive factor. Grammar is irrelevant, and sentence parts deemed to be superfluous are dropped. Intentional ungrammaticality is widespread, and it takes many forms. It is exemplified by the practice of pabHa′, which Marc Okrand translates as "to misfollow the rules" or "to follow the rules wrongly".
Simple nouns are made up of 1 root word, like DoS, which means target, or QIH, which means destruction.
Compound nouns are made up of 2 words, like jolpa’, which means transport room. jol means transport beam while pa’ means room.
Verb + wI’ Nouns:
wI’ in Klingon is the equivalent of "-er" in English. Builder is one who builds and toaster is something that toasts. In Klingon, gunner is baHwI’, which comes from baH, which means fire [a torpedo], and wI’, which is "-er" in English. So baHwI’ is "one who fires [a torpedo]".
Nouns in Klingon can have up to 5 suffixes, of 5 types in the following order. Noun-Suffix Type 1-Suffix Type 2-Suffix Type 3-Suffix Type 4-Suffix Type 5. Nouns do not necessarily have to have 5 suffixes. If type 4 was missing, it would be the same exact order but without type 4.
Suffix Type 1, Qualitative:
The qualitatively stronger suffix is the letter ‘a’. For example, SuS means a wind or breeze. SuS’a’ gives it a stronger meaning, so SuS’a’ is a strong wind. The qualitatively weaker suffix is the letters Hom. SuSHom means a light wisp of air.
Suffix Type 2, Number:
The type 2 suffixes refer to the number of objects, plural or singular. Even if there is no type 2 suffix, it may still be plural based on context. There are 3 number suffixes. The first is pu’, which applies to all beings capable of using language. Humans would have this suffix, but dogs would not. The second type 2 suffix is Du’, which refers to body parts. qam is foot, while qamDu’ is feet. The final number suffix is mey. mey pluralizes a general noun. mID is colony while mIDmey is colonies. If you add mey to the end of a being capable of using language, it implies that they are scattered about. puq is child. puqpu’ is children. puqmey is children all over the place. Some Klingon nouns are always plural, although they do have a singular word. DoS is target, while ray’ is targets.
Suffix Type 3, Qualification:
These suffixes indicate the speaker’s attitude towards the noun. The first qualification suffix is qoq, which means so-called. If the speaker does not believe that the peace is real, he or she will say rojqoq instead of just "peace", roj. The second qualification suffix is Hey, which means apparent. If a scanner detects a vessel, but is not 100% sure, they will say DujHey, an apparent vessel rather than Duj, a vessel. The final qualification suffix is na’, which means definite, and is the opposite of the suffix, Hey. Dujna’ is a definite vessel.
Suffix Type 4, Possession:
These suffixes indicate possession, and have a lot of different types of suffixes. The first type 4 suffix is wIj, which means "my". lIj is your (singular), Daj is his/her/its, maj is our, raj is your (plural), and chaj is their. Beings capable of using language have different type 4 suffixes for 1st and 2nd person type 4 suffixes. These are those suffixes. wI’ is my, ma’ is our, lI is your (singular), and ra’ is your (plural). If a noun possesses another noun, like, the enemy’s weapon, you do not use a suffix, but simply say the 2 nouns in order of possessor, possessed. Therefore, enemy’s weapon would be jagh nuH, which translates to "enemy weapon". The type 4 suffix vam means "this", although when used after a plural noun it means "these". vetlh is a type 4 suffix that means "that". When vetlh is used after a plural noun, it means "those".
Suffix Type 5, Syntactic Markers:
These suffixes indicate something about the function of the noun in the sentence. The first type 5 noun is Daq. Daq explains that something is happening to the noun it is attached to. The next type 5 suffix is vo’. This means from. pa’ is "room", so pa’vo’ means "from the room". The next type 5 suffix is mo’, which means "due to" or "because of". SuSmo’ means "because of the breeze". The next type 5 suffix is vaD, which means "for", or "intended for". Qu’ means "mission", so Qu’vaD means "for the mission". The last type 5 suffix is ‘e’ with two apostrophes around it. This means that the noun it is attached to is the topic of the sentence.
Klingon is often written (transliterated) to the Latin alphabet as used above, but, on the television series, the Klingons use their own alien writing system. In The Klingon Dictionary, this alphabet is named as pIqaD, but no information is given about it. When Klingon symbols are used in Star Trek productions, they are merely decorative graphic elements, designed to emulate real writing and create an appropriate atmosphere. Enthusiasts have settled on pIqaD for this writing system.
The Astra Image Corporation designed the symbols (currently used to "write" Klingon) for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, although these symbols are often incorrectly attributed to Michael Okuda. They based the letters on the Klingon battlecruiser hull markings (three letters) first created by Matt Jefferies and on Tibetan writing because the script has sharp letter forms—used as a testament to the Klingons' love for knives and blades.
For April Fools' Day in 2013, Nokia and typography company Dalton Maag claimed to have used "communication devices to far-flung star systems" to assist them in localising the Nokia Pure font to the Klingon writing system. Though the explanation was of course humorous in nature, as part of the practical joke a series of real fonts based upon the most commonly used pIqaD character mapping were in fact developed, and have been made available for free download.
A design principle of the Klingon language is the great degree of lexical-cultural correlation in the vocabulary. For example, there are several words meaning "to fight" or "to clash against," each having a different degree of intensity. There is an abundance of words relating to warfare and weaponry and also a great variety of curses (cursing is considered a fine art in Klingon culture). This helps lend a particular character to the language.
The KLI has hosted wordplay contests, with challenges to invent new Klingon phrases using natural language word play such as palindromes, pangrams, and spoonerisms. Winning sentences include:
- jIl moH ghajjaj jaghHomlIj
- May your rival have an ugly neighbor
- vIt'e' naD lalDan 'e' tIv
- He enjoys religion praising Truth
- tlhab 'oS 'Iw HoHwI' So' batlh
- Blood represents freedom; honor hides the killer
- romuluSngan Hol yIjatlh. He'So' QIchlIj.
- Speak Romulan! Your accent stinks.
- vavlI' quv Say'moHmeH nuj bIQ vIlo'chugh, nuj bIQ vIlammoH.
- If I use spit (mouth water) to clean your father's honor, I only dirty the spit.
- nov nay qoj neH. nav noy nej qoH.
- Only the cliff marries the alien. The fool searches for famous paper.
- rut lo' chav meb. lot ru' mev chab.
- Sometimes a guest achieves a use. The dumpling stops a minor catastrophe.
- pu'chaj buSlaH ngotlhwI'. cha'puj ngoSlaH butlhwI'.
- The fanatic can think only about his phaser. The dirt under my fingernails can melt dilithium.
- mo'Dajvo' pa'wIjDaq je narghpu' He'So'bogh SajlIj.
- Your stinking pet has escaped from its cage and appeared in my quarters.
- qajunpaQHeylIjmo' batlh DuSuvqang charghwI' 'It.
- Because of your apparent audacity the depressed conqueror is willing to fight you.
- nobwI''a'pu'qoqvam'e' nuHegh'eghrupqa'moHlaHbe'law'lI'neS SeH'eghtaHghach'a'na'chajmo'.
- The so-called great benefactors are seemingly unable to cause us to prepare to resume honorable suicide (in progress) due to their definite self control.
- be'HomDu'na'wIjtIq'a'Du'na'vaD ghureghqangqa'moHlaHqu'be'taH'a' Somraw'a'meyna'wIj'e'.
- Is it not that my many, large, scattered muscles are quite capable of swelling for the benefit of the hearts of many scattered girls?
- Alien language
- Klingon culture
- Klingon Language Institute
- Stovokor, a death metal band whose lyrics are written in Klingon
- ’u’, the first Klingon opera
- Wired 4.08: Dejpu'bogh Hov rur qablli!*
- Okrent, Arika. In the Land of Invented Languages. Spiegel & Grau, 2009, pp. 266-267. ISBN 978-0-385-52788-0
- McIntyre, Vonda (1984). Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Pocket Books. p. 272. ISBN 0-671-49500-3.
- Lisa Napoli (October 7, 2004). "Online Diary: tlhIngan maH!". New York Times.
- There's No Klingon Word for Hello, Slate magazine, May 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
- An attribution to Okrand may be found in the museum displays at the San Juan Bautista, California State Historic Park, which includes a short mention of the local Mutsun native people whom Okrand studied for his thesis.
- Is Klingon an Ohlonean Language? − A Comparison of Mutsun and Klingon, Essay by Dick Grune, April 19, 1996. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- Okrent 2009, pp.270-271
- "But what about speakers in the sense of people who can carry on a spontaneous live conversation in Klingon? (...) I would say, oh, twenty or so. Maybe thirty." Arika Okrent. In the Land of Invented Languages. New York (Spiegel & Grau). 2010, p. 273.
- tlhIngan-Hol Archive, August 13, 2012
- Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water, Mostly Water LLC, 2004. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- Klingon as a Second Language D’Armond Speers Teaches His Son an Alien Tongue, Washington City Paper, August 9, 1996
- Fry's Planet Word, BBC TV, 2011.
- Babble On Revisited, Wired, Issue 7.08, August 1999
- Film Review, The Boston Globe, 2011-3-18, accessed 2011-7-25.
- Frasieronline details of season 10, episode 6
- Klingon Christmas Carol brought to the stage, The Telegraph, 2010-12-21, accessed 2010-12-23.
- Marks, Peter (August 29, 2010). "To beam, or not to beam?". Washington Post. p. E1.
- Holt, A. J. (1995). Watch me. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 73. ISBN 0312136145. "QaStaHvlS wa'ram loS SaD Hugh SlijlaH [sic] qetbogh loD (Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man.)"
- Klingon interface at Google
- strip of January 12, 2003 The phrase is "joH'a' 'oH wIj DevwI' jIH DIchDaq Hutlh pagh" (Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.)
- Klingon as Linguistic Capital, Yens Wahlgren, June 2000. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- Marc Okrand, Klingon for the Galactic Traveler, Simon & Schuster, 1997.
- KLI Wiki, Canon sources. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- Marc Okrand, Klingon for the Galactic Traveler. Simon & Schuster, 1997.
- Symbols attributed to Okuda: the Klingon Language Institute's Klingon FAQ (edited by d'Armond Speers), question 2.13 by Will Martin (August 18, 1994). Symbols incorrectly attributed to Okuda: KLI founder Lawrence M. Schoen's "On Orthography" (PDF), citing J. Lee's "An Interview with Michael Okuda" in the KLI's journal HolQed 1.1 (March 1992), p. 11. Symbols actually designed by Astra Image Corporation: Michael Everson's Proposal...
- Nokia 2013. Pure Klingon
- Nokia 2013. Pure Klingon
- Puns in the Vocabulary of tlhIngan Hol, Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- Klingon Wordplay Contests
- Bernard Comrie, 1995, "The Paleo-Klingon numeral system". HolQeD 4.4: 6–10.
- Klingon ConScript Unicode Registry (CSUR)
- pIqaD Support
- Klingon (pIqaD) Unicode font
- Klingon text converter (transliteration)
|Look up Appendix:Klingon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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- Klingon Language Institute
- Klingonska Akademien
- qepHom Saarbrücken The largest annual Klingon Language Meeting in Europe
- Learn Klingon - EuroTalk, EuroTalk's Klingon language homepage
- Homepage of tlhIngan Qummem from qe'San translator who worked with Marc Okrand on the Talk Now! Learn Klingon language course from EuroTalk
- Klingon and its User: A Sociolinguistic Profile, a sociolinguistics MA thesis
- Klingon as Linguistic Capital: A Sociologic Study of Nineteen Advanced Klingonists (PDF)
- Is Klingon an Ohlonean language? A comparison of Mutsun and Klingon
- Omniglot: Klingon Alphabet
- Eatoni Ergonomics' Klingon page includes BDF, TTF fonts and a Klingon text entry demo
- paq'batlh: The Klingon Epic