Feeds

Speak geek: The world of made-up language

Pointy ears, bumpy foreheads and obscure tongues

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Fantasy Islands

Languages created nowadays are typically made for occasional use in a Film, TV series or book collection. Practicality is often ignored. Created to fit the fantasy in mind and not potential linguists, the languages can be deliberately difficult, with awkward pronunciation and limited vocabulary.

The latest communication fad among movie fans is Na’vi - the language spoken in James Cameron’s Avatar. This shows conlanging is on the rise again and with the support of modern tech, it now has a platform to survive.

Klingon also fits this bill: this conlang has seen considerable success and was even used recently in Australian cave tours as well as a full-blown Klingon opera.

Klingon Opera

Klingon Opera
Photo by Guus Rijven

Linguist Dr Marc Okrand was commissioned by the Star Trek writers to take a handful of phrases coined by James Doohan (Scotty in the original series) and turn them into a fully-fledged language for Klingon use in future Trek films and episodes. Although purpose of creation is thus clear, reasons for attempting to learn the language are not. Aren’t subtitles enough?

Perhaps there’s a possible element of superiority involved - to express complete devotion for a work of fiction, one has to push the boat out further than the rest. To follow suit becomes a must for serious fans who otherwise risk appearing less enthusiastic than others. With so much time already invested, there’s too much pride at stake to appear second best.

Klingon Alphabet

The Klingon Alphabet

I struggled to find a Klingon speaker who was prepared to talk to me, so perhaps that pride has its confine. Okrent writes how Klingons can be reserved - a result of the mockery they have to deal with on a regular basis. It appears that imitating an alien race known for its brash demeanour opens the doors for humans to act undignified in return - who'd have thought? Ms. Okrent provides the perfect example of this when checking into a hotel alongside a fully equipped Klingon:

They looked at us, immediately noticing, of course, a costumed member of our group. One of these so-called normal people walked right up to him and, without asking for permission, took out his cell phone to take a picture, saying to no one in particular, and certainly not to the Klingon in question, ‘If I don’t get a picture of this, no one will believe me.’ The Klingon stood tall and posed like a true warrior. At that moment, I knew whose side I was on. The world of Klingon may be based on fiction, but living in it takes real guts.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.