This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Nuts and Bolts: Klingon.

No, hang on! This is interesting.

Really!

The Klingons first appeared in the Star Trek episode Errand of Mercy, written by Gene L Coon. These Klingons shouted rather a lot, but fortunately in English. 

After that everything got a lot more complicated. For The Motion Picture James Doohan (who played Scotty) made up some genuine* Klingon words for the aliens to use.

Later, Marc Okrand used those words as the basis of a Klingon language, which at one point was claimed to be the fastest-growing language on Earth.

How about that?

Marc Okrand did his best to make Klingon as alien as possible to the majority of earthlings. The order of the words in a Klingon sentence, for instance, is what we English speakers would call back to front: so, instead of saying dog bit man you'd say man bit dog - but it would still mean dog bit man.

There are no adjectives in Klingon, nor any verb to be, which caused difficulties when director Nicholas Meyer wanted a Klingon to quote Hamlet. To be or not to be ended up taH pagh, taHbe! which of course translates as whether to continue or not continue.
The oddest thing of all about Klingon is that the Klingon Dictionary has sold 250,000 copies.
Though having said that, there are reckoned to be only about a dozen really fluent speakers.

Really? As many as that?
Word To Use Today: something Klingon. Possibly He'So'Qlchllj (your accent stinks) or jll moH ghajjej jaghHomllj (may your little enemy have an ugly neighbour).

The Klingons were named in honour of Lieutenant Wilbur Clingan, who served in the Los Angeles Police Department with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbury.

*Yes, yes, all right: dodgy use of the word genuine.

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