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Tour of my home… in Klingon! [video]

| 58 comments | Category: particular languages, video

As promised, here is a video of me speaking Klingon :D Laugh and enjoy as I give you the most guttural tour of my home I probably ever will… and I do it in costume and in character of course!

I only started to learn this a couple of weeks back, and as you can imagine there have been certain challenges I wouldn’t face with my normal languages!

But, as always, where there’s a will, there’s a way! After a few weeks of slowly learning things from books and audio and watching the movies and episodes, I felt that all this “input” was not going to help me achieve what I sought. So I relied on my usual strategy of system HB!

I got in touch with Qov, who is a member of the tlhIngan Hol yejHaD (Klingon Language Institute) and asked for his help. He helped me prepare the script for this short video and even spoke it to me so my pronunciation would be slightly better. Considering how he’s even blogging in Klingon, he was definitely the one to ask!

Luckily, the studying I’ve done meant that I do indeed understand precisely what I’m saying, as well as the grammatical structures behind my words (so no, I’m not reciting gibberish!). After making sure of that, I used my previously described technique of preparing a video in a language you just started to learn. I hope you enjoyed the result and my poor acting skills!

In case you are wondering, my “battle cruiser” is the car I’m renting for the month (first time ever – I just got my license and wanted to experience the states behind the wheel), and even though this apartment is very nice, I’m not paying so much (by American standards) for living here for the month because of course I haggled down the proposed price.

This weekend, I’ll be at the Star Trek convention – of course, I’m really looking forward to it! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to record another video as planned though, as I see that they don’t legally allow people to record within the conference (because of the actors that are present), and Qov tells me that unfortunately there may be nobody there with more Klingon than me (including those reciting the two hour long play in Klingon!!) There are actual Klingon events, called qep’a’, which would be better for speaking the language.

If that’s the case, hopefully this video is enough to show you what Klingon with an Irish accent sounds like :D

Let me know what you think about it in the comments below! Qapla’!!

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  • http://www.stevekamb.com Steve Kamb

    I don’t even know what to say.  Amazing.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks! It was fun to make :D

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks! It was fun to make :D

  • WC

    I knew you’d make it, because you always do but…  I’m still in shock a bit that you managed.  Congrats!

    I hope you find plenty of people to talk to at the convention.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Sure! I’ll have Leonard Ninoy… Brent Spinner… :D

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Sure! I’ll have Leonard Ninoy… Brent Spinner… :D

  • http://twitter.com/SilverAntigen Ags

    You are full of awesome!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      For this particular video, it’s better to be full of honour! :P
      Thanks!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      For this particular video, it’s better to be full of honour! :P
      Thanks!

  • Mindy

    Oh, Benny!  Thanks for the laughs!  My favorite line: “Much light enters this home and it pleases me!”  :)  That is a very nice apartment.  Glad you can enjoy such comfortable surroundings this month.
    That is indeed a guttural language.  It kind of made my throat hurt a bit just listening to you.  I’m sure you are going to have a great time at the convention.  I look forward to reading a recap, even without a video it’ll be interesting to hear about your experiences.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Yes, it should be an interesting experience!!

      Glad you liked the video ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Yes, it should be an interesting experience!!

      Glad you liked the video ;)

    • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

      Someone pointed me to this video yesterday. jIyay’ — I’m amazed. Discounting a few minor fumbles, the pronunciation is great. The grammar is flawless. The vocabulary is so fresh that I immediately recognized you must have had help from one of a half dozen fluent speakers I know. The “Much light” line references {jul tIH} “sun’s rays”, and {jul} is a word that is used in a book that is just now being published. I’m not surprised to find that it was Qov who assisted you in your project.

      Chicago is a reasonable day trip for me, and I was seriously considering going up for the convention in order to meet you and give you a chance to speak with someone who is conversationally fluent in Klingon, but after investigating things I decided I’m not willing to spend that much money to go to a Creation-run con.

  • Anonymous

    Not only have you got the words and grammar but the culture as well! Barry Farber says in “How To Learn Any Language” to go ahead and  “make fun” (so to speak) of the foreigner’s accent- that’s how you learn it, by imitating. You sound quite bellicose and aggressive, quite Klingon. Well done, Benny!

    There are many lessons here for learners of human languages to glean. The most important is that you are having fun!

    I did notice that on your house tour there seems to be a soft bed, couch and chairs.  A true Klingon warrior would never have need of such things. Your battle cruiser reminds me of a Ferengi garbage scow! You shall never reach stovokor!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      I also apply the “make fun” technique when learning natural languages! ;) Make fun and have fun :D

      My battle cruiser is a compact Chevy Aveo, indeed not typical of many warriors, but I have won many battles with Chicago navigators – when the captain has great honor and skills, even a Ferengi garbage scow would outmanoeuvre a Cardassian battleship! Great honor awaits me in Stovokor!!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      I also apply the “make fun” technique when learning natural languages! ;) Make fun and have fun :D

      My battle cruiser is a compact Chevy Aveo, indeed not typical of many warriors, but I have won many battles with Chicago navigators – when the captain has great honor and skills, even a Ferengi garbage scow would outmanoeuvre a Cardassian battleship! Great honor awaits me in Stovokor!!

  • http://everything-everywhere.com Gary Arndt

    There is great honor in this video

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      You honor the house of Lewis with your kind words!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      You honor the house of Lewis with your kind words!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Just a normal Monday afternoon for me ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Just a normal Monday afternoon for me ;)

  • Stephen Angell

    Brilliant stuff – makes me want to learn Klingon.

    Though I think I should stick to French for now :-)

  • Anonymous

    Outrageously and ridiculously fun…I love the internet! lol

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks! Random and ridiculous fun is the best part of the Internet – glad to do my bit :D

  • jeremy brown

    Man I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical of the Klingon thing.  You pulled it off handsomely.  Thanks for making me laugh!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Glad to bring a smile to people’s faces by shouting and spitting at the camera angrily :P

  • http://www.do-you-speak-english.co.uk Rachel

    This was fascinating and hilarious at the same time :D  There was a Stephen Fry documentary about language on BBC in the UK last Sunday, which featured part of Hamlet in Klingon and an interview with a level 4 (?) speaker who had brought his child up speaking the language for a few years. Was really interesting!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Yes, I just saw it! Very interesting indeed! I hope Stephen comes back to Esperanto. He alluded to it twice but didn’t get into it, suggesting that Klingon would work “better” as an international language, and missing the point! I also found his interview with the signers to be quite cringe-worthy, asking them if ASL is a real language and to sign “Hitler”.

      But other than that it was indeed interesting and I’ll be following it online!

    • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

      “Level 4″ is an anomaly. There are three defined levels of language certification, with level 3 supposedly indicating full mastery of the language. The fourth is somewhat nebulous, involving more meta-knowledge, and theoretically requiring an interview by a panel of other level-four speakers. Since such a panel has never yet been assembled, the rank is currently used sort of as an honorary recognition of ability both in using and in teaching the language, as well as demonstrated service to the Klingon-speaking community.

      d’Armond has a blog entry on the subject at http://datheist.blogspot.com/2011/09/stephen-frys-planet-word.html

    • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

      “Level 4″ is an anomaly. There are three defined levels of language certification, with level 3 supposedly indicating full mastery of the language. The fourth is somewhat nebulous, involving more meta-knowledge, and theoretically requiring an interview by a panel of other level-four speakers. Since such a panel has never yet been assembled, the rank is currently used sort of as an honorary recognition of ability both in using and in teaching the language, as well as demonstrated service to the Klingon-speaking community.

      d’Armond has a blog entry on the subject at http://datheist.blogspot.com/2011/09/stephen-frys-planet-word.html

  • Qov

    majQa’. batlh Qu’lIj Data’lI’, ‘ach qaSovnISmoH: be’ jIH.

    • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

      vI’ollaH.

    • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

      vI’ollaH.

  • Carriechicken

    That was both amazing and cringy, coming from your easily mortified sister :) You should paint the rest of your face to match the top of your head, house looks class! 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks Carrie – just doing the “house of Lewis” clan proud as always! Did you like my battle cruiser? (Chevy Aveo)
      Budget restraints meant that I had no make-up or no head masks for white Irish folk!

  • http://CreativeWebBiz.com Yamile Yemoonyah

    haha, this is awesome. Lieutenant Worf would be proud of you :-)

  • http://kevinpost.wordpress.com/ Kevin Post

    That was fantastic! You’re so believable…what is your Klingon name?

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Since Worf’s son is named “Alexander”, I imagine human names work fine for Klingons. But you’d have to phrase it “Benny, son of Rick(, house of Lewis)”. I suppose I could write it with the Klingon alphabet to make it look more authentic :P

      • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

        yIyep. chaq “Benny” QoyDI’ tlhIngan, _be’nI’_ Qub. The Klingon word {be’nI’} means “sister”.

  • Peter Sipes

    That’s just amazing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bernardo-Estevez/1316502678 Bernardo Estevez

    I love it! Just awesome.

  • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

    The word you heard was {DuptaHvIS} “while improving”.

  • ghunchu’wI’ ‘utlh

    I think you might be talking about the locative noun {naDev} “here”. The “place indicator” suffix in Klingon is actually {-Daq}.

    The only definitive Chinese-sounding word in Klingon I know of is {lung} “lizard” (pronounced /loong/).

  • Katia Monasterio

    That is wonderful! I have always loved the sound of Spoken Klingon.

  • Goŝka

    as expected, very interesting, I’ve never heard Klingon :)
    so good you are there in the States also to learn ASL, so that your throat gets a bit of relief ;))

  • http://twitter.com/mmmonearth Ajay

    ROFL! This is the funniest video I have seen in a looonngg time !

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks ;)

  • http://twitter.com/mmmonearth Ajay

    ROFL! This is the funniest video I have seen in a looonngg time !

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I was in several musicals when I was growing up ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I was in several musicals when I was growing up ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I was in several musicals when I was growing up ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I was in several musicals when I was growing up ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis
  • Thaddeus Maciuszek

    Hahaha! Glad you reposted the link to this. That was amazing!

  • GabiGabi

    How do you learn Klingon? I want to learn but dont know how? Do you have dictionary or online lessons?? Please answerrrrr