My next language is Klingon.
For those of you who don’t know it, it’s the fictional language used by one particular alien species on the TV show (and movies) Star Trek. Believe it or not, this is an actually well enough developed language and has a huge following of enthusiastic speakers, as well as literature (you can even buy Hamlet translated to Klingon).
The language was developed by a linguist for the show, with more features added to allow it to grow, and has inspired similar alien languages such as Nav’i. Apparently, you can say quite a lot in Klingon!
While I haven’t watched TV in years, I grew up with Star Trek and would definitely call myself a “trekkie”. Hopefully the image of me in a Klingon costume with my shiny new four foot long Bat’leth will make that clear I have no idea how the hell I’m supposed to travel with it…
Speak the language in 3.5 weeks at the official Star Trek convention
As you know, I wouldn’t quite learn a language for the sake of it, but to actually use it, and Klingon is no exception! Yes, I do intend to actually speak it!
You see, I’ll be going to the 45th official Star Trek convention in Chicago! (Details here) I’ve already booked a photo shoot with Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock), Brent Spiner (Data) and Jonathon Frakes (Riker) and am looking forward to the unique experience of something I’ve only heard rumours about!
The convention will also (of course) have many high level speakers of Klingon, as well as “A Klingon Christmas Carol” performance, given entirely in Klingon.
My goal will be to find one or more other speakers and to interview them on camera in Klingon during that weekend. (i.e. a spontaneous conversation, rather than an easy to make rehearsed speech). Normally I have way more than 25 days to prepare, but that’s all part of the fun of this mission!
Come October, I’ll be back to learning “real” languages, but I look forward to this unique challenge!
So follow along with me in this mission and see if I can apply my usual communicative learning approach to boldly go where no language hacker has gone before!!
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If you enjoyed this post, you will love my TEDx talk! You can get much better details of how I recommend learning a language if you watch it here.
This article was written by Benny Lewis
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