New Klingon dictionary

I heard today that a new Klingon dictionary is available for the iPhone and iPod, and will soon be available for Windows and Mac. It is an electronic version of the Klingon Dictionary and Conversational Klingon. There is also a phrase book for use by “Terrans” (Earthlings) planning a visit to the fictional world of Kronos, where Klingons live and vice versa.

Are any of you learning Klingon, or would like to learn?

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15 Responses to New Klingon dictionary

  1. Corcaighist says:

    I’ve no interest in the language nor in Star Trek so no, I wouldn’t want to learn it. If I had to learn a fictional language I’d go with Sindarin or Quenya.

    However, for those interested in Klingon this series of videos on YT might be of interest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph77eTMZIhs

  2. Petréa Mitchell says:

    It’s on my want-to-learn list (with about twenty other things fighting for my spare time). Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen gives a very entertaining talk on th language at sf conventions. Not only does it make the language look really interesting, it uses examples to give you a flavor of the culture, like a good language talk should. (For instance, the verb paradigm demonstrated with various constructions on the verb “to kill”.)

  3. Kelly says:

    I’m a huge fan of Star Trek but I don’t think I’d ever invest any time in learning Klingon or any other language used in the Star Trek universe. I admire how they were able to create a language for a TV series but I’d rather use my time and energy on learning a “real” language.

  4. Jim Morrison says:

    I would never learn Klingon because it just seems a waste of time to me. As we all know, learning a language is hard work, but it is nice to get a bit of reward for you efforts every now and then by trying out your new skills with some native speakers. You can’t really do this with Klingon. I think conlangs are interesting and fair play to anyone who wants to learn them, but they are not for me.

  5. Traumus says:

    I’m a really big fan of Star Trek, but I must agree with Jim Morrison; it’s a waste of time.
    However, in my opinion, Klingon is the best fictional language ever.

  6. renato figueiredo says:

    two votes to Jim Morrison opinion.

  7. Declan says:

    Three!
    In fact, I don’t think I’d ever learn a constructed language other than one I’d make, or an IAL. I really don’t see the point, and I don’t think that I’ll ever be so obsessed with a series that I’ll be compelled to.

  8. d.m.falk says:

    I bet some here who say they’d refuse to learn any constructed language might have and never knew it, or considered such a language without knowing it was an artificial construct.

    What am I talking about? Modern Hebrew, Bahasa Indonesia, Tok Pisin and Esperanto- all with native speakers now- are artificially-constructed languages. It’s also been suggested modern Mandarin Chinese and classical Latin are both artificially-constructed languages. The whistled language Silbo Gomero, which is based on Spanish, is considered a separate language, and itself an artificial construct, in that it’s a Spanish modification of the original whistled language, based on one of the Canary Islands’ original native languages. Braille, depending on the mother language, has its own symbology for contractions, and could itself be called a separate language… Same goes for sign language as well. Or how about the written-only Blissymbolics, which doesn’t correspond to any spoken language? In the past, there used to be Lingua Franca in Europe and Chinook wawa in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, both constructed auxillary languages.

    But would I learn Klingon? Actually, I’ve taken turns at it every so often since the original Mark Okrand-penned dictionary and phrasebook, a couple decades ago. It’s actually well-developed beyond the original scope of the Star Trek TV/movie/book franchise, and have several thousand speakers globally, only a few of which have started up Klingon-language micro-communities. As with anyone who ever made their own know, it’s an interesting excercise, and educational one as well, as one learns there are many ways to construct vocabulary and grammar, or dare one try to create a script, an orthography and phonology. :)

    d.m.f.

  9. Traumus says:

    Well written, but it’s not the point in here (at least, for me). I would also never learn Tok Pisin and Esperanto, because if I make effort to learn a foreign language, I consider the benefits from it (I know this is subjective). There are many fascinating languages in the world with great possibilites. :)

  10. Barnie says:

    I’m surprised that leading publishers of dictionaries and language books have the time and resources for the Klingon language. Fascinating as it is, and while it may be an interesting talking point for linguists (Petréa Mitchell), the Klingon language with its couple of thousand followers is hardly going to be a money spinner for Star Trek spin-off products, especially as the scenes with Klingon speech were cut from the final release of the new movie. I also tend to agree with Jim Morrison (fourth vote) – it’s a waste of time. The next film in the forty-year-old franchise, scheduled to be released mid 2011 for a probably flagging generation of enthusiasts, is not guaranteed to use the language either.

    I don’t see hoards of Star Trek aficionados flocking to the AppStore even if they were all to own iPhones. IHMO, companies like Ultralingua and Simon & Schuster could probably use their time more effectively and rewardingly by developing their other more serious and truly excellent language products.

  11. Chris says:

    As a linguist, I have lived and worked in many countries and learned a few obscure natural living languages to a reasonable degree of fluency. I must admit however, that I could probably have got along quite well in those countries with English. Likewise, Klingon is not essential to the enjoyment of watching a Star Trek movie. Thus, other than for purely academic purposes or for a cult following, I see little use in learning constructed languages.

    I therefore subscribe to Jim Morrison’s, Kelly’s, and Traumus’ comments about Klingon. Nevertheless, D. M. Falk makes some valid points although in all my world travels I have never come across situations where Esperanto was used as an established, or as required media of formal communication.

    It’s interesting to note however, that the makers of the electronic Klingon Language Suite also produce Esperanto dictionary software.

  12. graywyvern says:

    klingon is cool, but it doesn’t have the vocabulary for anything i want to say!

    m.

  13. Dmitri says:

    Chris wrote: “although in all my world travels I have never come across situations where Esperanto was used as an established, or as required media of formal communication.”

    I’ve heard (OK, read) that the “official” language of the International Academy of Sciences in San Marino is actually Esperanto.

  14. ulgm says:

    All:

    I came across this discussion when first googling Klingon to see what was being said as we launched the Klingon products with Simon & Schuster.

    Without debating the merits of learning the language itself, which we leave to individuals to determine as Mr. Morrison & Co have done, it bears stating that the project in question was far from a waste of time for Ultralingua.

    In addition to establishing an excellent collaboration with Simon & Schuster, publishers of the Pimsleur audio language learning tools (who are now working with us on a joint release of same with Ultralingua dictionaries), Klingon gave us a chance to work with an agglutinative language from development to market, using a fairly small lexicon in a tightly controlled environment.
    Given this and some other similarities to non-European languages, and coming with very supportive partners, this project bodes well for our release of Mandarin later this year and future projects that are in the early development stages now. Users of Ultralingua dictionaries find that our products are more than just indexed lists of words with proposed translations – we endeavor to provide tools to improve our customers’ usage from the point of view of the linguists who collaborate on each and every project.
    We also hear about it when we fall short, so no opportunity to learn something new is ignored.

    From this point of view, it made perfect sense to work with Simon & Schuster and several brilliant members of the Klingon Language Institute. I’d be lying if I said the project hasn’t also been a lot of fun.

    Thank you to Barnie for posting an invitation on our language forums to revisit the topic here. We welcome additional commentary from those so-inclined.

    Feel free to visit us at http://www.ultralingua.com/forums/. Thank you for your sharing your opinions and insight.

    Best regards,
    Loring Harrop
    General Manager
    Ultralingua, Inc.

  15. Steven says:

    I don’t know why anybody would say that learning Klingon is a waste of time. If you’re not interested in it, you won’t be learning it, and therefore won’t be wasting any of your own time. I myself don’t know too much about Klingon other than some things I’ve seen on the internet, but I can easily imagine people who would want to learn it for a variety of reasons. Enthusiasm for language doesn’t have to be rational or purist.