Star Trek 821: The Klingon Dictionary

821. The Klingon Dictionary

PUBLICATION: Pocket Books, December 1985 (updated edition in January 1992)

CREATORS: Marc Okrand

STARDATE: Published in the Federation after ST III, but written before.

TOPIC: Not just an English/Klingon phrase book and dictionary, but also a full Klingon grammar and pronunciation guide. Warning: Potential speaker should check the state of the Klingon Empire before opening their mouths, as some dialects may fall out of favor.

CONTINUITY: The linguist's Klingon informant is Maltz, one of Kruge's men in ST III. The Klingon language is based on the words and sounds used in the first few films, but after its publication, it became the template for all Klingon dialogue in the films and series. The introduction explains why Klingon characters sometimes speak English - the use clipped Klingon to give orders, but like to show off their erudition in English as a class thing. (Well it worked that way in my supposedly french-speaking high school!)

DIVERGENCES: There shouldn't be any, though you may question that introduction.

PHRASE OF THE WEEK - One for Counselor Troi
REVIEW: A lot of fun. If you're a linguistics geek, even more fun. Admittedly, grammar and syntax are a pretty dry subject, but Okrand has used a good mix of making sense of what's been put to film and extrapolating language rules from the Klingon world view. So fans of the Klingons will find something valuable even there, like the clipped syntax perfect for giving orders in battle. Much more fun is making up your own Klingon phrases for daily situations around the house. Me and my roommates (both girls, score points on my geek cred) once attempted a cooking show in Klingon (Qapla!). I also like looking for ship names in the word lists (Kurn's ship, the Hegh'ta, translates as "accomplish death"). Mostly, you're left in awe of Okrand's achievement. Now wonder there are summer camps for this.


De said...

I run into Marc Okrand whenever there are sci-fi oriented things here in DC (he lives in Maryland). He's a nice guy, but a little on the shy side. He's a friend of a former girlfriend of mine who used to attend Klingon language camps.

Siskoid said...

Shy man, but not a shy language!

The Acrobatic Flea said...

Perfect for Klingon Boggle!

I once had the "learn the language" audio tape which went with it! Hours of fun... and spitting :)

Matthew Turnage said...

Yeah, I've still got my "How To Speak Conversational Klingon" tape that came with the updated edition. Loads of fun.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine