Klingon is the language spoken by Klingons, alien characters
in the Star Trek films and TV series. In the 1984 film,
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the director,
Leonard Nimoy, and the writer-producer, Harve Bennett, wanted
the Klingons to speak a real-sounding language rather than
gibberish, so they commissioned the linguist Marc Okrand
to create Klingon.
Okrand based the language partly on Klingon phrases made
up by James Doohan (Scotty) for the 1979 film Star Trek:
The Motion Picture, and developed a grammar and more
extensive vocabulary. Aspects of Klingon language and culture
were further developed for the 1987 series, Star Trek:
The Next Generation and later series.
To make Klingon sound alien consonants and combinations
of consonants, particularly retroflex, velar and uvular ones,
uncommon in natural languages are used, such as /q͡χ/.
There is a Klingon dictionary and a number of Klingon courses,
and Klingon versions of two Shakespeare plays: Hamlet
and Much Ado About Nothing (paghmo' tIn mIS), and
also of Gilgamesh (ghIlghameS) and the Tao Te Ching
(pIn'a' qan paQDI'norgh). A journal entitled HolQeD
(Klingon for linguistics), which conains articles on Klingon
linguistics, language and culture, is published by the Klingon
Language Institute (KLI). The KLI also publishes jatmey
("scattered tongues"), a magazine featuring poetry and fiction in
and about Klingon, as well as runing an annual conference or
qep'a ("great meeting").
There are a small number of people able to converse in Klingon,
and maybe several hundred others who have some knowledge of the language.
The Astra Image Corporation designed letters to represent
Klingon writing for Star Trek: The Motion Picture
and based them on symbols created by Matt Jefferies which
appear on the Klingon battlecruiser in the film, and also on
the Tibetan script. Random Klingon letters are used in the
Star Trek films and TV series for effect, and Klingon enthusiasts
have devised a way of writing Klingon with them, though
Klingon is generally written with the Latin alphabet.
tlhIngan Hol yejHaD jInmol chu' 'oH Qo'noS QonoS'e'. tlhIngan Hol jatlhwI'pu'vaD wIcherpu'.
naDev vuDmey Daj lutmey Sagh je DalaDlaH, 'ach tlhIngan Hol DayajnIS. Hoch jar chovnatlh chu'
wImuch. yIlaD. yIqeq. tugh bIpo'choH.
The Kronos Chronicle is a new project of the Klingon Language Institute, intended for
Klingon speakers. Here you can read interesting opinons and articles, but only if you can
understand Klingon. Each month we will have a new issue for you to read and practice